News | 22/07/2021

The importance of knowing your audience

Posted by Lisa Seymour

Do you really know your audience? Many businesses have an idea of who their audience are but haven’t taken the time to look into who is engaging (and buying) from them.

In his brilliant book, The Choice Factory, Richard Shotton focuses on the need to understand your audience’s drivers before you can influence their buying decisions. What is getting them to your door in the first place? Is it something as simple as price, or is there more at play such as your brand aesthetic, voice and values?

Behavioural biases

He splits the 25 chapters of the book into different behavioural biases and speaks to leading names in the brand, advertising and marketing world to showcase how many thoughts and behaviours can impact the consumers’ thinking. He delves into intricacies such as time of day to share a message, the importance of mood, the value placed on other people’s opinion and the importance of presentation.

We are unconsciously influenced by other people and the more important they are to us, the more influenced we are. A good way of using this is to showcase your brand popularity – remember when Whiskers did the ‘8 out 10 cats prefer Whiskers’ tag line. This cemented their popularity and got people that didn’t use the product to be more inclined to, as they wanted to be part of the popular choice.

So, are you telling people how popular you are? And if not, how can you? Can you collect data or do a poll on your current audience to attract a new one?

Another thing to think about is habit and points of change. We all know that habits can be tricky to break and people are extremely brand loyal, but people do discover new brands at key points in their lives – such as having a baby or breaking up from a partner. This is something worth thinking about in relation to your offer, as Richard Shotton says, “if you can shake people out of their habitual behaviour when they are experiencing something new, this is a clever way to recruit new followers.” When looking at the psychology of behaviour, a good example is when people are approaching a milestone birthday. This is when they get both reflective and want change, so if you can offer something that taps into this you could open a number of new doors.

5 Dimensions of brand personality

A great study comes from Jennifer Aaker whose “5 Dimensions of Brand Personality” is a leading study in the psychology of brand. She talks about how a brand can control how they are perceived up to a point, but consumers also form perceptions of brands based on their contact with products and even by observing other consumers of the brands.

Your audience are your brand ambassadors so looking after them is key. Enabling them to shout loudly about how fantastic you are is a clever way of raising your profile, so always think how you can help them do this and what assets you could give them to make it easier for them.

Aaker talks about the five personality dimensions: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication and ruggedness and brands are not limited to one dimension. By really understanding your brand, this can ensure you get to know your audience fully. At Fox&Bear we host next-level, eye-opening workshops working with our clients to unearth their brand and values with often revealing and surprising insights that can help them truly understand their audience.

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