Target Market Definition: How to Create Yours

Target Market Definition Brand Strategy
(Reading Time: 5 minutes)

In a previous post, we met Beth and Andy, two fictitious (but reality-based) designers who take very different approaches to their target market definition.

Andy’s approach is “I can do it all, and all sales are good sales.” Beth is more deliberate and precise.  By defining her ideal client and project, she also defines the kind of business she doesn’t want. Hers is a much more effective approach, particularly for challenger brands.

Today, I’ll show you how to create your ideal target market definition. The framework is meant to be broad enough to apply to everything from a solo consultant to a major consumer brand, so it will need to be tweaked as appropriate to your particular situation. (Also, for the rest of this post, I’ll use the word “consumers” to include clients and customers as well.) Continue reading “Target Market Definition: How to Create Yours”

Who’s Your Ideal Client?

ideal client or customer
(Reading Time: 3 minutes)

At two different coffee meetings, I ask two designers to tell me who their ideal client is. Both answer confidently.

Andy tells me this: “I can do it all – logos, print, graphic design, web – and in all kinds of industries.”

Beth tells me this: “I excel at serving clients who either need to build a visual identity from the ground up or completely overhaul an existing one, and then apply it across multiple media. My expertise is particularly deep in B2B. And my minimum for an integrated project is $20,000.” Continue reading “Who’s Your Ideal Client?”

“If Our Competitors Are Doing it, It Must Be Working.”

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That’s what a former boss said to me, more than once, when I was a young brand manager. It was her way of justifying thoughtless, copycat strategy.

Besides raising some serious concerns about my own career path, this kind of thinking destroys brand growth. Here are some alternative statements that are more true: Continue reading ““If Our Competitors Are Doing it, It Must Be Working.””

Want better results? Dig deep.

(Reading Time: 4 minutes)

Looking for better results from your marketing and branding efforts? The answer may be as simple as digging a little deeper.

Too often, we opt for the fast, easy or cheap choice, when it’s really the accurate choice that we need. As budgets are reduced, this pressure increases. When this happens, we sacrifice long-term benefits for short-term convenience. Continue reading “Want better results? Dig deep.”

Branding When Times Are Tough

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It’s not pretty out there.

Recent economic events do not paint a rosy picture for anyone trying to grow a business. Credit has tightened. Consumer confidence is down. Bad news has rippled through every segment of the economy, and what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Call me crazy, but I believe these down-cycles are actually net-positive. Why? Because they teach us to do more with less and to evaluate every dollar that we invest. These are lessons that will serve our brands for years to come. Continue reading “Branding When Times Are Tough”

How to Kill Your Brand – 40 Easy Ways!

(Reading Time: 5 minutes)

Pointless advertising. Unresponsive customer service departments. Convoluted buying processes. If I didn’t know better, I’d think some companies were actually trying to kill their brands.

Since so many companies seem determined to destroy their brands through boneheaded moves and bad decisions, I thought I’d lend them a hand.

If you’re serious about killing your brand, I’m pleased to offer 40 tips and tricks – guaranteed to set your brand on the path to miserable, abject failure! Continue reading “How to Kill Your Brand – 40 Easy Ways!”

Three Kinds of Brand Consistency

(Reading Time: 4 minutes)

Meet Stan. Stan works over in accounting. He is, you might say, a little buttoned-up. His shirts are so well-starched that they deflect bullets. On Casual Friday, he lets loose by wearing jeans – with crisply ironed pleats. He has a picture of Rush Limbaugh in his office, which is so immaculate it makes his co-workers anxious. And a hair out of place? Not on Stan’s head.

But one Monday morning, Stan arrives looking like he missed the bus to Bonnaroo. He’s wearing baggy hemp clothing, his hair resembles a bird’s nest, and he hasn’t seen the working end of his razor in days. Barack has replaced Rush in the frame on his desk. Continue reading “Three Kinds of Brand Consistency”