Defining your target audience is one of the most important things you’ll do when creating a new product. The target audience is the group of people you want to reach with your innovation and marketing messages and without knowing who you’re trying to sell your product to, it’s impossible to find people that are actually interested in buying it. Getting a clear idea of whom you’re innovating for makes it easier to create relevant and engaging products that your consumers will find useful and marketing campaigns that will stand out.
We spoke with Ayarpi Reganyan, the founder of BodyBar Protein about this topic. Ayarpi came to us with a common challenge – how do we get clear on our target audience? Body Bar, a Gluten Free and Paleo Certified Protein Bars supporting the IBD community, had already had great success before coming to us. Ayarpi used to believe that everyone can be their target market and to accelerate their growth she wanted to figure out how she could refine their target audience.
‘As the founder and CEO of Body Bar, I enjoy talking about my company and the work we do creating high quality gluten free, Paleo certified protein bars. But I’m not sure the best way to talk about that and to who. I know it needs to be refined.’Ayarpi, BodyBar Protein Founder
From the very beginning, BodyBar Protein was built with a mission in mind. Their vision is to help people with special dietary needs and provide them with the highest quality products possible. From Paleo friendly to gluten free, they wanted their products to serve a greater purpose. Therefore, when thinking about the target audience, or customers they wanted to reach, they didn’t want to exclude anyone. We helped her and her team see that they need to have a more refined focus on who the target market is.
After sitting down with their team, we discovered that their real opportunity was about creating the right content for specific types of people to increase the potential of converting future customers. We reviewed the marketing campaigns of their competitors in detail and gave feedback on consumer profiles and about where they should focus.
Let’s take a look at some practical tips that can help your brand do something similar when it comes to developing new products and promoting your existing ones.
Find out what consumers want
The first step is gathering information about your potential customers so you know what they want and need from your future product. The best way to do this is by talking to them directly—either in person or through surveys, focus groups, or other methods of customer interaction.
To get started ask yourself these questions. Who is my typical consumer? What are their needs? What motivates them? How can I give them what they want? In product development, we call this the problem definition stage which is a strategically critical stage to the new product’s success.
The problem definition process helps define the profile of your ideal consumer and acknowledges what they value and what they don’t. If you know the values of your ideal customer, you can make sure that these are reflected in your product. For example, if someone cares passionately about making the right choice for the good of the environment then make sure your packaging is recyclable or reusable. Or if someone values the feeling of freedom and adventure then you can position your product to meet this need state.
Knowing what they don’t value is just as important. What frustrates them, irritates them or leaves them unfulfilled? You can use social media listening, online surveys and focus groups to gather more information about negative sentiment around a topic. Analyze the data you collect so that it gives you a clear picture of who is in your target audience (where they live, what jobs they have etc.) and their needs. Talk to people who fit into the demographic you want to attract and find out what their problems are. Once you have this information, it will be much easier to create a product that appeals to them—and helps them achieve their goals!
Identify similar brands
Identify what competitor brands are doing well and how they are positioning themselves in the market. Look at their product line up, claims, target audience, content, marketing tactics and overall brand personality. Compare and contrast your brand to those of competitors by using these questions:
- Who is my audience? What are their wants, needs and desires? How can I position myself as being different from all other options out there?
- What are some untapped opportunity spaces related to nutrition, lifestyle or routine? Why should they care about me as opposed to one of my competitors’ products or services? What kind of content will resonate with them?
Create personas for each type of consumer
Once you’ve got an idea of who exactly you’re trying to create and sell your product to, it’s time to create personas for each type of consumer that falls into this category. Personas are fictional characters that represent real people who share certain traits and goals with others like them—and can help guide decisions about how best to market a product based on their needs rather than just guessing at what might appeal most broadly across all demographics. It helps you become more effective at reaching specific, high potential audiences.
The profile can include the following wrapped up in a clear and insightful portrayal:
- Demographics: The characteristics of a group of people (e.g., age, race, gender)
- Psychographics: The attitudes, interests and lifestyle choices that form the basis for consumer behaviour (e.g., political affiliation)
- Behavioural characteristics such as buying habits or hobbies
- Social characteristics such as family size or relationship status
- Technology characteristics such as internet usage
Understand how they communicate.
You need to understand how your target audience communicates. This will help you decide the best way to reach them and engage with them around your new product. There are many ways to communicate, such as social media, in person and online
- What do they like?
- What topics are they interested in?
- How do they communicate with others?
- Where are they on social media?
- What are their interests and preferences?
Each channel has its own unique characteristics and issues when it comes to reaching a diverse audience so be focused on the ones that will make an impact. Create content for each persona separately so they see themselves reflected in what you offer instead of feeling like a broad mass approach. The content you create should align with the interests, behaviors and needs of your target audience. It’s also important to consider how they want to consume information—for example, some people prefer written articles while others prefer videos. The more relevant the content is to their needs, the more likely they are to share it or engage in other ways (like commenting or sharing).
If you’re putting together a team to work on the development of an innovation idea, it’s almost impossible to do without knowing who your target audience is. You will have better luck finding people that are passionate about your idea with a clearly defined target audience, as well as being able to produce marketing strategies that work towards selling your product to that target audience.
“LaunchJuice has helped our company reposition its marketing campaigns and become more successful. I am so grateful for Emma’s insight. I highly recommend her services to anyone who would like to grow their brand.”Ayarpi, BodyBar Protein Founder
We hope we have given you some tips to start looking deeply at your audience but if you need a little help our tools at LaunchJuice’s can help you can better understand your target audience help drive sales and create high potential innovation!