Resolution: Learn more about the consumers of my brand

July 8, 2019By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing, Resolutions

By Jen Johnston, CHHC, senior marketing services account manager, for the Resolutions blog series

Users of a particular brand can shift over time. When was the last time you thought about the consumers of your brand? Can you accurately identify what types of people are using your products today?

If you hesitated in your answers, it may be time to make a Q3 resolution and learn more about the consumers of your brand. There are four critical steps to learning more about the people who purchase your brand:

  1. Build a customer profile
  2. Determine where they socialize
  3. Understand what matters most to them
  4. Develop a human-to-human relationship

Build a customer profile

As a starting point you should have a customer email database through which you can regularly share content with your consumers. If you don’t, this is a great first step. Once you have this list, you can use it to informally survey your customers by asking specific and open-ended questions. The goal of this exercise is to begin to narrow down similarities among your current customers.

Once you have this information, you can do some secondary research online for broad information about the group. However you will want to drill down into market segmentation, which may  require some focused primary market research.

Market segmentation includes the following:

  1. Demographic segmentation. This classification is based on individual attributes such as geography, gender, education level, income, etc.
  2. Behavioral segmentation. This classification is based on behaviors like product usage, shopping habits, early adopters, etc.
  3. Psychographic segmentation. This classification is based on attitudes, aspirations, values, personality, opinions, etc.

Find a research company that specializes in your industry or niche. Make sure you ask a mix of questions that address the different types of segmentation. Most companies have quantitative and qualitative surveying capabilities. Both can be extremely useful.demographic graph representation

Determine where they socialize

Once you understand who they are, it is important to understand which social platforms they use. You can ask this question and more during the market research process. Here are some others:

  • What social platforms do they prefer over others?
  • What time of day are they engaging with social?
  • Do they interact on pages or within groups?

Understand what matters most to them

Start listening in to determine what your consumers are talking about and what brands they follow. Does your core consumer group have an affinity for camping? Are they NASCAR enthusiasts? Do they have a passion for reversing climate change? Are they avid knitters? Do they love to travel?

Understanding what your consumers’ hobbies and interests are will help you determine where you can jump into the conversation and how you can refine your brand personality to more closely match those of your fans.

Develop a human-to-human relationship

Could your brand start a group on a social platform where you could facilitate the conversation? Think of innovative ways to humanize your brand and start developing a relationship with your fans. People open up to people they trust. So turn your brand into a trusted friend and ask the right questions.

Once you know more about the consumers of your brand, you can refine your packaging, message, and even the product features themselves. For instance, a brand in the natural space may discover that plastic packaging is now hurting their brand in ways it didn’t previously. Listening to your customers can help guide your decisions for the future.

Resolve to better understand your current and prospective customers. Once you have made this commitment, take time to dig deeply to truly get to know them. You may be amazed at what you discover.