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When a nation is hit with a recession or enters a recessive state, the first thing that usually goes is the frequency with which money is spent. Individuals stop/reduce paying attention to secondary commodities and zoom in on only those primary necessities like water, food, fuel etc that add tangible value to their lives.

At this stage, brand loyalty becomes a touchy subject and the focus no longer rests solely on conferred brand status and preference, but now includes value for money.

In a recessive society, where there is less money in circulation, the definition of the word ‘Value’ tightens to the bare necessities, and leaves little or no room for secondary pleasures like bi-weekly visits to the salon, eating out, shopping sprees etc.

So as a brand who offers secondary services, how do you make money when it seems like there is no money to be made? Give the customer what they want – VALUE!

1. Focus on Value, Not on Price

citycard-1 A recession is the best time to show your customers just how valuable their patronage is. If you are, for instance, a beauty supply store that sells a wide range of products, a recession would be a great time to give out coupons. Extra incentives are great for pulling people in. Give away extra points to your Loyalty Card holders to get them to come in and buy from you.

This may all seem counter-intuitive; after all, a recession is when you try to save more, not give out freebies. But wouldn’t it be more beneficial to have products that sell for N1800 and have customers come in to buy at a discounted price, than to keep your prices the same and not sell at all?

2. Shout the Loudest

citycard-2 Recession = Less Spending…or at least buying from fewer brands. This is the time where people with the buying power really sit back and determine what to spend money on. The advantage you could have is always being top-of-mind when the buyer makes a decision to shop in your industry.

You can achieve this in a number of ways including being more present on social media, engaging the business tools on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, creating an engaging website, interacting with your customers online and much more. Be the ‘Indomie’ of your sector.

Customers will also flock to your brand when you engage them with rewards programs like Loyalty Programs, coupons, discounts and much more to give them more for less.

3. Sweep Your Loyal Customers Off their Feet All Over Again

citycard-1 A man living in a recessive society is no respecter of brands. It eventually boils down to 2 questions – “Does it Work” and “How Much Is it?”. This is where you put on the Marvin Gaye and bust out your finest bottle of bubbly. Remind your customers what value they get from you! Is it your stellar customer service, your unbeatable prices or the uniqueness of your brand’s offerings? Give them more reasons to stick with you.

Give specialized coupon tariffs to your regulars, slash your prices for customers who bring a friend into your store, dish out extra Loyalty Points if they’ve visited your store or bought from you more than a specified number of times. Create and deliver value and they will exchange money for it.

4. Don’t Compromise on Quality

citycard-2 One characteristic of a recession is everything waters down. People cut corners, create substandard versions of their products, reduce their offerings, skim on good customer service, charge high prices for fake products and end up blaming it all on the recession.

What you should not do is be part of this category. Never compromise on quality no matter what the market reads. Remember that you can make a lot of money with a great name, but once your image is tarnished, your customer goes out the door with their loyalty and wallets.

5. Be on Trend

citycard-3 This might sound like we’re watering down the situation, but you need to board the recession train. Let’s say you own a restaurant, you can create a “Recession Meal” that is cheap but still comes with all the deliciousness your restaurant offers.

Signature services & product offerings like this will get people interested in what you have to offer and shows you are sensitive to their needs at any given time.

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Just because everyone says there’s no money, doesn’t mean there aren’t ways it can be made over and over again. Try these options out and let us know how it goes in the comments below.

Also, if you want to start a Loyalty Program and get some customers who won’t let a recession stand in the way of a beautiful business relationship, kindly visit http://www.citycard.com.ng or call 0816261699.

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