What is Target Audience and Why is it Important for Branding

Is it possible for small businesses to compete with large brands?

Some would consider that established brands have unlimited funds for marketing or at least amount so huge that they easily hog whole market share.

With a clearly defined niche target audience, even small businesses can effectively compete with large brands.

Here is a brief introduction to target audience and why it is important for branding.

Introduction to Target Audience

As a product owner, you would want to believe that whole world will love your products.

The reality is that not everyone “needs” your product and those who do need it may or may not “like” what you are offering.

In other words, only a small population is interested in your product.

That’s your primary target audience- the group of people you should target with advertising or other forms of promotions.

It’s like how you play darts game by throwing darts onto different parts of the board. Let’s say target audience is that board- every dart you throw is targeted or aimed to hit the board.

Example of Target Audience

For a baby diaper product, primary target audience/ market segment could be guardians and healthcare professionals of babies and toddlers who use baby products as part of their daily routine. The secondary target audience/ market segment could be anyone who purchases these products for family and friends with babies and toddlers.  The basic product positioning would be in the development stages of babies and toddlers.

Why identifying target audience is important for branding?

  • As part of brand development, strategist work on brand mission statement, does competitive research in the target category, outlines the key qualities and benefits of the brand offering, etc. 

Rather than creating a brand which appeals everyone, which is not possible and can make marketing more vague, a company can better position its brand with messaging, packaging design, advertisements, products, services and so on that appeal to those specific audience groups. Even pricing, packaging design and distribution channels are decided to appeal to a brand's target market.

Defining a target audience allows to focus brand marketing money and attention on the people most likely to provide an ROI.

Related Reading: What is a brand?

  • At our branding firm OH! Design Studio, while working on brand design projects we start by gathering insights about the target market from the client. Information about consumers’ values, preferences, lifestyle and habits provides a framework that helps determine the brand design strategy and appropriate communication. 
Consider product packaging design for instance. 
Packaging design is still the most powerful factor in product marketing to attract consumers. It is very difficult to separate consumer’s perception of the brand from its product packaging. Poor quality design is perceived as packaging a cheaper product with inferior quality. The choice of design elements, design structure and text must be then be driven by the kind of people the brand is targeting to visually stimulate their interest in the product and to create the right kind of brand image.

Brand strategy - Misconception about Target Audience

Does that mean while targeting a specific market you are excluding those who do not fit the criteria?

No. Targeting just gives a clear sense of direction for spending marketing money and creating focused brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. It is an effective as well as efficient way to reach potential clients and generate business.

Related Reading: Branding misconceptions

If you are looking for a branding or graphic design agency, then letstalk@ohdesignstudio.com . OH! Design Studio is an integrated branding + design consultancy firm in India.