The average business owner might not wonder how to build a brand when a recessionary climate is in full swing. Instead, he or she might simply wonder how a brand can survive.

A recession: this is the time to pull up the boot straps, dispose of ‘average’ thinking, and use the mental state of the average consumer to build a brand.

[Calm Recession Fears to Build a Brand}

An economic recession can be compared to Mother Nature’s thinning of the weak to strengthen the herd, or to the old mantras, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going,’ and, ‘only the strong survive.’ The best branding experts look at recessions as times to rise above and outshine the competition. They refuse to be victims, and simultaneously offer lifelines to those who are facing grim financial prognoses.



One principle that can aid in building brands in a recession is this: when people are faced with cutting back on spending, their primary concerns turn to the basics: food, clothing, shelter, water, sex, and education.

A recession instils fear in the average consumer. Of course, running out of money is a motivating fear, but even scarier are the possible results: repossession of the car, foreclosure on the house, the stigma of bankruptcy…sending their kids to school in shoes that are too small.

So what should this tell us about how to build a brand during a recession? Of course, you should not promise to solve problems that your brand is not designed to solve. What you can do is adjust your message to quell at least one fear that your ideal client experiences when economic times are less-than-ideal. This can be accomplished by communicating how your brand offers more value for the money, how it will fill a basic need, or how it helps to reduce the discomfort involved with disposing of luxuries.

Some of the world’s oldest brands (100 years plus) are also the biggest ones. This means they’ve weathered some pretty tough economic climates. It also means they’ve grasped the meaning of value for their markets and have effectively communicated that value – even (and especially) during economic down-turns.

During a recession, the best brands offer the best value. That doesn’t mean they slash prices in an all-out battle of the cheap – but it does mean they speak to consumers in a way that conveys how their product or service is the best for the money, no matter the price point.

Thinking about how to build a brand shouldn’t be reserved for times of plenty; on the contrary, it should be exercised most vigorously when the competition is feeling the same pain as you are. There’s a good chance that a few of your competitors will be fatalities of a poor economic climate. This means more clients for your brand – and an excellent opportunity to create a branded experience they will never forget. That, my friends, is how to build a brand by inspiring customer loyalty that will outlast any recession.

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