Brands counter recession

Time 13 years ago

30718-d-mer.jpgYOUR dealer’s brand, and positive thinking from you, can help you through any recessionary downturns.

This can reinforce customer loyalty, competitive advantage and… drive sales.

Such thinking works on many levels too, says brand consultancy Milestones. Those in the industry may be talking up a recession, but by exploiting the brand that you sell, and keeping a positive frame of mind, you can keep everyone geared up.

Take internal marketing. Straight to recycling for many? Well, throw out the corporate fluff and deliver some really inspirational musings to staff instead. Branding begins at home, and using such channels to motivate everyone in the dealership is the crucial first step.

Businesses can thrive and prosper even through recessions – by being smarter and, reckons director Ian Sutton, successfully implementing a brand strategy.

He offers a top-10 list of advice that may just be useful to you:

1. Deliver your brand experience like nothing before
If your business is slowing down, you can’t afford to lose customers. Analyse every aspect of your customer’s experience throughout the life-cycle of a sale. Creating a memorable, joined-up experience should do more than just keep your punters happy – the positive word of mouth generated will help attract new customers without costing a penny.

2. Reinforce your value message

Many brands promise to deliver value for money, but in times of plenty these messages can easily get sidelined. Now could be the time to reinforce this aspect of your brand and bring it back to the top of the agenda.

3. Change
If you’re failing to engage with customers in a shifting economic environment, be bold and change your brand’s positioning. Don’t be afraid to change, be seen as an innovator.

4. Build your brand and win more customers
As other businesses batten down the hatches, it could be time to go out and win their customers.

5. Rally the troops
Keeping your staff well-motivated and super-productive, through compelling internal marketing, will increase revenue and help weather lean periods. Make sure they are well informed at all times to ensure commitment.

6. Be confident
Brand leadership needs a clear, confident strategy to maintain success and to remain fixed on your customer’s radar.

7. Aim higher
Some sectors always have money to spend, whatever the economy is doing. Maybe it’s time to rethink your target audience.

8. Show some passion
Enhancing and emphasising the emotional promise your brand delivers (how you make people feel) can help lock-in customers for the longer term. We all need nourishment for the soul and will continue to pay for the good stuff. Be passionate in everything you do.

9. To focus or diversify?
Now could be the time to extend your brand into new, more fruitful avenues. Conversely, it could be better to narrow in on core activities/markets. If your market is changing, staying the same is not an option.

10. Have a bit of fun
When things are looking miserable, everyone needs more fun in their lives.

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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