Brand Value & Authenticity on the Agenda for 2023

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Economic uncertainty and a looming recession is impacting how brand marketing leaders are planning this year. 2023 will be the year to focus on offering brand value in order to appeal to consumers in difficult times. 

Economic uncertainty and a looming recession is impacting how brand marketing leaders are planning this year. 2023 will be the year to focus on offering brand value in order to appeal to consumers in difficult times. 

“Less will be more,” says Ginny McCormick, chief marketing officer at Zappos. “Consumers are tired, in more ways than one. Their infinite scroll has been overfed with news, messaging, and products galore - so their apathy is no mystery. In 2023, we’ll see consumers choose brands with strong identities and the authentic desire to serve their consumers. Gone are the days of throwing a wide net in hopes of a catch. 2023 will see consumers reward brands with consistent, authentic values and earn their trust and loyalty.”

This type of loyalty is often earned by showing up with shared values to build a strong reputation.

“The brand reputation and your consumer value proposition is really important,” says Jim Mollica, chief marketing officer at Bose. “Anytime, people enter a period of economic uncertainty, there's a moment where you really want to be confident in the choices you make. For premium brands that have great products and great experiences, they typically do better during those times and that becomes a big opportunity for marketers.” 

Many marketers will be dealing with smaller budgets this year and will be hyper focused on data, digitization and personalization to increase the return on investment potential.

“While many industries are being impacted by significant macro-economic headwinds and other short-term challenges going into the new year, companies will need to maintain a focus on investing in marketing for continued growth,” says Don McGuire, chief marketing officer of Qualcomm Technologies. “A challenging economic climate does not mean that the entire marketing strategy needs to change, but it does mean that there needs to be an increased emphasis on ROI-driven strategies and tactics. We are putting this into practice at Qualcomm by focusing our efforts on supporting the major growth areas for our business, including automotive, XR, IoT and computer, and ensuring that our marketing efforts drive growth and support these tailwinds.”

DE&I programs have been getting more robust in recent years as brands look to improve inclusivity both internally and in their consumer-facing communications. Expect to see more detailed work in 2023. Delta Air Lines, for example, has partnered with IBM with the mission to eliminate unconscious bias in ads. 

“Human assumptions and judgments can result in campaigns that unfairly exclude certain groups. 2022 brought needed attention to the presence of unintentional bias in advertising and marketing automation. 2023 offers the opportunity for us to continue to evolve as an industry and do even more to be inclusive in how we plan media,” says Tim Mapes, chief marketing & communications officer at Delta Air Lines.

Mapes also expects short-form video to take off next year. “Short-form and non-traditional video content is only going to continue to grow,” he adds. “The success and rapid growth of TikTok and YouTube Shorts – and other platforms sure to follow – will provide more and more creators with the ability to speak succinctly to distinct audiences and develop entirely new market segments. While this may be more a wish than a trend, I believe that after years of polarization, marketers on the global stage are going to recognize how inextricably linked we all are and begin thinking and acting in ways that bring us all closer together, not further apart.”

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