That’s why the classic positioning statement we are de-constructing in this series of articles starts with a “To,” which is meant to describe your target customer, demographically.
Age, sex, geographic location, household income, education, number of children -- these are all examples of demographic features of your target customers. These are the facts that you could use to describe them.
You need to decide what demographics best represent your target customers before you can continue to develop your positioning statement. You have to know who they are before you can position your brand for them.
For example, you may decide that you want to target women 18 to 54 years old. That would be a good start. But the more specific you can get about your target market, the more meaningful you will be able to make your positioning statement.
What part of that age range is the most likely to be a good customer? Are these women married, do they have children and what is their household income? Do they live in city centers or the suburbs? What’s their level of education?
The more layers to the demographic information you can add, the richer your positioning statement. The more specifically you can describe your customer, the more specific you can make your positioning for them, and ultimately the more specific you can craft a brand experience.
Psychographics will also help to add more dimension, and we will get to that, but for now we will focus on building the best demographic profile of your customer to best understand who they are and where they are living their lives.
I recently witnessed one small-business owner who really seemed to understand her brand’s target customer, demographically. She owns a small chain of hair salons, and gets very specific about the neighborhood where she operates. She targets "local, high-income, working women with curly hair."
Now is this enough for her to build a brand experience? Not yet. We have to blow out the entire formula. But hopefully you can see that really understanding the demographics of your customers can start to shape how you communicate with them.
In this case, you’ll appeal to them on a neighbor-to-neighbor level, with incentives that work within their busy schedules and that show how investing in the management of their curly hair would make a big difference in their lives.
Off to a great start, I would say!
Jim Joseph is worldwide president for New York-based communications agency Cohn & Wolfe, part of the media company WPP Group PLC. He is the award-winning author of The Experience Effect series and teaches marketing at New...