Somehow there's always a reason to fear what's happening in the market. Uncertainty brings about widespread indecision. Panic from pending economic recession causes businesses to freeze up, which slows growth.

In the course of my career, there's always been some looming unexpected threat that could ruin my business altogether. Buildings have burned down, hurricanes have hit, a tsunami on the opposite side of the planet has wiped out supply chains, the Great Recession, the Great Resignation, political and tax policies, the pandemic, and now inflation. I've even had to overcome fears around nuclear fallout affecting the product we sold customers. 

All of that and countless more in the past 14 years.

There are two conclusions: That the only certainty you have in business is that there's always going to be some looming existential threat, and that having a brand rooted in innovative thinking is what see's you through the tough times. 

Good economies make lazy businesses.

When the economy creates "easy money," the natural result is that there are more businesses that enter the market. It's easier for startups to get going, easier for existing businesses to scale up, and easier to find investment capital or obtain loans. Getting customers is easy, and so business owners get lazy in their approach to marketing and sales.

Why invest in such esoteric things as brand and marketing when customers just come all on their own through word of mouth? 

Recessions knock out businesses that cannot adapt to challenging sales cycles.

During an economic recession, sales just aren't as easy. Consumers are more price conscious than they were during the good times because either their real or perceived access to cash starts to dry up. Panic about the future leads to anything thought of as unnecessary being put off, canceled, or downsized.

The sales cycle becomes longer and more competitive, while word of mouth doesn't quite work as well as it did before. It just gets tougher. What a brand does for a company is build a big moat of defense that helps reduce the impact of the economic shifts.

Those companies that didn't spend the time and money to thoroughly develop their brand are left vulnerable and simply aren't prepared to deal with a challenging sales cycle. A brand represents a company's core identity and when it's missing or weak, a company becomes just "another one of those," indistinguishable from anyone else. 

And when you're indistinguishable from anyone else, you don't close deals during a recession.

A brand powers a business through a recession.

Companies create connections with customers through their brand because a brand is the identity and soul of a company. Your objective as a business owner needs to be to develop that brand.

The way you develop a brand is by really analyzing who is buying your product or service. What do they care about most, what are the emotions they feel before and after doing business with you? It's not good enough to simply say you've been in business for X years and care about customer service because every company on the planet says that and it has no meaning whatsoever. 

Once you've established who you are and who your ideal customer is, you need to go deep into why you're doing what you're doing. What's the significance of it? The unique offer to the world? Why should people care about it?

Finally, simplify the way you approach your solution to the problem of the market so anyone can understand it easily. The easier and simpler the language, the more people "get it" and can understand you and your value. What's your unique angle in the market that makes you different from everyone else offering the same thing? 

Master the process of branding and implement it into your marketing and recession will be your greatest opportunity. Ignore it and you'll limp through it, or worse, be counted among the cold statistics of those that went out of business.