Thursday, March 18, 2010


How the Econonomy Is Affecting Brands

I'm working on a response to a branding/brand-licensing article for the April issue of Royaltie$ (a trade magazine that covers the licensing and intellectual property rights industry). The journalist is interested in the world of brands and branding. He is focused on the current state of brands in the marketplace, what effects the economy has had on brands and how consumer opinions on brands may shift as the economy recovers. He also wants to cover the rise of private label during the recession.
As a professor who teaches branding at the graduate school level and as someone who runs a branding agency, I definitely have some thoughts on these topics. So here are goes:

1. Many brands are suffering in today’s marketplace either because there are insufficient marketing budgets to keep awareness levels where they need to be or because they represent the types of products or services that do not jibe with a weak economy.

2. Certain brands like Walmart have actually grown in this economy because they saw a brand positioning that was spot on. They talk to the public in terms of “providing excellent value” when people want it more than ever and they leverage their own brand by advertising well-known brands that they can offer at a lower price. Target has followed this lead and seems to be getting stronger as a result according to one of their buyers I spoke with recently.

3. As for private label, these products are price-driven and will always do well in this kind of economy. The question that should be asked is “Will they still be around after an economic recovery?” Some will, but most won’t.

Hope these thoughts help you in your marketing planning.

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