Sep 3, 2013

How the financial crisis affects branding

Here in Cyprus, a place I’ve been coming to for 20 years, the financial crisis is very real and visible. Nicosia’s main street, formerly lined with cool cafés and fashion boutiques, has ‘shut up shop’ and the centre of activity has moved to the old town. In many ways this represents a full circle of events, because the old town had been more or less abandoned by newly affluent Cypriots from the mid-1980’s.

Now buzzing with shabby-chic café life but rather less haute couture, the narrow, pedestrianised streets form a perfect shelter from the economic storm that has seen Cypriots forced to give up at least 47% of their savings, courtesy of another new financial concept: the ‘Bail-In’.

But apart from the growth of discounts and discount stores, how have everyday brands responded in their design and communication? To find out I visited two of my regular supermarkets, and on a hot Sunday in August I didn’t have to fight my way to the checkout…