So we’re in recession – boo! A lack of investment in your brand can spell trouble. Worse, when things get tougher it can really start to hit your profits.
Learning from big business
We can learn a lot from super-sized businesses and how they operate successfully. Whilst the budgets are infinitely bigger than what many businesses can afford, the principles of investing in your brand still hold true.
Things are tough right now, so people are choosy and reluctant to spend – and when they do they want to spend with brands they feel confident about. In the last recession, Tesco announced UK sales fell. Normally you’d consider Tesco very successful, but thinking more carefully about the brand and their shops they feel a bit tired. At the time, our local one was looking a bit shabby to be fair.
In announcing their results the Tesco CEO announced plans to invest £1bn in their brand. Huge amounts of money will be spent making their product experience better by:
- Revamping stores and design
- Adding new lines and products
- Employing more staff
- Training for a better experience
- Successful brands
Other big brands were still succeeding in a tough environment. Sainsbury’s profits continue to grow. Apple and Samsung continue to make exceptional profits in the notoriously difficult electronics and phone sectors.
These brands were investing massively in making sure their images are the best. They look fantastic, with great design, and work brilliantly too – frequently becoming recommended buys.
What is your brand saying to customers?
So we can learn from big brands with much larger budgets.
If you think your logo, identity, web site, packaging or marketing brochures are feeling tired then that’s invariably what your customers will be feeling about your brand. More fundamental problems could be on the horizon if your product can’t keep pace with competitors.
It’s certainly worth someone from outside your business taking a look with a fresh pair of eyes if you’re serious about making some brand improvements. Brand specialists can often see different things with an outside perspective that can really help.
You don’t always need a major investment in your brand, but the more you invest will pay real dividends, and like Tesco you’ll be clever enough to learn before the real rot sets in.