In Uncertain Times, Companies Lean Into Brand Loyalty


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Bombora Company Surge data indicate a spike in ‘branding’ among executives

Bombora Company Surge indicates that company leaders understand what’s at stake right now, and they’re leaning into the types of brand-building activities that can position them competitively.”

— 20nine President, CEO and Founder Greg Ricciardi

NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, March 7, 2023 / — As the corporate and financial worlds continue to walk on economic eggshells, there’s scarcely a decision being made that doesn’t take into account the current level of uncertainty presiding over the global market. For those of us who are feeling the real effects of budget cuts and pauses, there’s an ever-present undertone of anxiety associated with every expenditure decision.

But for those of us who have been through past wars, there’s also a keen, comforting wisdom that whispers this certainty: These trying times shall pass. And if we play our cards right, we will emerge stronger on the other side.

Bombora Company Surge indicates that company leaders across industries understand what’s at stake right now, and they’re leaning into the types of brand-building activities that can position them competitively on the other side.

Intent data shows that research levels around branding have surged in the past year, as executives look to shore up their organizations in uncertain times. But perhaps what’s most telling are the topics within the branding category that have been spiking in recent weeks and months.

Among the top spiking topics is “brand loyalty” — a likely reflection that companies are anticipating a downturn and, thus, taking a more conservative approach to their marketing efforts. Holding on to the customers you have, rather than pursuing costly growth via new acquisition, is an understandable stance in the current marketplace. This also probably explains why “brand strategy,” too, is on an overall upswing since mid-January (notwithstanding a small dip last week).

Digging deeper into tactics to weather an economic downturn, it’s interesting to see that “product lining” is seeing significant spikes in intent right now, but it doesn’t take much imagination to surmise why. Bombora notes that, “Unlike product bundling, where several products are combined into one group, which is then offered for sale as a unit, product lining involves offering the products for sale separately.” As a reaction to continued inflation, this makes sense. If companies want to appeal to spending-averse consumers right now, offering items for sale individually (and even unbundling previously bundled items) enables people to purchase exactly what they want, and no more.

Ultimately, today’s marketers need to be playing the long game from a branding standpoint, while ensuring sales continue to flow in the short term. In this regard, the emphasis on brand loyalty and strategy, along with more-tactical product-lining efforts, provide a logical balance.

This story appeared first in MediaPost.

Greg Ricciardi is president, CEO and founder of 20nine.

Bill Brazell
WIT Strategy
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