As a social media agency, we’re not just about posting pretty pictures and witty captions. We’re here to help our clients build authentic relationships with their communities, and that’s more important than ever in times of economic uncertainty, but let’s be real, we’ve been obsessing over the pending recession for far too long. It’s time to shift our focus from the negative and start having some real talk about our communities. By engaging with them authentically, we can solve up to 90% of our problems.
And while some brands might be feeling a little ad happy (no shame in that game!), it’s time to take a good, hard look in the mirror (literally and figuratively speaking!). Are your branding strategies resonating with your audience? Are you adding value to their lives? If not, it’s time to pivot.
Take the case of REI, for example. The outdoor retailer has built a loyal following by engaging with their community authentically. In 2015, they famously shut down their stores on Black Friday, encouraging their customers to #OptOutside instead of participating in the consumerist frenzy. This bold move not only aligned with their values as a brand but also earned them widespread praise and increased sales.
Another brand that’s crushing it in the authenticity department is Glossier. The beauty brand has built a devoted following by listening to their customers and creating products that actually work for them. They’ve also leveraged social media and pop-up activations to create a community of fans who share their love for the brand and its products.
So, what can brands fearful of the pending recession learn from REI and Glossier? First and foremost, authenticity is key. By engaging with your community in a meaningful way, you can build trust and loyalty that will carry you through any economic downturn. It’s also important to stay true to your brand values and mission, even if it means taking a bold stance or doing things differently than your competitors.
In short, if you wouldn't f*** with your brand despite the economy, it’s time to get real. Engage with your community authentically, listen to their feedback, and create products and experiences that add value to their lives. By doing so, you’ll build a loyal following that will stand by you through thick and thin.