Target group analysis: Step-to-step guide to making your brand relevant to your customers

Once you have created your brand identity, it is time to do some target group research and analysis. The idea of this step in brand positioning is to make your brand stand out and relevant to a certain target group. 

After reading this blog post, you should be able to determine the most important values and attributes of your brand, products and services for targeting your (potential) customers.

Being something for everyone
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Not being anything to anyone

Step 1: Connect your brand with the product category

Connecting your brand with the right product category will help you in two ways. Firstly, it will help you identify why customers would buy your products and services. Secondly, it will help you identify your competitors. These two things will help you stand out from the competition and become relevant to your target group.

target group/market analysis in brand positioning
Credit for the original model: Riezebos, R. & Grinten, van der, J. (2012). Positioning the brand: an inside-out approach. Routledge: London.

According to the above model, the attributes of your products/services and the values you share with the alternatives are the points of parity. The ones that the alternatives do not have are the points of difference. These are the values and attributes that make you stand out from the rest of the product category.

Step 2: Determine which attributes and values are important to your target group

Brand positioning is all about choices. You need to choose the most important attributes and values to position your brand with. How can you justify your choices? Ask your target group what they find important about the products and services in the category that your brand is in.

Here are some questions that you can ask your target group in an interview or a survey:

  • Which attributes do you consider before buying [category] products or services?
  • Which attributes are the most important? Why?
  • If one of those attributes was eliminated, how would it affect you?
  • Which attributes are not important? Why?
  • [Introduce your product/service]: Would you buy this? Why, or why not?

Step 3: Find out how your products and services satisfy customers’ needs

After finding out the most important attributes and values, you will be able to understand the needs and wants of your customers. More importantly, you will know how you can satisfy them. Means-end chain is the roadmap for making your customer happy. It describes how a product or service satisfies your customers’ needs on multiple levels.

means-end chain

This is an example of a means-end chain of a recycling service. It gives a broad understanding of the connections between different benefits for the customers. When you have a comprehensive means-end chain, you understand how your products and services can satisfy your customers’ needs. 

In the end, you will have the tools to convince your customer and ultimately close the deal.

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