How Governments And Brands Can Boost Consumer Confidence
I like to use the analogy of a marriage in crisis. Everyone knows that the trick to a successful marriage is communication. In times of crisis, communication becomes even more crucial. It is the same thing for brands. In times of crisis, it is totally counter-intuitive to stop talking. When things are going wrong, increasing communications and opening up a good dialogue become even more important.
As the economic downturn persists, consumers will continue to rationalize their needs and their expenditure on goods and services. They will look more to altruism and social justice as they strive to find more meaningful and fulfilled lives. Brands that do not communicate around these more humane and philanthropic principles may suffer.
Recession has a different meaning for different people: not all consumers are equal in recessionary periods. They all have the same understanding of the situation, but what's a big problem for some groups, could be an opportunity for others. An in-depth understanding of customer behavior is key to finding opportunities in this environment. It is crucial for brands to invest in consumer understanding and analytics.
Alfonso Rodés is CEO of Havas Media. This commentary was excerpted from comments he made Tuesday to government and business leaders at The Emerging Markets Investors Roundtable in Zurich, Switzerland.