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Marketing in a recession

I've written some earlier posts on marketing in a recession. Here's the next installment.

Hyundai and Allstate offer two different examples of how to market in a recession. One attacks the issue with a tangible offer; the other through an intangible and comforting message. What they have in common is that they attack the underlying issue: fear. (Perhaps inspired by FDR when he proclaimed, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.")

Fear of the unknown. Will I keep my job? Will I have to cut costs to survive? It is this anxiety, even among people who may not be facing a layoff, that stops us from buying an expensive new car, or compels us to opt for lesser brands as a way to cut costs.

Hyundai is offering its Assurance Program. Buy a new Hyundai, and if you lose your job can return the car and be protected from the first $7,500 in depreciation.

Allstate's new advertising is seeking to give us the emotional comfort that we've been through this before and will come out the other side, no need to panic (or choose cheaper insurance).

Hyundai's sales in January were up 14% vs year ago. I don't have similar data on Allstate.