MAURICIO MARTÍNEZ VÁZQUEZ
Millward Brown, Chile
The economic slowdown experienced by Chile from mid-2014 has resulted in more cautious consumers. In an environment full of turbulence and mistrust, they are more concerned than ever about making the best decisions. The question that arises is: What do the most valuable brands in Chile do to ride out this atmosphere of distrust and extreme caution and thus remain leaders in the market where they compete?
The information we collect from BrandZ™ provides interesting answers as to the elements these brands share and what they represent to consumers, allowing us to see their implications for the participating businesses.
STAYING IN VIEW
First, it is clear that their marketing teams focus on achieving excellent visibility for brands and a high level of engagement with consumers, which enable them to stand out. This is especially important because, in times of slowdown and mistrust, people search for safe options, and these highly popular and salient brands represent their best purchase choice.
But that is not all. The most valuable brands in Chile show a clear balance between benefits and price. They are brands willing to keep refining those benefits – usually, key qualities consumers want to receive – so they do not need to reduce prices, for they are perceived as brands whose value is justified.
Although the most valuable brands have a long-lasting history in the market, they also manage to remain relevant because they understand consumers’ dynamics and expectations. Thus, they dare to take new paths, keeping Chileans attentive and enthusiastic about the road taken.
Consumers’ expressed wish to visit, hire or purchase a product or service is often diminished in times of economic difficulties. However, the most valuable brands take the opportunity to display a more accessible face to these consumers, in terms of their portfolio management, the development of new formats, new sales channels and service centers, or new sizes or varieties.
Consequently, most of these brands protect their volume significantly by preserving their margins. This perspective is contrary to the one adopted by brands that choose to work almost exclusively with the price variable, by either discounts or promotions. In addition to sacrificing their margin, they will find it harder to justify any future increase.
Great brands face the challenge of transcending and consolidating themselves in new markets, replicating their meaning but also presenting themselves as different and avant-garde. With the path to success in Chile having become slippery and even dangerous, moving ahead quickly requires new scenarios if brands are to utilize their full power.