Business Case Studies, Executive Interviews, Martin Lindstrom on Marketing in a Downturn

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Executive Interviews: Interview with Martin Lindstrom on Marketing in a Downturn
July 2009 - By Dr. Nagendra V Chowdary

Martin Lindstrom
CEO and Chairman of the LINDSTROM company and the Chairman of BUYOLOGY INC (New York) and BRAND sense Agency (London).

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    Brands that invest in marketing during a recession tend to gainmarket share when the recession ends. It might seem wrong to splash out on a new ad campaign when you are cutting staff, but if themessage is right and the campaign is well executed, the investmentwill pay off in the long run.

    Bundle up – instead of cutting prices on your top brands – offer something for free as an add-on to your core (non-discounted) brand. So if you happen to sell bags, don’t discount your bags, throw in a free key ring instead.

    Create strategic alliances with matching products or brands. If you happen to sell jeweleries, team up with the local flower store. Let the flower store promote your jewelery products and ensure you’re promoting their flowers whenever a newly wed couple enters the door – that way you double your reach and marketing budget, for next to nothing. Play on the practical dimensions of your brand. Do the products you sell last longer, stay fresher? Can they be used for multiple purposes (i.e., if you sell jackets, can you turn them inside out and suddenly have a second color option)? During recessions consumers are practical; make your brand practical too.

    Make your agenciesmore accountable for strategic decisions as well as costs. Take advantage of the economic downturn to make your agencies work and think harder for their fees. The overriding influence of the global ad agency or mother brand in campaigns is over. Local agencies and marketing teams within the organization must have an increasing influence on marketing strategies to ensure campaigns speak directly to their consumers – so listen to them! Don’t spend money on a flashy new logo – you’re not going to need it in five years time. Instead, spend the money on making your marketing communications adverts appeal to more than one of the senses (the sense of smell is far more effective than sight).

  • When can we expect a Martin Lindstrom’s Buyology Symposium in India?
    We are currently working on the dates.

The interview was conducted by Dr. Nagendra V Chowdary, Consulting Editor, Effective Executive and Dean, IBSCDC, Hyderabad.

This interview was originally published in Effective Executive, IUP, July 2009.

Copyright © July 2009, IBSCDC No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or distributed, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or medium – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise – without the permission of IBSCDC.

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