If you hear the statement ‘this product/brand is suited to everyone’, you should be concerned that it may well translate to ‘this product/brand is not going to suit anyone’.
All too often, products are developed and brands are created and then launched to market without any real thought as to who they will appeal to. Some organisations try to cast a wide net and reach a mass-market audience with their new product or brand, however, this approach will quickly consume your entire marketing budget. A more effective approach is to start with some brand research to identify and get to know who your brand appeals to and why.
Understanding who you are targeting and what is relevant to them is the first of many vital steps in your brand strategy.
Brand research can help you answer the all-important questions:
Brand research will uncover the data and insights required to gain a deeper understanding of who you want to attract with your brand and will help you develop your brand positioning, brand story and key messages so that your brand resonates with your targeted audience. Once you have the data it is important to create a face for that data – this is where customer personas come into play.
Customer personas bring to life a detailed fictional representation of the different segments that make up your target audience. Most organisations will have more than one persona to represent their ideal clients. Personas are used widely by marketing leaders as a useful way to bring their target market to life. A detailed persona provides all levels of the organisation with a clear view of the wants, needs, goals and problems faced by that client. In most cases, these personas are created by using a mix of real data gathered through research along with hypothetical scenarios. Personas are then used to make decisions that will motivate your target market to purchase your product or service.
While personas are fictional characters, it is important to base them on real evidence derived from brand research. This data can come from surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, online communities and data analytics. It can also be created within the organisation based on your team’s knowledge of their core customers. Creating personas from this data will make it easy for everyone in the organisation to understand and make customer-led decisions when it comes to the brand, product or service.
If your business has been operating for some time, you would already have a good understanding of your existing clients. Analysing your past clients who have shown brand loyalty and have advocated for your brand is a good place to start building your personas. If you can pinpoint common traits of these clients, then you can start building your personas.
However, it is important to look further as your ideal customers may not be within your existing clientele. This is where the data from brand research will help you build out potential personas that you may have not identified yet. These personas could present growth opportunities for your brand.
Depending on your brand and market segments, you may need to create multiple personas. The most common profiles are grouped by demographics, psychographics and behaviours.
Once you have your personas mapped out and you know who you are targeting, it will be much easier to direct your brand strategy and marketing messages to that audience. You will see your marketing effectiveness skyrocket and your entire organisation should be able to better understand what they need to do in order to provide a positive customer experience for these clients. Your brand will naturally attract like-minded clients and filter out the wrong ones.
Your ideal clients will connect with your brand and it will feel like a natural fit for them and they will develop trust and loyalty for your brand. Rather than a brand that is made for everyone, they will believe that this brand was made for them.
At BrandMatters, we can help you build out your ideal client personas. We will design a bespoke research plan that will extract the data needed to create your personas, and then work with your team to build out these personas and position your brand to meet their needs and expectations.
Client personas will enable you to gain clarity, create a consistent brand story and key messages so that you can attract your ideal client instead of trying to be everything to everyone.