There are more brands competing with your audience’s attention than ever before in human history. To really reach them, you need to do more than just advertise at them, you need to create an emotional connection. But, what if you end up with an audience that you didn’t quite expect?
The first question you may need to ask yourself is: Is this really the wrong audience or is it an untapped market? There’s always the chance that the audience that has suddenly taken to you is unexpectedly loyal and lucrative. There are plenty of instances of a brand becoming more popular after it switched demographics. For instance, Marlboro used to be marketed to women exclusively, but found tons of success with its Marlboro man, tough cowboy image. Before you write a demographic out of your company branding preferences, ask yourself what they can do for you.
If you’re sure that the audience you are reaching is not the one you want, you may want to look in the news. Information on a company’s policies are more transparent than ever. If there’s any chance that your company is acting contrary to the way your brand is presented, consumers will ferret it out and there will be a sense of betrayal that you will have a hard time recovering from. Proper branding is the result of a customer base identifying with a company’s philosophy, if the philosophy is perceived as shallow, the amount of loyalty you get in return will also be shallow.
With so many different media available for advertising on, it’s easy for corporate branding to get muddied. If you run a TV spot which exudes probity and reliability, it’s not then a good idea to run a quirky, off beat campaign online. Internet branding can work with your other marketing schemes, but only if you let it. You may think you’re getting two audiences, but it’s more likely that the inconsistency will make both of your audiences feel alienated. The mismatch between tones doesn’t even have to be that severe for people to pick up on it and have a bad reaction.
The clothes people wear, the way they use language and the way they present themselves is a very nuanced thing. These things change not only from gender to gender and age to age, but depending on the subculture each individual identifies as. To really get your audience, and have them get you, your corporate branding needs to speak to them, and to portray your brand as something this demographic finds desirable. These trends can often be fast moving, and so you need to make sure your marketing campaign isn’t getting left behind in the rush of cultural progress.
Without ensuring that the firm who handles your company branding knows how to manage all of these hurdles, you might be directing your branding at the wrong audience, or worse, compromising your branding in such a way that you don’t have an audience at all.