As we are all jostling for recognition in this increasingly crowded mixing pot called the online space, having a truly targeted brand is of the utmost importance. Even a well developed and thoughtful brand that isn’t targeted to a specific customer-type has been set up to fail, therefore considering who your potential buyers are is an imperative part of the brand development process.
When beginning to map out your potential customers, it can be helpful to consider who your target customer is and how your business can cater to their needs. The main points of focus here are your market competition and your consumers: what can you offer that your competitors don’t, and who is your main customer?
When identifying your target customer, building a basic consumer profile is an extremely helpful and standardised way of assessing your target market. These fictional profiles map your core customers by outlining their character traits, using both demographic and psychographic information.
In the earliest stages of your brand development, these consumer profiles may be based on personal feelings, however as your business develops, it is important to specifically define and refine your personas. Some of the major elements include:
This type of information is primarily concerned with concrete facts relating to the structure of your customer groups:
Location: Where do people in this group live; are they rural or city dwellers?
Excluding Location: Where don’t they live? What information can you gather from this?
Age Group: What is the average age of people in this demographic?
Gender: Are customers mainly male, or female?
Interests: What are their hobbies and interests? Are they sporty, do they like to go on holiday?
Education Level: What is the average education attainment level of this persona? Have they been to university?
Job Title: What field of work are these customers in; what are their job titles?
Income Level: What is the average income level for these customers; are they high or low earners?
Language: What kind of language should you use to communicate to your customers; should your content be colloquial, or perhaps more formal?
This type of information mainly deals with psychological criteria relating to the attitudes and aspirations of your customers:
Favourite Websites: What websites do this group of customers regularly use?
Buying Motivation: What are their reasons for investing in your brand; which of their needs and motivations does your brand meet?
Buying Concerns: What are the potential concerns for these customers when investing in your product or service; how can you solve them?
This type of information can easily be found on Facebook by using targeting options such as Facebook Advertising.
Answering some or all of these questions allows you to better understand your customers, in order to communicate better with them and, ultimately, to continue to meet their needs and motivations.
Branding Stage – Visual Assets
Once you have defined your consumer profiles, it’s then important to consider your branding. Strategy sessions are a great way to share thoughts and ideas, however, it is important to remain realistic as branding sessions can often become too creative and abstract.
During these sessions, you should consider whether your brand speaks to your target customer and, if not, how you can make it speak to them. Branding can easily put people off from buying your product if it doesn’t target the right people: a really great product aimed at 40-50 year olds but branded towards the 18-25 age range ultimately won’t generate as many sales due to it’s conflicting brand identity.
Therefore, it’s important to talk to your customers and, ideally, to find someone that fits your core consumer profile. Asking them questions about your brand and what they think you do is a great way of establishing their needs and problems, allowing you to tailor your service to your customers’ needs.
You can then use the feedback from your target customers to develop and refine your product or service. It’s important to directly target your marketing towards this group of people by finding out what kind of content your target customers consume and how they consume it, whether that be through Facebook, YouTube or by reading newspapers.
You can also target your ideal customers through social media advertising; Facebook is one of the fastest growing advertising networks as well as being easy and inexpensive to use. The information you have gathered from your consumer profiles should enable you to target your Facebook ads more precisely.
Your website is a key point of information for your customers and this is where you will want to direct most of your online traffic. It can be tempting to shy away from consumer concerns for investing in your product or service, but your website should confidently address both your customers’ buying motivations and their concerns, in order to reassure them and explain why your product is different from others on the market to ultimately generate more sales.
Refine the process
As your business continues to expand and grow, your consumer profiles will evolve and change along with it, so it’s important to learn from you customers about what motivates them in order to keep them happy. If you can keep track of your customers’ shifting wants & needs and address their various buying motivations and concerns, you should be on to a winner.