My old creative director used to liken most things to football, either players or teams or the game itself, maybe that’s where this post comes from. With this way of thinking you can quite easily look at the current business world and the economy in general as a football team. When times are hard, in business we start to let go of some of our biggest players; who needs two attackers when we can save a chunk of cash with only one? We start to focus on our defence, put things in place so we won’t let any goals in. Look to the clubs management to sort all the problems. And not just with one team, this is the entire league.
The problem is, no one ever won a match focusing on defence.
studies show that in previous recessions the businesses that continued to invest in their brand and their marketing saw growth in their businesses
The first thing to be cut by businesses when times are hard is their marketing budget. It’s seen as a luxury. Restructuring takes place, usually a pure numbers exercises. To businesses these seem sure-fire ways to ‘ride the storm’. However, numerous studies show that in previous recessions the businesses that continued to invest in their brand and their marketing saw growth in their businesses, while those that pull their budgets saw a decrease in sales.
Going back to football, if everyone is focused on the defence, business would stagnate. This is one of the first mistakes organisations make during times of economic crisis. It stands to reason that the teams fielding a balance between attack and defence would usually do better.
How can you stand out from the crowd during a recession?
The first thing to do is to alter your mindset; look at marketing and putting money behind your brand as in investment rather than an expense.
Next, develop a plan. Start with looking at your business today, honesty is imperative here; what are your strengths and weaknesses, do you connect with your audience, do you live up to your promise? Then think about what you want achieve. Is it to encourage brand loyalty to make you front of mind when your product or service is needed or is it purely growth? Put it down on paper, give your self a time frame, a budget and targets.
What ever your marketing or branding is there to address you need to be sure that the investment will provide a good return. It doesn’t have to cost the earth, but at the same time what ever you undertake needs to fully deliver against your goals.
Finally be focused. You need to be completely aware of five key things: your competition, your brand (read this for information about what your brand is), your audience, and your communication and delivering your to your plan. If you have a strong identity that connects with you audience, focus on what has worked for you so far. If you’re visually is in a relatively weak position, focus on systematically developing what strengths you have while addressing your weaknesses.
Back to football, a good manager will alter his team to ensure that they win. They adapt, just because you did ‘x’ yesterday, it doesn’t mean it will work today. A good manager would never go for a draw, but sometimes would settle for one.
How can we help in all this?
Puur can help with advice on your plan, but also helping to deliver against it. We specialise in identity development borne from customer awareness. We ensure that your audience associates your product or service as a solution to their needs. Give us a call today to chat over your needs and how we can help.