Branding: A Lesson in Economics
By John Chambers, Hcareers.com
The last year has been a rollercoaster. From double-digit unemployment to an economy that’s just now beginning to introduce us to its better half.
So what have we learned? What are the takeaways of this economic crisis? Many publications and resources talk about staying targeted, managing imbalanced resources, and shining despite the financial pitfalls around us.
And your members are doing just that.
We saw companies continue to invest in job postings and advertising throughout 2009. They are now beginning to devote more of their budgets to both. But across the board, the products hospitality groups are choosing to invest in during the worst of times have everything to do with something that’s just as important during the best of times: branding.
At Hcareers, more than 40% of ad sales were tied to a version of a company profile page that displayed an employer’s logo, jobs, rotating photos, links and other relevant content. Another 17% was because of Custom Job Templates that posted a company’s job using its own branding, while another large chunk – 21% – went to banner advertising.
So even if they aren’t quite ready to boost hiring, your members should know branding will keep them at the top of the pile, so quality job seekers will remember their property when they do advertise positions.
That’s helpful for a market such as ours, especially as competitors begin to gear up for an economy we all hope will be the best of times.
“There's a reason that America is the largest consumer market in the world: It also happens to be the largest advertising market in the world,” Fortune magazine noted at this time last year. “Advertising works – and it has been proven again and again for over a century. Every successful business spends money on advertising, everything from public relations to TV to Internet-search advertising.”
That strategy has also worked during past downturns.
Of 600 businesses studied during 1980 and 1985, those that maintained or increased advertising costs during the recession had much higher sales afterward, according to McGraw-Hill Research.
“A strong brand, one that is easily recognizable and communicates the differentiating value of a company, product or service is invaluable. It puts a face on the company and enhances the consumer's ability to recognize and connect to that company,” says branding resource MarketingProfs.com. “That identity lays the foundation for all of a company's marketing efforts. The argument isn't to not brand; rather, it's to realize the limitations of a brand on its own and the importance of the true value the company offers.”
So if we take away anything from this economic recession, it’s that one part of each member’s business truly is recession-proof: their brand.