Seven lessons for European Premium Brands looking to thrive during recession


Research released today (Thursday, 14th January 2021) from the EACA Knowledge Centre of Effie Europe winners reveals 7 salutary lessons on how marketing communications enable premium brands to thrive during a recession.

Titled the “The worst of times, the best of times: how communications enable premium brands to thrive in tough times” the research has been conducted by marketing effectiveness experts – The Effectiveness Partnership, who have analysed data from EACA Effie Europe winners from 2008- 2019.

Contrary to industry commentators’ expectations that premium brands are the ones most likely to suffer the worst in recessions, The Effectiveness Partnership found Premium Brands can best weather recessions through adhering to these 7 lessons: 

  1. Communications have the potential to drive the strongest business effects for the premium than non-premium brands, both in and out of recessions
  2. The most successful campaigns for premium brand in recessions balance volume growth with value growth
  3. Continually reaching and persuading new users is the strongest driver of large business effects for premium brands, in and out of recessions
  4. Successful premium brands focus on one audience segment to give communications strategies more focus, although the impact is often felt belt beyond that particular segment
  5. Most successful premium brand campaigns in recessions support new product launches
  6. Emotional campaigns are even more effective when you are a premium brand in a recession
  7. Broadcast and narrowcast channels work hand in hand for success

The EACA Knowledge Centre for Effie winners divides brands into 5 categories Superpremium; Premium; Midmarket; Value; Other/Not-for-profit brands. Premium brands which are the focus for this study are defined as brands which command a price premium, brands which are desirable and brands that have a reputation for quality. This whitepaper will be available to download free of charge from, or from 5.30 pm CET on Thursday, 14th January.

Authors from The Effectiveness Partnership, Donald Pirie and Gurdeep Puri will delve deeper into the findings as part of the launch of this whitepaper at the Effie Europe 2020 virtual gala from 4 pm CET on the 14th January.

Following a short presentation of the findings, Donald and Gurdeep will be joined by Effie Europe co-chair of Judges – Claudia Kuhn, Brand Building and Integrated Communication Manager, Procter and Gamble; and Brian McCarter, Chief Strategy Officer, EMEA, Ogilvy to explore the implications for client and agencies. To join register here:

Says Gurdeep Puri, co-founder The Effectiveness Partnership and co-author of this report:

“The Effectiveness Partnership was delighted to be able to conduct this rigorous research into Effie Europe winners from the EACA and offer these rays of hope to premium brands – showing that communications can help premium brands not just survive but thrive in a recession.”

Says Tamara Daltroff, Director General, EACA:

“We were pleased to see that with the right growth strategy and using communications as an accelerator, premium brands can achieve growth in the toughest of times, as well as times of economic growth. This creates some optimism and hope for our industry.”