Energy crisis. Cost of living crisis. Economic Downturn. It can all be a bit daunting – especially when you’re trying to make ends meet. Both at home and in business. So what are some strategies for hard times and how can they help?
The Ninja Strategy
I spoke about this a bit on Twitter. It’s a good analogy, and a nice little story that get’s an idea across.
If you’re in marketing – you may be thinking – people have no money, they don’t want to spend, how do I do marketing in that climate. My answer? Double down on brand awareness and think of sales tomorrow rather than today. Why is it a ninja strategy? Let me tell you a story.
You see Ninjas were incredibly effective. When the came to a fight though, they didn’t try to win. Winning has a small window of success. If you try to win, you could also lose – and then means no second chances. So what was their strategy?
Survival has a much larger window. You might not win but you survive to have another go, increasing the chances that you might win. How does this apply to business?
Survival > Sales.
So – by focusing on brand awareness, you will still pick up sales, but you are concentrating far more on paving a path through to when times aren’t as difficult. You sow the seeds in order to reap the rewards later on.
Focus on what you have
Another strategy for hard times is to concentrate on what you have. Those people who have already bought, or are loyal customers are your best friends right now, look after them – build those relationships. At the best of times those are the sales you can rely on most and, when times get tough you look after those closest to you.
Building on brand loyalty again, will help you now, but especially lay the foundations for when things ease.
Try something new
“MADNESS!” I hear you cry. But, think about it – everyone is shrinking back and trying to minimise exposure to risks. What better time to try some new things, test them out with loyal customers (which will make them feel close, important, and included), and begin iterating a new product or service.
Create small teams to quickly hash through ideas, produce prototypes and start testing them. You might get a surprise.
So what has this got to do with brand?
Good question! Focussing on making meaningful connections is going to benefit you in the long run – making sure you have a solid customer base that resonates with your brand – though awareness, and loyalty sets you up in the long run – and by working on brand you can help minimise marketing costs and grease the wheels of those important sales. Over all – focus on the fundamentals and that should see you through.
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