In branding, consistency is extremely important. Your company needs to know what it’s saying, what it stands for and what sets it apart in everything it does.
And often, we determine these things through market testing – getting feedback from our target audience about what they need and how our company can help them.
Unfortunately, many brands use this information to lock themselves in – to paint themselves into a corner marketwise. Though they do create a consistent brand, they end up creating one that only appeals to ONE type of customer. That closes off the brand to a wider reach, more exposure and, of course, more sales.
The truth is, consistent branding doesn’t have to mean appealing to only one, tightly defined audience. It really IS possible to appeal to different customer types, without diluting your brand or weakening your company’s voice.
Have you found yourself locked in to the same audience for many years? Want to branch out and reach other customers? Here are some ways to do it:
- Find the common bond. Write down all the different niches you want to reach, as well as a few things about each – the things they like and value, what their needs and challenges are, and how you can help them. Then, try to find what thing links all these subsets together – a common bond they all share. Maybe they all value aesthetics or design quality. Maybe they’re concerned about safety or the impact on the environment. Pinpoint this common thread, and appealing to all groups simultaneously will be infinitely easier.
- Used nuanced marketing. Now that you’ve found a link, use that link as your basis for all marketing efforts, and try to angle each campaign slightly depending on the outlet, the method and the audience you’re trying to reach. Keep that common thread as your main point, but use more nuanced marketing tactics to appeal to other audience values and interests too. Show them that not only do you have their same concerns and values, but you know what they need and what challenges they face too.
- Try up-selling and cross-selling. When you have different audiences, cross-selling and up-selling can be great tactics. Say you get a Millennial on your website, looking at X product. While they might not normally have bought the add-on features or carrying case that go along with it (they just don’t have the cash of your older audience), by appealing to that same common thread we talked about, you may be able to coax them into additional purchases. And that means more money in your pocket!
The only time a brand can’t appeal to multiple audiences is when one segment will detrimentally impact the appeal of the other. Here’s an example: Say one of your customer groups is the young, environmentally friendly college student. Trying to target them as well as, say, a big oil company or big energy conglomerate is definitely not going to win you any favor. In fact, it will probably turn that audience against you, and you’ll be stuck putting out fires instead of counting your cash.
Stay tuned for more branding advice later this month, or check out our blog for past posts!