Not to be a doomsayer, but we’re probably about to enter into a recession.
Even though our economy is displaying conflicting indicators of health, 98% of CEOs surveyed by a non-partisan think tank say they are actively preparing for a recession in the U.S. And in a recent survey of 49 leading macroeconomists, the majority (68%) believe the recession will hit in 2023, which happens to be [checks new The Far Side desktop calendar, laughs, glances at year, stops laughing] right now.
The pessimism isn’t as pessimistic as it could be, though, as experts are anticipating a mild recession as opposed to, I guess, a spicy one (I assume this is the correct economic term). And, since the average span of a recession is ten months, it’s likely going to be a relatively brief one, as opposed to, say, the sequel to the Great Recession of 2008. That would be, in technical economic language, spicy as #$%&.
The heat felt from a recession varies from industry to industry. The only two businesses that have historically been recession-proof, as Silvio Dante from The Sopranos breaks it down, are “certain aspects of show business, and our thing.” So unless you are involved in a particular form of entertainment, or are enmeshed in a crime syndicate, you will likely face pressure from the looming economic downturn.
But this recession might also create a valuable opportunity for your business.
Recessions are Times to Invest
When the economy tightens, the instinct is to cut, slash, and eliminate—staff, expenses, initiatives, and forward-thinking in general. But while surgically trimming your budget is valuable, recessions are paradoxically the most crucial time to invest.
This evergreen article on how to market during a recession from Harvard Business Review concludes that companies who nimbly adjust their product offerings and marketing strategies are more likely to flourish both during and after a recession. Companies that wait until the economy has recovered are still tying their shoes while their competitors are at full stride. As this Forbes article argues, “Reacting—rather than taking a proactive approach—can hurt you.”
Ways to Invest During a Recession
The good news is that there is time to prepare, and there are proven strategies for growing during and after a recession. Here are some key ones.
1. Strengthen your relationship with your existing customers
There’s a maxim that people are loyal to brands they trust, and they trust brands that consistently deliver quality products and customer service.
During lean economic seasons, when consumers carefully examine their expenses, businesses are put under a microscope. Customers are more likely to cut ties with businesses that they are unsatisfied with, but will remain loyal to those they are emotionally connected to. Improving your customer experience through a more user-friendly website, improved communication, and even appreciation initiatives increases the likelihood that you’ll not only retain the customers you have, you’ll reach new ones as well.
2. Invest in your organization, products, and brand
When business slows down, there’s also time to slow down and focus on internal projects. Maybe it’s time to streamline your organizational systems. Maybe it’s time to improve your product(s). And maybe it’s time for new branding. Capitalize on the lull by improving your company’s core identity so you can be ready when business picks back up.
3. Raise brand awareness
Increasing your brand’s reach through traditional advertising, social media campaigns, and respected publications during a recession may not lead to immediate sales, but has been shown to have a positive long-term impact. As history has shown, the economy will recover. And when consumers have more money to spend, they’ll be thinking of you.
Another way to further your brand’s awareness is by giving your audience quality, no-strings-attached content—blog posts, photography, and videos, to name a few. Producing engaging content keeps you in your customers’ minds, which is vitally important during a recession.
Now’s the Time to Prepare
I get how it could seem self-serving that a creative agency is encouraging you to invest in creative services during difficult financial times. But we at Mabble are practicing what we preach. We have been focusing on our current clients, because they got us to where we’re at, and we’re with them through thick and thin. We are also streamlining our organizational systems, revamping our brand, redesigning our website, producing more content, and dreaming up new creative services to offer.
We’re being proactive to not just survive the recession, but to thrive through it (and beyond). No matter how spicy it might get. And we can help your business, too.
(For help strengthening your brand through the recession, shoot us a message.)