Why Branding Still Matters Amidst Inflation This Year

By Adwright, 31 January 2023

Does branding matter if companies are focused on addressing higher inflationary costs and monitoring marketing budgets closely?

Let’s face it, often marketing budgets are the first to be cut in financially unstable times, regardless of the industry you’re in. However, branding often goes beyond advertising and marketing promotions. Furthermore, the benefits of branding often have a longer-term effect, as brand image built over time stays in consumers’ minds long after promotions may have ended.

While price reductions might seem attractive if the economy is weak and consumers are relooking their spending, these mechanics can hurt your brand when the economy recovers further down the road. A company’s branding efforts contribute to the long-term while recessions are only temporary.

Sales of discounted brands may increase for the moment, nonetheless consumers begin to attribute the brand with constant promotions. When their purchasing power improves post-recession, they are likely to remember and purchase brands that did not discount their products instead. As data agency Kantar iterates, brand communication that conveys a meaningful, differentiating message helps defend brand choice in today’s climate.

This isn’t always straightforward. Establishing a distinct brand identity or crafting one-of-a-kind brand messages is often a formidable process, and it can be useful to have guidance along the way.

Why Should I Continue Building My Brand Now?

Last month, we discussed that brand loyalty can help brands weather through recession. We now explore why building brand loyalty remains essential even during a period of rising inflation and recession.

Brand loyalty usually remains unaffected as it is not related to price factors, according to The Customer. As consumers become emotionally engaged with a brand, they are likely to make future purchases from the brand. In addition, consumers develop brand loyalty when they see that a brand “meets expectations they hold for their Category Ideal”.

Consumers may not necessarily reduce their spending in a recession, though they may revise their purchase decisions depending on their highest priorities, or in order to maximise every dollar they have.

Recessions can be uncomfortable or difficult to navigate through for consumers and brands, but it doesn’t have to be. Go for a brand-building approach communicating what your brand does, how your brand does it and why it does what it does. This approach runs the gamut across every aspect such as marketing, advertising and social media, and influences every action a brand takes to communicate and connect with its audiences.

A brand’s purpose drives what the brand does, meaning that what you do demonstrates what you believe in. With consumers making purchases decisions in alignment with their personal beliefs, having an established purpose and core brand beliefs will appeal to consumers having the same beliefs and purpose. In this way, consumers resonate on a deeper level and trust is built with your brand. Maintaining this valuable trust reduces chances of consumers choosing other brands, while creating trust with new consumers opens up the potential for stronger relationships. Furthermore, having a strong brand presence and clear, unique messaging is a good way to further drive brand resonance.

In addition, stay relevant to consumers and adapt current key messages as necessary. Incorporating recession-friendly messaging highlights the value of your brand to the consumer, further increasing likelihood of brand loyalty beyond the recession, according to Nielsen’s recent insights.

How Brand Experience Plays a Part in Your Branding This Year

Nevertheless, brand experiences continue to be a significant way brands can engage consumers this year.

Increasingly, consumers want their interactions and relationships with brands to be memorable and experiential. Standing out in a saturated market requires targeted yet thoughtful customer journeys, and consider how you can further deepen brand resonance by designing feelings and emotions into more aspects of your brand communication.

Along the same lines, explore ways to have a relevant digital and social element within brand experiences. Today’s second-screen world makes every experience stronger and much more shareable when digital and social media are appropriately integrated.

Ultimately, regardless of the mechanics employed, having a comprehensive and coherent brand narrative to govern every brand action is most important. After all, it is not just what you say, but what your brand does and curating experiences that matter the most to your customers consistently across your branding strategy.

At Adwright, we understand the paramount importance of having a reputable brand image. With our finesse and experience in curating strategic brand messages, we create the brand equity needed for marketing to succeed. While we are experts at building brand assets, it is our clients who play the biggest role in building trust with their customer base. After all, where there is trust, there is loyalty – the key factors that determine a brand’s reputation.

Adwright is an award-winning integrated branding agency in Singapore with over 25 years of experience in the industry and counting. We have collaborated with clients ranging from local SMEs to global corporations, spanning across many industries. We provide integrated solutions in branding, design, communications and beyond to help you bring your brand’s presence to market. Partner with us and embark on your unique brand journey today. To find out more about the services that Adwright provides, call us today at +65 6227 7227 or email enquiry@adwright.com.



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