ana-cmoroundtable-mcdonald-051309In a prior post, I discussed the budget slashing reaction most brands had to the economic calamity.  I queried how long brands could stay in crisis mode and refuse to spend on branding and marketing despite that being a mainstay of their business.  I guess things are starting to turn and brands are coming out of their fallout shelters now that there are signs that the recession has bottomed out.

In an Ad Age article today, several key marketing executives point out that the worst may be over and that it is time for brands to start branding again.   Richard McDonald, senior VP-global marketing of Fender, the musical instrument brand makes it clear that the time is now. “The cost of raw materials is going up, and marketing is the only thing that offsets those increases. You have to build brand value and spend on marketing.”

It will be interesting to see how these brave souls do.  By no longer taking the Ostrich approach, will they get a leg up on competition, attract new consumer converts and otherwise grab market share?  Maybe the bigger question is that which I posed in the last post.  What about the brands like Hershey that decided to damn the recession, spend last Fall when the sky was falling and zig when all others were zagging into the long, spend not winter?   My guess is that both will be rewarded, but that those genuinely brave brand souls will show a more quantitative, qualitative, and measurable bang for their buck.

Will the spending surge be different this time?  Will marketing dollars flow toward digital as opposed to the traditional?  Stay tuned.