Welcome to the last day of my adventure at SES 2009. I'm fairly exhausted, getting up at to make the trains and going to bed at because I'm trying not to get too far behind on my responsibilities at TMC. I'm looking forward to my nap on the train back home tonight.
This morning began with a keynote by John Gerzema, Chief Insights Officer, Young & Rubicam Group, and author of The Brand Bubble: The looming Crisis in Brand Value and How to Avoid It. Everyone who grabbed the bag of throwaways at registration also received this book on Tuesday morning. I wasn't lugging mine around all week, so I'll just have to deal without getting it signed.
To download the presentation, go to http://www.thebrandbubble.com/blog. It's actually very well put together and does a good job of displaying all of his points.
The beginning of the keynote really focused on driving the point home that we are in a recession. I could have done with out it. I read about it every day, I'm surrounded with it. In fact on the train this morning I'm pretty sure that I noticed the front page of the New York Times had a picture of the new Hoovervilles (Tent Cities) popping up in California. A lot of scary facts and graphs that all had downward trends, a video sob story about a janitor who can't find any other employment, but used to be an executive at a Fortune 500 company. Thanks, we all know we could be on the street tomorrow. There's no need to remind us.
The rest of his presentation really focused on how the consumer is getting back to the basics and is looking for brands that they can trust. By trust he means that these brands are transparent, have integrity, offer savings, and promote a long lasting product. Every purchase is becoming an investment for the long term. Prove that you're their man... I mean brand.
With the consumer going back to the basics, the brands need to follow suit. Every recession ends, and a great brand will come out of it greatly improved. Don't just search engine optimize. Brand optimize as well. Align your brand and business strategy. Provide value and values.
Oh and by the way, according to John's research, Coupon use is up 300%. You may want to start working them into your marketing call to actions.