November 2019 Newsletter

BRANDING BULLETIN NOVEMBER 2019: The Looking Ahead Issue

In this issue!

  • It’s November! Happy Easter.
  • Succeed in a Recession!
  • In Case You Missed It.
  • Referral Bonus Program Reminder.
  • By the Numbers.

It's November! Happy Easter.

We all roll our eyes when, the day after Labor Day, Halloween decorations appear in stores. Retailers have become increasingly annoying in their zeal to look ahead to the next holiday and opportunity to take our money. Whereas we do not condone the practice, we have to admit that retailers do an incredible job when it comes to looking ahead—something from which we can all learn.

It is November and although it’s not time to think about coloring eggs and filling Easter baskets, it is time to start thinking about 2020. Seriously, it’s now or never, because January has an exasperating habit of turning into June seemingly overnight. Plus, there is always a squeakier wheel screaming for your attention. Put in those earplugs for a couple of days between now and the end of the year to decide how you are going to help your brand help you build your business in the new year.

That process can seem overwhelming. We know. That’s why we suggest asking yourself these three questions to prioritize your branding efforts for 2020.

  1. What is your brand doing well right now? Does your brand help you connect with customers in a way that is relevant and competitively differentiated? Perhaps it is helping you keep sales cycles short. Or, perhaps it is keeping your employees engaged and working hard. Whatever it’s doing well, document what, how, and why — then move on.
  2. What isn’t your branding doing as well as it could? Now that you know what’s working, look at what could work better. Does everyone understand the brand? Do you have all the governance procedures in place? Is it helping your management team make decisions that align with how you help your customers?
  3. What’s coming up that the brand will need to support? What changes do you know or suspect are heading your way? Will you sunset a product or launch an upgrade to an existing one? Perhaps you are worried that a recession is coming (see our next story). Whatever is on your horizon, take a minute to assess what your brand will need to do to support that effort.

To be fair, these aren’t just three questions, they all lead to new ones, but that’s fine. After all, as the Chinese proverb goes, “He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.”

Succeed in a Recession!

The fear of a recession can kick off a domino effect. The warning signs come first, then hysteria, and finally the recession itself. For brands, sometimes the emotional response to a recession is more detrimental than the actual recession.

That’s why having a strong brand can stop that domino effect, as demonstrated in our latest white paper, “Succeed in a Recession.” It shows how having a strong brand can help companies survive—and thrive—during a recession. It also details how to overcome the emotional response to a recession by focusing on and strengthening your brand now.

Businesses often have a knee-jerk reaction and devalue their brand, according to the white paper. For example, slashed marketing budgets hurt lead generation when it’s needed most. Reduced prices set a dangerous standard to follow once the recession ends.

A strong brand can also help a company’s workforce do better during tough times, says Douglas Spencer, President & Chief Brand Strategist.

“Ill-prepared management teams struggle with transparency and their best employees fear the life expectancy of their jobs and look elsewhere,” Douglas says. “When employees believe in their company’s brand, they rally behind it especially during tough times.”

The white paper covers three core areas of brand strategy during a recession: why a strong brand helps during a recession, why strengthening your brand will help now, and core elements to focus on when preparing your brand for a recession.

“Your brand doesn’t have to follow the path of less-prepared companies during a recession. Instead of fearing a recession, view it as an opportunity,” says Douglas.

Download your copy of the white paper now.

In Case You Missed It

Referral Bonus Program Reminder!

​Remember: For any project over $25,000 that results from a referral you provide, you will receive a $2,500 cash bonus or a gift of the same amount to the non-profit of your choice. Some restrictions apply, of course. Interested in learning more? Contact us, here.

By the Numbers


There have been 17 recessions through US History. So, don’t worry – it’s normal!


The average length of recessions since WWII is 10.4 months.


Percent chance of a recession by the 2020 US Election.

Spencer Brenneman, LLC
© 2020

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