Recession-proof branding in action at P&G

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In previous posts we outlined our thinking on "recession-proof branding", here and here. The headline from the research we did with top marketing directors was that for well mangaged brands, the recession was an opportunity to take share from weaker rivals. There is a need to become even more ruthless at "following the money", whilst sticking to your brand strategy and vision.

One company who seems to be living these principles is P&G. Here are a few examples of how they plan to survive and even thrive in today's tough times, from an article in The Media Daily News.

1. Cut costs, not corners
Tough times are forcing us all to cut costs, to take out the fat in our budgets that has grown during the good times. The trick is to take out the right costs, the ones that add little or no value for consumers. In P&G's case they are looking for a whopping $1.2 billion in savings. Things they are looking at include "reducing the number of well-paid senior
executives abroad, and even cutting travel expenses and opting for more
video conferences." The silver lining of these sorts of moves? Better quality of life, from having less business travel, and more time at home!

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2. Follow the money

This is the biggest wake-up call from the recession. The harder business edge we've always believed in is becoming the only way to survive today. In our paper on Recession-Proof Branding we talked about the increasing number of marketing directors investing in measurement of marketing ROI. And as the quote from CEO A.G. Lafley shows, P&G is doing this to help them follow the money:
"We do market-mix modeling, we actually calculate the return on
investment on every brand on every element of the mix-and we move the
dollars around to where the dollars are more effective and more

The articles quotes Lafley as saying that as a result of this modelling they are "shifting more dollars into coupons, in-store marketing and point-of-purchase promotions."

3. Steal share of voice to help steal share
For brave brands who can cut costs, this is a time of incredible opportunity to steal share from weaker rivals. By just maintaining ad spend, there are chances to get more media for your money, as weaker rivals take the short term view and cut back.

And this is the route that P&G are taking, with the article quoting Lafley as saying that "The advertising markets are
softening–and for the same dollars, we're buying more delivery."
in turn, has led to "improving our shares of voice" in multiple
categories, he said.

Download the paper on Recession-Proof Branding here: Download Brandgym Newsletter Sept08