The current recession has had an impact on all of us in some fashion. New evidence shows that it has fundamentally altered consumer brand purchasing behavior. As a result, traditional consumer brand marketing techniques may not be effective and marketers should take notice, especially when it does not appear likely that there will be any substantial change in our economic reality in the near future.

The major reason for the brand abandonment by consumers is simply price. Comscore has conducted a study that shows consumers will not purchase their preferred brand if another brand is on sale or has a lower price. This is a bad news for brand marketers who have developed an entire marketing strategy and brand loyalty only to be abandoned by consumers who decide it is a better value to purchase another brand at a lower price. Marketers have reacted to this trend in a variety of ways; some have introduced lower priced brands, some have switched to noticeably smaller product sizes and some have changed packaging design to reduce amount of product within the container.

This news is probably not surprising to most of us and should signal opportunity for savvy marketers who recognize that brand advertising in today’s marketplace is risky at best. Marketers must focus on accentuating additional value for consumers in the form of customer service, personal referrals and ethical differences if they are to compete and develop any sort of customer loyalty within a category of products or services with similarly priced competition.

Author: Jim Merrick