Starbucks? No. McDonald’s? Yes.

Adweek’s Noreen O’Leary asked a number of agency people how they planned to market their clients’ products in this time of diminished credit and general economic woe.
Here are a couple of the best responses:

“This is not a normal recession. This is a tectonic, structural shift, a global realignment,” says Umair Haque, director of Havas Media Lab. “The post-war industrial era was the era of production. Now we’re seeing the birth of the real 21st-century economy and marketing has to adapt. We’ll see a world where consumption [will] slow — especially in developed countries where there will be a shift from consuming to saving — and production will slow.”
Ben Kline, chief strategy officer at Leo Burnett, says that for consumers it’s not just a matter of cutting back, it’s about their reassessing what’s important.
“We’re seeing a shift from a trade-up culture to a trade-off culture,” he explains. “‘What brands are going to be part of my life, which ones are indispensable or dispensable?’ Value alone is not a differentiator; there will be value or there won’t be a sale. Marketers will do well in understanding how to frame the trade off and reintroduce themselves.”

“There will be value or there won’t be a sale.” Truer words have rarely been spoken.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. It’s popular to use the ‘v’ word. Now ask them to define value; to answer the question posed.

  2. I rank value based on how good I feel about buying your product. I think this year will products will have to focus on better customer support. What features do users want to see added? How can the product be adapted to make it more user friendly? Value will be directly related to the amount of support a customer gets with the product and the way the company is willing to work with a customer to improve and make changes and updates to their product.