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Navigating a Recession: Brand Strategy

It’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on businesses of all sizes. With significant disruptions to the global economy, many businesses have been struggling to stay afloat in the wake of lockdowns, supply chain problems, inflation costs, and reduced consumer spending. Businesses big and small are experiencing a rippling effect as we move into the post-pandemic era.

As a result, many brands have pulled back, canceled, or postponed much of their advertising and marketing budgets, leading to a reduction in overall ad spend. However, as a brand, it’s important to consider how this affects valuable retailer relationships, consumer impact, and brand reputation.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s the brands that have accelerated advertising initiatives during times like these that increase brand awareness, loyalty, and sales. Just take the example of the Kellogg and Post rivalry during the Great Depression

A McGraw-Hill research study looking at 600 companies from 1980 to 1985 found that companies that advertised aggressively during an economic downturn had sales 256% higher than those who stopped. 

Hyundai increased its advertising spend during the 2008 recession and launched its “Hyundai Assurance” program, which allowed customers to return their cars if they lost their jobs. The program was heavily promoted in advertising, and the company’s sales grew by 8% in 2009, while the overall auto industry saw a decline in sales. 

Peloton, a fitness company that sells exercise equipment and offers online classes, increased its advertising spend during the 2020 pandemic and launched several new campaigns. The company reported a 172% increase in sales in its fiscal fourth quarter, driven by increased demand for home fitness equipment during the pandemic.

It’s clear that brands have been able to succeed during economic uncertainty by increasing their advertising spend and focusing on value messaging. But do small local retailers have the same luxury? 

Retailers Need Support

Local retailers are the backbone of communities. These small businesses typically have fewer resources than larger brands and corporations and therefore have been hit harder by the economic downturn. They are being forced to cut their marketing and advertising budgets, leading to a decrease in their online and local presence.

We surveyed a group of our retailers earlier this month to see what additional value we could provide their business. In our findings, 78% of retailers said they highly value brand sponsored paid advertising to support driving local traffic. 

Now more than ever, brands have the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to retailers by funneling digital advertising dollars through their business. With the shared goal of driving local traffic and sales, retailers will stay active, and consumers will stay loyal.

Co-Branded Digital Advertising on Promoboxx 

On average, Promoboxx helps companies outperform their competitors by 11%. We are currently supporting over 58,000 in over 8 industries with content that reaches over 450 million followers of retailer social pages connected to our network. 

Brands that are highly successful on Promoboxx are supporting retailers monthly with paid advertising efforts. In 2022 our top-performing Pet Care brand supported over 400 of their independent retailers with paid ad dollars, yielding over 130M impressions with local consumers.

We have removed all ad fees from our product so that our brands can dedicate 100% of their budget in direct support of their retailer network. We encourage brands to include Promoboxx in all upcoming marketing initiatives, whether that be a new product launch, holiday promotion, in-store event, or just a general brand awareness campaign. 

Additionally, we see an increased impact in brands that have integrated their co-op program and provided retailers with an additional avenue to allocate their marketing dollars. 

Email to start planning your 2023 retail marketing strategy.