In a Recession, Branding Is More Important Than Ever

Recessions are apart of the economic cycle of expansion and contraction. Some signs indicate that our economy is headed toward one, and some forecasters saying we are already there. Officially, however, we won’t know for sure for a few months, until our economy as shown two consecutive quarters of negative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth).

Most staffing and recruiting professionals fear recession; for them, it means lost clients and revenue. Then, in a panicked effort to reduce their expenses, they slash their marketing and advertising budgets. While this cost-cutting move sounds logical (i.e., because it saves money), it also makes these firms virtually invisible to employers and job seekers – and leaves them even more vulnerable to competitors taking their business once the economy improves.

But you don’t have to be one of those firms.

If your agency is prepared, a recession can present an opportunity to stand out. This is where branding comes in. While other firms are timid, you should be bold – and highly visible. Here’s how to ensure your branding helps you stand out now, and positions you to recover quickly from this downturn:

Strengthen your positioning. Proper brand positioning is essential, because it sets your business apart from the competition in clients’ and candidates’ minds. Your brand’s position clearly conveys what your agency is right now, and it provides more insight into where you go next.

During a recession, consumers often reconsider spending priorities. So, you want to make sure your consumers are confident with the direction of your business. With strong positioning, employers and job seekers understand exactly who you are and what you can do for them. When they know your brand well, it’s much more likely you’ll be top of mind with consumers when they choose with which companies to continue to spend (or entrust their career).

PREMIUM CONTENT: Preparing for the next recession

Identify your brand differentiator. Even when the economy is thriving, having a unique brand is essential for business. When your brand or your brand’s positioning isn’t unique, it will likely not stand out. You may provide the same services as one of your competitors, but when you do a little something extra, it can make all the difference when attracting and retaining consumers. In a recession, it can be that key differentiator that will keep your business thriving over your competition.

Clarify what your brand is known for. Similar to your brand’s differentiator, you want to make sure your brand’s message is clear for what your business is known for. This is especially important during a recession. When consumers are looking for a particular service that you provide, you want to make sure you are top of mind. For example, Nike, Inc. is known for being the world’s largest supplier and manufacturer of athletic shoes. When someone needs a new pair of athletic shoes, Nike is likely to be thought of first. The staffing industry is no different. If you are known for providing quality candidates, then your staffing agency will likely be thought of right away when the need arises.

It’s Time to Stand Out

Even through tough times, such as a recession, don’t shy away from your business’ branding efforts. It’s more important than ever to stay in front of your audience; it shows that your brand and business is strong, even during a lull in the economy. Take the initiative and put your brand out there!

For more ideas on how to stand out and thrive in these turbulent economic times, check out our free webinar, “Strategies for a Changed World.”

Caitlin Dwyer

Caitlin Dwyer
Caitlin Dwyer is a digital marketing advisor with Haley Marketing. She can be reached at cdwyer (at) haleymarketing (dot) com.

Caitlin Dwyer

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