By Irina Skaya
Yesterday’s ANA Brand Building in Tough Times & Beyond Conference was filled with optimism, actionable ideas for marketers to cope with the depressed economy, confidence for a speedy recovery, and Donut Love. How does one recession proof their brand?
Dunkin’ Donuts emphasized the importance of relevance and empathy with their “You Kin’ Do It” campaign. The goal of this campaign was to build trust and emotional connection with their consumers because 91% buy from companies they trust. While Dunkin’ Donuts’ challenge was to convince people to spend a discretionary $4 on a cup of coffee for breakfast, Wal-mart partnered with Kellogg to encourage people to save money by eating breakfast or the Kellogg cereal at home. And unlike Dunkin’ Donuts, Walmart had an evergreen approach that wasn’t fundamentally different from when the economic times are better. Their proposition, “Save money, live better” is just as relevant today as it’s always been, except now they shifted their focus from functional to an emotional relationship with their consumers. As a matter of fact, the two themes based on both campaigns emerged at the conference: 1. Know your customers and 2. Build an emotional relationship with them. This is nothing new, however. Instead what marketers are doing today is they are going back to marketing 101. In 2006 at the ANA Annual Masters of Marketing Conference, the same theme emerged, and we certainly did not foresee an economic crisis then.
The other commonality all of the presenters shared at yesterday’s event was involvement in social media. After all, it’s free and everyone is using it—what’s a better way to continue marketing your business in tough times? Dunkin’ Donuts said it best, “We don’t have to justify Twitter, it is a real-time customer service, customer promotion.” It seems like everyone is tweeting—thank you for everyone who was tweeting at the conference. Just search #ANA to see all of the tweets from the ANA Brand Conference.
Finally, I’d like to leave you with a touch of optimism, “I was asked what I thought a recession. I thought about it and decided not to take part.”—Sam Walton, founder of Wal-mart.