It’s no question that today’s current inflation growth is creating purchasing barriers for both businesses and consumers. From the coronavirus pandemic to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the status quo has been constantly disrupted during the last two years. Consumers are now confronted with an inflationary cycle for the first time in decades, significantly heightening an already difficult situation for the global economy.
With this in mind, our team of marketing, design, and branding experts curated the top three things businesses can do digitally as inflation creates consumer barriers. Keep reading to learn how you can increase consumer confidence and drive business forward during these times.
Understanding The Current Environment
While consumers have experienced economic hardships such as the recession brought on by the 2007 financial crisis and the pandemic, many generations have never experienced inflation, with the most recent instance being between the late 1960s and the early 1980s. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, over the past 12 months – from January 2021 to January 2022, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 7.5 percent. This is the largest 12-month increase since the 12-month period ending in February 1982. The economic shocks of the last few decades have primarily resulted in unemployment rather than inflation, which is predicted to influence how consumers react to economic pressure.
According to the Kantar report, value-based techniques should be employed as part of a plan aimed at addressing inflation’s loss of comfort, peace of mind, security, and certainty. While firms should do everything they can to improve the pricing value of their products, the Kantar report cautions that they should not remove value in a knee-jerk manner, even if consumer prioritization grows.
“Think about ways you can add value back to your brands so that people will put your brand or your category at the top of their priority list and look to save money elsewhere,” J. Walker Smith, Kantar’s Chief Knowledge Officer says.
1.Create Consumer Value
Rather than taking away value, certain brands may be able to contribute value to the marketplace during times of disruption. Here at Envision, we specialize in digital marketing efforts, and creating consumer value is at the top of that list. You can create consumer value digitally by offering loyalty programs, free virtual webinars and events, price transparency online, and much more. According to 3 Tier Logic, consumers in paid loyalty programs are 62% more likely to spend more on the brand and 59% more likely to choose the brand over competitors. Connect with your audience and ensure your content provides the extra value to keep them coming back even with increased inflation prices.
There is something to say about brand recognition here as well. Brands that can stay at the top of consumers’ minds will take precedent financially compared to other brands when consumers decide where to cut back on spending.
2.Modify Your Messaging
Regardless of their size, brands must continue to alter their messaging to appeal to consumers whose plans for a return to normal have been upended by inflation, worldwide war, and ongoing pandemic concerns. With clever messaging, several brand campaigns have expertly managed this obstacle. For example, in 2009 Hyundai introduced their ‘Assurance Program’, which allowed consumers to get out of their car or lease payments they could not afford due to job loss. This messaging and program pivot not only created value for consumers but allowed Hyundai to grow its business during the next few years, while the car industry as a whole declined. In fact, according to Forbes, Hyundai’s U.S. market share jumped to 4.3 percent during the first ten months of 2009 from 3.1 percent in the year-earlier period.
3.Deliver Stability + Guarantees
Current consumers require assurance, which brands can deliver through value-building solutions that involve them as partners in risk management. Consumers can lower their risk and increase confidence by acquiring additional information, especially from friends and family, or by seeking trust-instilling indicators, i.e. a well-positioned company.
You can deliver stability and guarantees to your clients by offering things like a money-back guarantee, free shipping, free returns, and more. For example, Nordstrom offers consumers “Free shipping, free returns. All the time.” No minimum purchase required. This guarantee creates stability for consumers because they will have peace of mind knowing they can return anything they’ve purchased and be refunded. No strings attached. This will help increase the buying power of consumers during these times.
We hope that you took value from these strategies to battle inflation barriers with consumers. Here at Envision we work with a wide range of clients and understand that every business has its own pain points and goals when it comes to marketing strategy, especially during uncertain times. If you’re looking for help to grow your business by increasing leads, sales, conversions, and brand awareness in the new year, contact our team of experts today!