Identifying The Brand Target
Now is who do we want to go after? And in this step I always like to say, just like in life, we cannot be everything to everybody, right? It's impossible to do, it's quite expensive, you shouldn't try to reach everybody. So the key point in targeting is to identify those consumers that you're most likely to delight and satisfy with what you offer. So we're going to be talking about how to do this. The key way to find your target is about segmenting your market. And segmenting your market is nothing more complicated than just organizing the market in groups that are homogenous because they have similar needs. Meaningful and distinct groups that you can pick from so you can intentionally say this is my target and I'm going to talk to them in a particular way because this is the right product or service for them. So there's four steps. We segment the market based on needs; then you select the targets for your brand; then you, you know, you can segment further if you need; and then you mee...
t your target so that it actually becomes actionable. Now. The most important element of the theory in segmenting is that you should be segmenting your market based on needs, not on demographics. There's a very natural tendency to describe consumer, oh, you know, 18 to 32, you know, has kids, no kids, lives in a suburban area. Do you think the needs of that consumer are all the same just because they're the same age and live in the suburbs? No. Each category has different needs and you're always better off going after the need that you satisfy, regardless of how the consumer looks or regardless of their life stage. It doesn't mean that you're not going to go and learn about where they live, what they like, so that you can bring meat to it. But the more stable way, the more actionable way to look at your market is, what are the needs that you're trying to solve? In other words, what is the job people are hiring your brand to do? But not because of how they look like. So demographics and attitudinal segmentations tend to be a trap. While it's easy for you to remember them, they don't tend to be as stable over time because people change. If, all of a sudden, I pass the bracket of 32, from 18 to 32, does it mean I'm not going to buy your brand any longer? No, people don't buy things necessarily on age. So we are going to look at needs-based segmentation. And to do that, as we go into the categories, then we're going to use also Maslow just to give us a head start into what would be the reasons why people buy the brand. So, the first thing to think about is that you will map out all the different needs in a category. And I'll share an example in a second. So you will just think through. And Maslow helps you because you either have a physiological need, a safety need, or a relationship need, sense of belonging, self-esteem, self-actualization. And within these buckets, I mean, you will see there's just plenty of categories. This is just the main heading on what to consider on - You're going from physical to - all the way to what I call the the more sophisticated type of benefits and needs that a brand can help you do. So this just helps you do a list so that - to make sure that you have a variety of valid reasons why people enter a category. So you might argue, well, that's really hard to do, you know, some categories don't have that many needs. But, for example, let's pick blue jeans. Right? So, you know, for that category, if I was segmenting that category, I would think, okay, there are some people that would just buy jeans as a simple clothing option, right? I might go to Walmart, I just could buy the first jean I find on the street, and for example I need jeans for kids that are going to school. A simple choice. So the need for me to be in that category might be a basic need of a clothing option. If I'm a construction worker and these are the jeans that I use to do a job where I require safety - and actually, remember that's how blue jeans started, right? Construction workers, because they needed a stronger type of fabric. Then the reason why I enter that category is different than the previous consumer. I might go to shop at Carhartt, you know, versus other places, but the need for a jean is because I need maybe utility or durability. Okay? Now, you guys know that there's a lot of brands out there that is about status jeans. People sometimes look at the labels of their jeans or the ones they see in People Magazine - which stars are wearing - so jeans can be a status item. And it's been for many brands that have been successful on the status brand. So that's very different. You would not go to Walmart to buy those jeans if you're really looking to satisfy your need for belonging or to be recognized. And then there could be a different category. For example, if you're a mom who just had a child and you just want to look good and you're looking for jeans that make - give you shape and comfort, that's a very different category and you might go and find those jeans in a different place. But the needs that you're trying to solve are different. In that specific point in time, your choice of jeans might be very different than the status jeans, etc. So here - hopefully you'll see what a simple example - You know, how many people - you know, how many different can we slice it. But you can start to see the power of really thinking through what people are hiring jeans to do and how that would trigger different segments. And the reason why we're going through this effort is because the brand that satisfied each of these segments will be different. Right? What you see, envisioning here, or the price that a product would do, would set for that product, will be very different and on the right. And that's what you do in segmentation. So let's pretend we're in the blue jean category. And, let's say, I'm going to be selling Italian designer hand-crafted jeans. Right? I'll probably be playing more in this space versus here. Right? I can already think how much I'm going to charge for those because they're handmade, Italian inspired. So what you do, then, is you really understand put the lens off if this is my brand, who would be the right targets for me? And here we think about, it has to be an attractive target, and it has to be a target where there's a fit with my equity. So the questions to think about are: is your brand equity statement? Remember, we have our pyramid. Would this be something that resonates for this needs segment? Then you ask yourself, is the segment big enough? Sometimes you say, well, you know, this is the right segment because I just offered, you know, this particular benefit. But if your group is too small, will you be able to have a sustainable business? Probably not. So then you think about, between those two questions, and then finally, what is the price consumers are willing to pay to define? And then you start to, you know, literally peck from all those segments that you build, what is right for you and what is not right for you. So that's the journey of picking segments. And here, again, this is just, call it sub-segments. If you feel like you have to segment further, for example, if you're an established business, you want to think about, maybe, loyal customers or heavy users if you - might be something that you want to layer on. But it's on top of really understanding what their needs are. So this is optional. Again, we would segment further if you feel that would bring more specificity to the marketing efforts. That you're trying to build. Okay? So we have a segment. We know it's right for us. It's big enough. You know, it could be sustainable. Then your job is meet that consumer. Right? But again, it's not the other way around. Okay, I tell you you're 18 to 32 and now I'm going to sell you a product. You start with what is beneath and now we're going to understand within this group what is the need. So I'm going to give you a few tips on how you can do this. And I will tell you, these tips are quite practical to show you that anyone can really meet the customer and understand the customer. You don't need a fancy research department. Those are great if you have them. (laughs) Like, anyone can be very intentional while meeting their target. For example: incentives. Right? If you have a store and you offer food, you can easily come up with incentives like samples or random drawings, you know, to get consumer feedback on the product that you sell. You could also go out of your way to build your own panel. You know, you could have a pizza party for a few of your loyal customers. Invite them over and you'll be surprised how much you learn about that group dynamic. What they want to know about your brand. If you, for example, know the consumer is using a service, right, you'll be surprised how many people offer services out there that themselves, they've never been through. Like, literally, sign up for the service that you sell. Beginning to end. Like, if you don't think it's a great service, your customer will not think it's a great service. So try to be as experiential as possible. Use the product. Use the service. And then with social media today, customers are not shy. As I said earlier, if you have a terrible product, your ratings and review will tell you that right away. Because people, when they're dissatisfied, are more likely to be vocal than when they're satisfied. So you should really know if you have reviews, you sell on Amazon, or even Facebook page, which can be set up very easily, you'll have access to your consumers and anyone who is buying your product, you know, will tell you the truth about you. (laughs) Good or bad. And that is a step closer into really understanding your market. So, again, several examples that you can do but don't stay away from really making an effort. Once you've identified who that target is, to go and meet them, ask them questions, and use that of course. You know, otherwise, (laughs) you know, that would not be the intent of meeting your target in order to make your product or service or your communication better. Okay? So you're meeting your target. So, in this section, we said we are clear of what we want to be and who we're for. So we have completed step two of the Star Brand model.