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What can community banks learn from Kellogg’s?

Every day, headlines proclaim that the unfolding COVID crisis has caused social and economic disruption on an unprecedented scale, and that’s true. But the world, of course, has seen massively tough times before: The Great Depression; The Dot Com Bust; and most recently, The Great Recession. What lessons can financial industry brands learn by looking back, even as we forge ahead to reopening and beyond?

One well-documented but surprising finding:  Businesses that continued to invest in marketing and R&D performed better—not only through recession but for years into the future. The most famous of these studies looks at the example of Post and Kellogg’s during the late 1920s in their pitched battle for cereal dominance.

As the Great Depression hit, Post instinctively pulled back on advertising while Kellogg’s doubled down and decisively leaped ahead—a competitive advantage that continues through today. In fact, through every recessionary period—even the most dire—brands that stayed the course, increased their advertising, or even launched new products, saw both immediate returns and continued success. 

Today, we’re witnessing that same phenomenon at work as the biggest brands in the world—Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google, among them—have actually increased both advertising and R&D spending by 17% over the same quarter last year, viewing in this health crisis an opportunity to leapfrog their innovation.

The lesson? The pain is real, but so are the opportunities. While counter-intuitive, it’s actually a great time for banking brand challengers to take advantage of this buyer’s market to break through. And today, there are more channels and consumer intelligence than ever, allowing precisely the right message to connect with the right audience at just the right time, building a competitive advantage that lasts.

Interested in learning more about how to build a resilient banking brand during the crisis and beyond? Let’s talk: info@adrenalinex.com