From economic downturns to brands that have lost their ways, there are many reasons why a brand might be situations of trouble. Content is often part of the solution. Here’s the explanation.

We’ve often written on how valuable the relationship and the trust built over time that a brand has with its consumer base is. This relationship is strategic and is actually part of the valuation of a corporation.

Research has also shown that attracting a new client or customer can cost 3x to 4x what it costs to build loyalty with an existing one (and in markets that have a lot of offering from online retailers and such, this can go up to 6x!).

So when times are tough, it makes sense to focus on your existing customer base and strengthen the relationship as part of the actions marketers will put in place.

This is where content comes in as a great tool to do this.

In a Branding Strategy Insider business case, Larry Light shines a light on the Allbirds brand.

In recent years, it seems the brand has lost its shine. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the iconic DTC (direct-to-consumer) brand has weakened its positioning by trying too hard to acquire new customers, through an unfocused strategy that had them add all sorts of products that did not fit its approach that had made it so great. They focused on new customers at the expense of the real lovers of the brand.

As Light puts it in his case study:

“One principle is this: keep the brand-business core strong. A brand-business’ core must be continually re-energized, protected and strengthened. It is the brand-business core that will profitably finance a turnaround, keep a brand-business growing and provide a platform for the future. Ignore what core customers love about your brand-business at your peril.”

So how do you know what these brand lovers want and like? How do you, as a content marketer, help the brand strengthen the relationship?

Focusing too much on features and benefits of the product will get you so far. Focus too much on the product and it opens the door to comparisons with other brands, and in worse-case scenarios, can position you as a commodity.

By focusing on the true nature of the brand, its values, its core beliefs, and communicating this, you are contributing to the reinforcement of the relationship with the people who love you for exactly this.

This is not done through direct-response or performance marketing.

This is done through thoughtful content assets that push the right levers with your core audience.

Remember this: reducing the loss of existing customers by only 5% can increase profits by 25% (or more!). This is based on research from Frederick F. Reichheld and W. Earl Sasser, Jr. – this is no small number as you can see.

Such branded content brings value to your audience. It reinforces what the brand stands for and it creates a stronger connection with your core and loyal customers. It paves the way to great brand storytelling, which in turn works on your existing client base, but also represents a great tool in attraction to your products and services.

Allbirds is turning to its origins and, in the same way, showing lovers of the brand that they are important and that they value their loyalty. This is what brands must do, and not only when things get rough.