Withdrawal from the European Union is the beginning of a process that could take years for the UK, and despite initial dips in consumer confidence and gloomy forecasts for the market, activity is picking up across various sectors. A recent address from David Davis, Secretary of State for Leaving the EU, reflected a positive outlook that we have seen from clients both existing and new in the months passing the announcement of Brexit.
The outcome of June’s referendum will play out differently for everyone, but it’s now about embracing the opportunities that accompany it. Brands are investing in UK and we felt this reference within the address was particularly significant:
“Businesses are putting their faith and money in this country. Over the summer Softbank, GlaxoSmithKline and Siemens all confirmed that they will make major investments in the UK. Countries including Australia have already made clear their desire to proceed quickly with a new trade deal for the UK. As other nations see the advantages to them, I am confident that they will want to prioritise trade deals with the UK.“ Mr Davis said in a September statement to the House of Commons.
An early sign of this is perhaps most visible in Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) opening its first research and development facility, known as ‘smart space‘, designed to test new technology and create real time electronic data visualisation.
(Image credit: The Drum)
Ross Clark from The Spectator recently commented that consumers remain cheery – citing Lloyds Bank’s spending power report for July confirming consumers were more confident in their finances than at any time since the five year study began.
July 2016 also brought a 1.4 percent increase in spending in shops, with entertainment brands like Brighton Pier also reporting a 32% increase in transactional value. The results represent the power and importance of a good digital brand strategy in a rapidly changing market.
We at Underscore have witnessed first hand a resurgence in confidence from established UK brands looking to expand their operations as well as a number of enquiries from overseas corporates looking to form long term relationships with UK based business. So whilst there may still be a sense of trepidation within some of the more transactional sectors such as investment property, we are seeing that people are motivated to reinvest in their brands, their assets and their people in order to see them compete better and flourish in this changing landscape.
Understanding the opportunities ahead will be vital for ensuring campaigns and initiatives fulfill against engagement criteria in the coming months. Political evolution does not have to mean economic upheaval and may provide a solid reason for brands to check back in with their audiences and evaluate a potentially wider landscape rather than sitting and watching the changing tide.