Reading through Marketing Magazine I came across an extremely interesting article that focused on positive stories for brands thriving in the current economic downturn.*

It may come as a surprise considering the amount of negative news stories recently but there are a lot of brands who aren’t suffering from the recession – in fact some are flourishing. These brands have been able to find an offering that allows them to take advantage of the recession and grow their business.

But which brands are thriving and how are they doing it?

It’s hard to identify one specific market which is benefiting from the economic conditions as almost every sector provides examples of organisations and brands taking the crisis in economic confidence in their stride. Marketing Magazine features brands as diverse as match.com, the Economist, LoveFilm and MTV while companies such as JD Sports, Sainsbury’s, Domino’s Pizza and Greggs have also announced a rise in profits.

This news goes against the tide of negative news regarding retailers. How is this explained? Well, the recession has provided opportunities for these brands that may not otherwise have arisen. By reacting to the recession they have all been able to create a proposition that has driven cut through and meant that their sales have risen in comparison to their competitors.

Are there any commonalities between these brands?

While it’s clear that consumers have become more focused on their wallets there are some things which it seems clear will help companies through the recession.

In many ways marketing and advertising has had to become smarter and more interesting because of the recession. When money is scarce agencies and companies have to be cleverer in encouraging people to choose to spend money on their brand. Coming up with fresh ideas, experimenting, offering something different is what these companies have in common. As Phillip O’Ferrall, vice president of digital media at MTV Networks UK, has noted: ‘the recession has forced companies to become more entrepreneurial.’ By investing more both in your product and marketing it will pay dividends.

The idea of adding value to your product is also crucial during a recession. Ease and convenience are fundamental to the success of this message: you can’t be seen to be frivolous with consumers’ money. When people are offered a proposition that they feel will prove beneficial and offers value for money they will still take it, even in, or rather, especially because, we’re in a recession.