Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! The New Marketing Home Products Reality: It’s Nifty To Be Thrifty.   Here’s the latest …

As marketers, we’re faced with a new consumer reality. We’re seeing a more pragmatic approach to spending, an adaptation of a “less is more” sensibility and a return to the belief that happiness (not things) is the ultimate luxury.
When the economic downturn hit the once-immune segment of luxury goods (Unity Marketing, a firm that tracks luxury spending, says luxury has “likely reached its peak.”), there was a collective sigh in marketing departments across the country. There’s a steady drumbeat that’s building across all segments of consumers now and if we don’t acknowledge it, we’ll miss a tremendous opportunity.
The new consumer mantra: It’s Nifty to be Thrifty
So what’s the implication for us as marketers? To answer that we need to get into the mindset of consumers and not just understand, but empathize, with their changes in behavior.
Consumers are not just cocooning, they’re having “staycations.”
They’re returning to the basics – classic design and all things organic.
They’re nesting, investing in products that will maintain the value of their greatest assets.
The good news is they’re staying home. And that means we get the opportunity to improve their lives where they’re most comfortable – and in the last place they curb discretionary spending. But be clear on one thing: if you’re not talking value, people aren’t listening.
Three strategies for approaching this new consumer reality:
1. Show empathy towards your consumers. Spend time enhancing your relationships and act on what they’re saying and feeling.
2. Offer a real value (not “price”) proposition. It minimizes the buyer’s perception of risk.  Hyundai’s new Assurance Program is a brilliant example of this.
3. Respect the intelligence of your audience. Make sure you’re communicating a benefit that’s real and meaningful.
There are plenty of opportunities to gain traction in this down economy. And there are hardworking marketing tactics that can help pave the way for brands to make consumer connections that will last long beyond the current financial crisis.
Map out a communications strategy for your company that employs one or several of the following:

  • Consider a social media strategy. 92 percent of people cite word-of-mouth as the best source for brand information.
  • Focus on earned media to build brand trust. When 76 percent of people rely on what others say for information, according to Mediaedge, editorial is perceived to be more believable than advertising.
  • Use a laser-like focus to reach consumers. Niche marketing is more cost efficient.
  • Take the time to form opportunistic partnerships. Harness the power of resources with like-minded brands and build programs that pique consumer interest and drive sales.