How to Maintain Wallet Share During Times of Uncertainty

Kim Clifton on March 15, 2024


If we go back twenty years, would we guess our ability to connect and communicate would be this advanced? We’ve become so used to our surroundings that it’s difficult to remember that in 2004 iPods were on the rise, it was the beginnings of Skype, the thin and lightweight flip phones were just coming into being (half of the people reading this might not even know what T9 is) and Facebook only operated in Harvard before extending to other Ivy Leagues (Phillips, 2007). Today, Facebook is joined by multiple different social media platforms, and our phones’ computing power is comparatively insane.

However, one thing that hasn’t changed in twenty years is that we are always surrounded by uncertainty. Why is it, election years seem to bring about turbulent times and greater polarity? Why is it so easy to look around and see more and more unrest?

Don’t worry this blog isn’t about politics, it is about how you can grow your customer lifetime value and maintain wallet share despite everything going on around you.

The most important thing to remember is trust. Strategies that do not include the trust of the customer are bound to fail. When you do hold customers’ trust, they will stick with you through the ups and downs of the economy. Whether we’re in a financial crisis or market conditions are unknown, customer trust leads to customer retention, which means you will keep their share of the wallet – even if the money they are spending shrinks.

Know your Customer

This may sound self-explanatory, but I bet you can think of a company who, in the last couple of years, decided to market to someone outside their brand and it didn’t go well. Businesses make and use personas for a reason. Personas help businesses have a deeper understanding of their audience and who they are speaking to. Red Bull doesn’t market to seniors living in old folks’ homes, as it would provide the completely wrong image. It wouldn’t gain them anything and would hurt their high adrenaline brand if they tried. Instead, their campaigns surround the idea that with Red Bull, you can push all limits and achieve the impossible with wings. Using strategic marketing moves like creation of a Formula 1 racing team, Red Bull stays in their lane to target the right customer, resulting in continuously maintaining the largest market share in the energy drink industry.

Conversely, if your customer feels they no longer align with your goals, products, and services, they may leave you. That is why it’s important to continue learning and adapting. The odds of your business, and only your business, providing value to your customers in 2024 is slim. In fact, if your customers find a new business that provides more value, it’s likely that they will take other customers with them too. The power of social media, word of mouth and referrals are endless.

Again, we know what personas are, but it doesn’t help us if the personas we’ve created, specifically to understand our customers, are in a file somewhere because we never choose to access or use them.

Clear Communication 

Next, is the importance of properly addressing and communicating with customers. If we know and market to our customer properly, trust, like a seed, grows. Today’s uncertainty, cross-pressures and the economy aren’t just worrisome for you – it’s worrisome for your customers as well. Think about how often anxiety and fear appear when crisis strikes. While you and your company might have a better idea about the economic uncertainty, it doesn’t mean your customer does. We know from our own experience (I'm looking at you, early 2020s) when the fan is hit, customers want information.

Relaying bad news isn’t easy to do. You may fear that it will create even more uncertainty for your customers, leading to wavering customer trust. However, we’re here to encourage you to take the hard path anyway and here’s why; most scholarly articles, dealing with crisis communication, will show you example after example of how communicating clearly and consistently throughout crisis is key to regaining/maintaining trust.

One could argue yes, the economy is uncertain, but it doesn’t mean your company is in crisis – and you would be correct. However, consistent communication, acknowledging the situation of stakeholder’s concerns and utilizing appropriate communication channels to provide updates on what your company is proactively doing, will bring more trust and reduce fear of the unknown. As we head deeper into 2024 what are you doing to ensure your customers know you are moving forward with surety and that you deserve to keep their business?

Don’t Just Talk the Talk – Walk It.

Finally, in the past, customers often chose to do business with companies based on convenience and brand recognition. While those factors still play a part in consumer decision making, information is now readily available for consumers to make informed decisions. When a consumer chooses to be your customer, they are often looking beyond convenience to see what brands stand for. Today we know almost instantly when our favorite brands disagree with us. HubSpot recently released their 2024 report on changes in the marketing world. They said, “eighty-two percent of shoppers want a customer brand’s values to align with their own” they also said that 75% of customers would cut ties with companies that have conflicting values with their own (Santiago, 2024).

Word travels fast now-a-days. A single action can go viral on social media and can either destroy a brand’s reputation in an instant or propel it forward. If truly unlucky, the action won’t be “wrong”; just taken out of context. (Think, one bad customer experience gone viral, and you lose a large chunk of your loyal customer base.) Luckily, we are often told, mistakes don’t define us, rather it is how we learn and grow from them. When a mistake happens, take a step back and re-evaluate what you stand for. Then take action and move forward with solutions that you stand by.

Don’t Forget What Got You There in the First Place

During these uncertain times brace yourself and use this knowledge to remind yourself how important it is to know your customer and to stay true to your brand. Also, ensure you send out timely, and informational, updates about where your company is and how things will affect them. Finally, recognize you are under the microscope and your customers are watching you all the time. You must walk your company values rather than just shout them from roof tops.

Effort in creating a value driven environment is important and it’s through your effort that customers develop loyalty and decide to let you keep their share of wallet. If you’re ever unsure if your methods are working, you can use tools like customer satisfaction surveys to measure how you’re doing, understand what your customers are feeling, and identify areas where you can improve the customer experience.

Check out, our President & CEO, Tara Kelly’s, advice for how to keep wallet share in store.


Lindner, J. (2023, December 18). Energy Drinks Statistics And Trends in 2024. Gitnux.,largest%20market%20share%20at%2043%25

Phillips, S. (2007, July 25). A brief history of Facebook. The Guardian.

Santiago, E. (2024, January 15). The Top marketing trends of 2024 & how they’ve changed since 2023 [data from1400+ global marketers]. HubSpot.