The Importance of Brand Building in a Recession

2/06/2009 05:07:00 PM


Many sources, including this BusinessWeek article (written even before the major meltdown of the big banks last Fall), have been focused recently on discussing the importance of branding during a down economy. They site examples of some of the biggest brands of the last century solidifying their brands or in other cases completely pulling ahead of their competitors during recessions. While history has shown the legitimacy of this theory, it often still feels risky to justify spending on anything other than Direct Response in a slow economy.

How about an efficient and more measurable way to build your brand? How about Search?

Sure, its not as splashy as a big PR stunt in the middle of Times Square or running in the Superbowl, but search is a efficient way to build and maintain your brand. In fact, a study done by Enquiro last year showed that brand association increases by 16% when a brand is in the top organic and paid search results.

If you're reading this Blog, its probably very likely that you already know the value of search, but the question is whether its being used effectively in branding.

Every stage of the purchase funnel: 1. awareness 2. recognition 3. preference and 4. action can all be addressed with search. While many advertisers have the end of the funnel covered by running when consumers are ready to purchase, many are missing the top.

By running on keywords that relate to a target consumers' interests and lifestyles, advertisers can connect with consumers at the top of the funnel. By running on generic product keywords, the connection is made at the recognition phase. By running on branded keywords, the connection is made at the preference and action stage. There is no guarantee where a consumer will be at in the purchase cycle, so its important to be there, building your brand, at each moment of relevancy.

Google has also done some custom research in the area of "the brand value of search" and we will share findings from one of our very own studies in the near future...stay tuned!