Inflation is increasing. We’ve been hearing this many times over recent months and it’s true; rising inflation is a concern for individuals, groups, consumers and businesses.
Cartoonist ‘Higgins’ summed it up so well in last month’s The Grocer with their Inflation Recipe listing all the ingredients of the monster’s meal that has been served up over the past few months and years….
And by all accounts it is not going to be going down anytime soon. So, what should we be doing to protect our brands at a time like this? Here are five actions to take to keep your brand strong during a period of high cost-base inflation.
1. Know Your Consumer’s changing habits.
Know how they are thinking, feeling and acting. At least some of the cost-base inflation is being passed on in the form of increased RSP, car fuel increases and home energy costs. Belts will be pulled in many ways, braces too no doubt. Already we are seeing signs that this is starting to change purchasing and consumption habits.
But it will happen in a variable way, dependent on which sector you are in, and the positioning of your brands and products. Understanding your consumers’ habits ahead of time will help to prepare for the long-term effects of inflation.
2. Cut out the budget creep.
Not all the cost-based increase can be passed on to the consumer, so budgets are tight. Be 100% sure they are no pet projects that are wasting precious resources… look at all spend and decide if you are getting true value for money from the investment. If not. Stop. Even though we all do this regularly – it is always surprising how extras costs can creep back into the system.
3. Help your brands to stay super-relevant.
Make sure your brand is the brand that consumers are choosing and using today. Don’t sit back and wait for the good times to return. They might not be that close.
4. Invest for the up-turn.
If you play the short-term well, your brands will be there for the long-term too… they need to be well-placed, relevant and front of mind so that they are ready to grow as soon as spend increases. Don’t wait until the upturn; keep the brands at consumers’ front of mind throughout.
5. Pare-back for both economic and sustainability reasons.
Lose the flab, and keep it off when the good times return. Is this the opportunity to reduce wasted packaging that you can remove now and not return to? Can local-sourced cut down on transportation costs and food miles? Can that meeting be held on zoom instead of using carbon-guzzling and high-cost flights and hotels. As Lawrence Bate, Strategy Director at British Heart Foundation found out some chefs are experimenting with more sustainable alternatives to our largess classics, for example replacing avocado on toast with smashed peas on toast. Come on, bring out those peas!
Thanks for all those who contributed thoughts.
Thanks also to this Feb 2022 Mintel report by Toby Clark which helps to further cast light on the cost-of-living crisis we are operating within.
What techniques have you used to be sure your brand stay strong through a period of high cost-inflation? Share in the comments below or over on LinkedIn or Twitter. Make sure to give us a follow to stay up-to-date with the latest industry insights and upcoming blog posts.
Header Image: Dovis on Pexels