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September 2008
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October 2008

Is your product recession-proof?

Depends on what product category it's in, and whether you're leading with brand reputation or value.

Whether you're a B2C or B2B marketer (and I've mostly been the latter) there are many brand cues to take from CPGs and Retailers – after all, they’re the companies who spend the most on branding.

The October 08 issue of CPG Matters cites a recent consumer study by Unilever:  Winning Shoppers in Turbulent Times  detailing which Consumer Product categories are more vulnerable during an economic slump.  

According to the study:

(To save money) the top dozen categories shoppers will not abandon preferred brands (for a generic brand) include:

  • anti-perspirant and deodorant
  • batteries
  • canned vegetables
  • fresh meat and seafood
  • hair care
  • household cleanser
  • laundry detergents
  • margarine
  • pain relievers and cold medicines
  • personal wash
  • pet food
  • tissues and toilet paper

The top five categories where shoppers would reduce spending if the economy continues to struggle (…going to a private-label or generic brand) include:

  • air fresheners
  • cookies
  • beer/wine
  • frozen dinners
  • soda/pop 

So is your product laundry detergent, or cookies?    Are you a brand leader, or a value leader?  

A great primer on the competitive dynamic between consumer goods companies and retailers, which I recently re-read is Private Label Strategy by Nirmalya Kumar and Jan-Benedict Steenkamp.  It is a fast read that describes the power shift from brands to private label goods and the underlying dynamics of establishing value for consumers.

Private_label_strategy

Food for thought for B2B and B2C marketers alike…