As we navigate the uncertain and volatile economic climate, many business owners are concerned about the stability and success of their product offerings. With factors such as inflation, plateauing retail spending, high food and petrol prices, and rising interest rates, many business owners are asking themselves, “How can I recession-proof my products?”

Change is coming fast, and the good times may be over. A recession is a time of economic uncertainty and hardship, but it also provides a window of opportunity for businesses to assess their brand positioning and product offerings. In tackling the economic challenges head-on, it is key to determine strategies that will drive a business’s competitive edge.

By taking the time to reassess their offerings, businesses can ensure that they are providing what their customers actually need and want, and can make adjustments that will help their products stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Recession-proofing your products is crucial to ensure that your business remains afloat during economic downturns. Competition, the cost of manufacturing, and the staff shortages experienced across the country have exposed a substantial disadvantage for brands who have yet to revisit their expenses with a holistic mindset.

A key strategy for recession-proofing products is to look at them holistically. This means considering all aspects of the products, from pricing and marketing to design and functionality—identifying areas for improvement and approaching them strategically.

Amidst the unpredictability of the market, it is crucial for businesses to undertake a comprehensive risk evaluation of their products. This process requires a meticulous examination of the product’s sales performance, consumer demand, and current market trends.

Brands need to understand the impact that the economic downturn will have on their product’s profitability and determine if any changes are necessary to ensure its continued success.

With shifting market trends, it’s essential to take a step back and re-evaluate your spending on customer acquisition. Is there a better and more cost-effective way to reach new customers? Perhaps exploring new marketing strategies, such as influencer marketing or community building, could be a game-changer for your brand. It’s always a good idea to keep an open mind and be willing to adapt your approach.

Businesses need to make sure that their manufacturers are also aligned with their cost-cutting initiatives. Manufacturers are facing supply headwinds and escalating costs that are the most challenging in fifty years, and these costs are now burning the pockets of business owners.

Be mindful of your supplier relationships, as building strong partnerships can lead to greater cost savings and improved business operations in the long-term.

In 2020, amid the chaos of the pandemic, 57% of consumers admitted to staying loyal to a brand. A flexible omnichannel strategy is key to protecting your business and your brand and retaining loyalty.

With an omnichannel approach, businesses can effectively distribute their products, while diversifying their reach and broadening their audience. This not only enhances the customer experience but also presents a wealth of opportunities for growth and expansion.

By being in multiple channels, you can effectively allocate your products according to consumer demand and identify the most profitable margin opportunities. You’re also creating more opportunities for people to purchase your products.

With established companies dominating the market, it can be difficult for smaller or less-known brands to break through the noise. Instead of trying to compete head-on with these incumbents, it may be more strategic for brands to find a niche and work with a manufacturer who can support their unique offering.

By identifying a gap in the market and offering something truly unique, brands can differentiate themselves and carve out a space in the market. It’s important we acknowledge that the popularity of novelty and TikTok brands are short-lived. These brands often gain traction due to their unique and trendy products, but their success is highly dependent on being timely and relevant.

As we navigate the tumultuous waters of the current economic climate, it is important to remain proactive in our approach to recession-proofing our products and ensuring their continued success. While it may be tempting to wait and assess the full impact of the headwinds, it is key to remember that the situation may worsen, making the strategies we implement even more vital. By being proactive, we can safeguard our products and secure their future success, even amidst economic uncertainty.

Rohan Widdison is CEO of cosmetics manufacturer New Laboratories.