How to Market During Tough Times
As consumers in many markets endure the worst cost-of-living crunch in decades, the spotlight is on brands to adapt to changing behaviours and expectations while keeping business buoyant for the recovery; the WARC Guide to the consumer crunch: navigating inflation and the threat of recession shows how.
Why it matters
This is not a typical downturn. Sharp inflation and the threat of recession (or ‘stagflation’) make this period of instability particularly challenging for marketers, as rising prices amplify the effects of a downturn on consumer spend. The current economic environment poses challenges for brands as they navigate new pressures on pricing, portfolio management, innovation, advertising and more.
Marketers need to maintain investment in their brands as they seek to justify price increases and defend themselves from trading down or private-label rivals.
Pricing can no longer be the ‘forgotten P’. Use data modelling and testing to understand price elasticity in your category, and use the other marketing ‘Ps’ to support any changes you need to make to price.
Knowing if the brand has a greater degree of price ‘exposure’ vs. its competition is critical. Strong brands with more brand equity drive greater commercial growth and are less price elastic.
- Consider tiering or bundling strategies which can help reframe value to different audiences.
- Find innovative and creative ways to support consumers through this challenging time, which will help nurture consumer trust.