Published on July 25, 2019

Feel free to look elsewhere.

I was talking to a former client yesterday and he said, “you know, our budgets have been cut by 40%, and when that happens, funds for branding are the first to go”. Almost in the same breath he followed it with “… but I know branding is critical for us and to how we connect with our audiences.”

So how does this work? At a time when there are considerable challenges in the marketplace and brands are having to fight hard for their audience’s attention, businesses are forgetting what they need to do to maintain those relationships almost saying … “feel free to look elsewhere”. When, it is during difficult times that customers, employees, partners and other parties a brand addresses, need that continued care and attention, the loyalty they have shown the brand for so long being shown in return. As they say, you know who your friends are when times are tough and they stay with you, rather than desert you at the first major obstacle.

The world today is struggling to come to terms with a number of challenges, whether economic, geopolitical, trade related or indeed as a consequence of misguided agendas from world leaders. There is a sudden self-preservation movement that is establishing itself at considerable cost to people, businesses, and economies. The reaction we see is that businesses and their brands are in turn shifting to self-preservation mode focusing on the bottom line. In doing so they forget what made them successful in the first place and the importance of the deep relationships they built over time with their carefully nurtured audiences.

What should really be happening is that even greater focus is placed on looking after and caring for those relationships, even if at an extra cost to the business, because that is what is valued and that is what will get audiences to keep coming back, and new ones coming from competitors who have forgotten how to look after their own.

This is when, more than ever, businesses need to invest in their brands and continue to nurture their relationships with their audiences.

Stefano Ferro

Managing Partner