Rebrand to position your business for success in a sluggish economy.

The proverbial cat, or rather bear, is trying to get out of the bag. When it finally arrives (promising news—some analysts predict we’re good through Q1 ’20), how long it will last or how severely it will impact the economy is a well-paid economist’s guess. Add in the unpredictability of our current administration, and some consumers and investors alike are feeling jiggy.

Downturns are usually a time when nervous business owners start to clamp down, not just on spending but also when it comes to making changes to their business—especially related to branding and marketing. And even if they were to invest in either or both, it’d likely be too late anyway.

We’d like to argue the case that now–before the recession hits—is precisely the right time to look at your brand, and if necessary, give it a refresh or maybe even a redo. Because when the economy slows down, that’s when your brand needs to rise to the top. And you don’t wait until a recession hits to position yourself as a leader. At that point, you’re too late to the game.

Branding and marketing are often the first areas where budget cuts are felt, yet these are the areas that can make the difference between winning or losing during a sluggish economy. Why? A recession doesn’t impact all businesses equally, so you want to make sure your message is getting in front of the businesses and consumers that are doing okay—maybe even growing.

We love what one of our clients recently said: “We’re not as worried about the looming recession as some because we own such a small percentage of the market anyway. There will still be plenty of room for us to grow.”

That’s the attitude we believe you need to have during times of uncertainty versus a “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” mentality.

The million dollar question: where to start?

What are the things you want to look at? How deep do you go? The answers depend on the state of your current brand and the industry you’re in. To start, though, take a look at your website. Are the messages clear and concise? Is it fast to load and easy to navigate? More importantly, is it mobile friendly?

As 80% of consumers shop on smartphones, and more than 60% of small and medium-sized businesses rely on their smartphones for B2B interactions, you’re losing out if it’s not easy to contact or buy from you on a phone.

The Bottom Line

If market positioning is important in a bull market, it’s critical during a bear economy.

You could hunker down and slash your marketing budget, ration spending, and cross your fingers that your business survives the economic downturn.

Or you could view this inevitable economic reality as an opportunity to audit your brand, identify strengths and weaknesses, and make adjustments that keep you top of mind and center of attention for your customers.

Don’t fear the big bad bear market. Instead, take advantage of this time to position your business to not only be resilient but also grow in a sluggish economy.