Category Archives: Brands

Target Audiences

Target Audience – 3 Need-to-Knows

Marketing is all about connecting with people – you must listen to what they want or what problems they face that need solving, and be the business to provide the solution they’ve been pining for. Before you can swoop in and save the day, your business must first know who your target audience is, what they are saying, and how to reach them with your solution.

 

What a Target Audience Is

Target Audience – the demographic of people most likely to want your product or service. Essentially, these are the people with a problem that your product or service can help them with. When you think about it, we’ve all been doing this for ages. Back in your young days, did you ever ask your dad for permission to do something because you knew that your mom would say no? Classic case of targeting your message to the right audience for the best result.

Definition of Target Audience

The scope of target audiences varies greatly from wide to narrow. For example, let’s say you own a specialty dog boutique with high-end supplies for the die-hard pooch enthusiast. Your audience is going to be narrower than that of a general pet supplies store that is geared towards a wider audience of pet owners, from cats and dogs to parakeets and gerbils.

Or perhaps you own a car dealership that specializes in expensive luxury sports cars. This product will need to target a sliver of the consumer population that can afford that price tag, such as business men in their 40s or 50s that make over $250,000 a year, vs. your local pre-owned car dealership.

Regardless of what your company does or produces, every business needs a target audience and a strategy for how to reach them.

 

Why your business needs a target audience

Why are target audiences vital to the success of your business? To market or advertise your business, you first need to know who you want to reach and where to find them.

If you’re thinking to yourself “Why would I limit my audience to a small group of people instead of sharing what my business has to offer with the entire world?” you are not alone. While on the surface that may sound like the more logical explanation – to include everyone – when you have a defined marketing budget that isn’t labeled “sky’s the limit” (psst…none of them are) you need to work smarter, not harder, to reach people.

Work smarter, not harder, to reach your target audience

By defining your target audience and marketing to the people you already know would potentially be interested in buying (or at least learning more about) your product or service, you are able to:

  1. Craft your message to speak to them directly
  2. Make a relevant connection between a potential consumer and your brand
  3. Focus budget dollars on mediums you know are more likely to reach your audience

 

How to find your target audience

You know what a target audience is, and understand the importance of defining it for your business. What now? Go out and get it! Thorough market research is key here, whether that means hitting the pavement to do your own legwork or gathering data from research companies or resources.

Ideas for market research include:

  1. Experiments or trials
  2. Focus groups
  3. Interviews
  4. Observation
  5. Product pricing
  6. Social media insights
  7. Surveys
  8. Website analytics

The goal here is to get to know your potential consumers, what problems they experience, what they do about them now, and how your product or service can make their life easier. Learn the ins and outs of where they get their information and outline game plans for how to best reach them.

Is your product an online project management program for small businesses? Chances are your audience is more likely to be reached through digital marketing – website, blogs, online ads, email marketing, etc. – vs. more traditional methods that may be more fitting for targeting a specific area with offers for your local supermarket – print ads, direct mail, TV commercials.

Need a helping hand to define your target audience and develop a marketing plan for how to best reach them? That’s what we’re here for. Our team at Stray Media Group would be happy to meet with you to determine where your business is and what we can do to help you grow. Learn more about our work and how we can take your marketing to new heights by contacting us today!

 

 

Fish jumping in CMYK colored fish bowls.

The Print Effect

Your business’s printed materials have an effect on anyone who comes in contact with them, and whether that effect is good or bad is entirely up to you. Printing that is on point can make all the difference in the world when you’re trying to be a step above the rest for your customers and prospective customers. Learn how your brand can stand out from the crowd with these tips and guidelines for epic printed marketing materials.

 

How printing can attract new customers.

With a sea of companies out there selling similar products and services, attracting new customers can be a challenge. So how can you stand out from the competition and position yourself as a memorable resource? A good marketing strategy is essential, and within that strategy should be a solid direction for outbound marketing – which includes all of your tangible, printed pieces.

We cannot stress enough the importance of having high-quality, attractive printed materials. A combination of professional, creative designs that capture your target audience’s attention and quality material that offers a look and feel beyond the normal expectations helps you make a lasting impression.

Image of printed booklet and postcards.
Improve customer loyalty with high-quality printing.

When it comes to retaining customers and improving their loyalty to your brand, many contributing factors are at play. The expectations of today’s intelligent, informed customers are at an all-time high, from customer service and website ease of use to readily-available informative content and, of course, today’s hot blog topic: printed material that speaks volumes.

To truly set your brand apart, build trust in customers and keep them coming back for more, don’t just meet those expectations – exceed them by having marketing materials that evoke a feeling in and of themselves. The right printed pieces will induce them to see, touch and feel the value that represents how you present your brand to the world. This includes the important component of content that answers customers’ questions and offers valuable information.

If people place a higher value on your business cards or sales sheets, they’re likely to place a higher value on the products and services you offer. Take this opportunity to blow them away and begin their journey to being your loyal customer.

 

How professionally printed pieces can help drive sales.

Last but certainly not least is sales. Sales and revenue make your brand’s world go ’round and keep you in the business of doing what it is you do best. Let your printed marketing material take some of that weight off your shoulders and help you sell your products and services.

With stats like “63% of people throw the business card away because they don’t need service” or “88% of business cards handed out get thrown away in less than a week”, we understand the question, “why spend the money?” Answer: “the number of sales increases by 2.5% for every 2000 cards that get passed out.”

On top of that, colored cards typically stick around in people’s pockets or desks 10x longer than the average plain white card. Now imagine if you have a card so cool, vibrant and memorable that the recipient just can’t throw it away! Chances are they’ll keep it around for a while, and they may need your services during that time. Give them an unforgettable leave-behind that will keep selling for you for a long time to come.

 

Not familiar with the best of the best printing materials, methods and options? No worries; we’ve got your back. Give us a call to get together and discuss the wants, needs and goals for your brand, and learn how we can put our industry knowledge and experience to work for you.

 

Comapny Culture

The What, How, & Why of Cultivating Positive Company Culture

Culture seems to be the latest business buzzword and “must-have” in companies today. But what exactly is culture? How can you have a great one that recruits and retains an excellent workforce? How can a healthy, thriving culture impact your bottom line? We’ll cover the basics of cultivating an excellent company culture this month on ‘Powered by Creativity.’

What is company culture

Every company has a distinct culture, no matter if they have one employee or hundreds of thousands. Company culture involves what employees see, feel, and think about your business – it is a set of visions, values, norms, beliefs, habits, and assumptions that make up your company’s identity; in essence, it is your company’s personality. Cultures are not something employees bring with them; they are ingrained in the genetic code of your company and will exist before and after employees come and go, although they can change over time.

 

Company Culture

 

To evaluate your company’s current culture, you may want to ask yourself these questions: “What are common behaviors of employees while they are on the job – good or bad? How meaningful is the job to my employees – would they go elsewhere if given the opportunity?” While not your actual culture, the answers to these questions signify either a healthy or unhealthy culture. Company culture is important to employees and employers alike – employees want to enjoy their time in the workplace and feel that their work has meaning for both themselves and the company, while employers benefit when they have employees who fit in with the company culture, which usually makes them happier and more productive, as well as wanting to work for the company longer.

How to cultivate company culture

The good news is that, if you have discovered aspects of your culture that you would like to improve upon, they are fluid and changeable. Putting a focus on culture within your company gives your team guiding principles. It is up to the leaders of the company to set the precedent for the culture you want to achieve. According to companyculture.com, 80% of company members are potentially very flexible – if the culture asks for employees to be engaged, responsible, pleasant, and highly productive, they will be; however, in unhealthy culture environments, employees may be closed, unengaged, irresponsible, unpleasant, and unproductive.

 

Company Culture

 

If you cultivate a great culture, people will know you for it, your team will live by it and work together towards the same company mission, and it will get you through the bumps in the road. Here are a few key areas you can get started with right away to get the ball rolling on creating a dynamic company culture.

Purpose: In order for your purpose to be effective and resonate with your team, they not only have to be told what it is, they have to buy into it as well. Employees as a whole typically want to feel like what they do matters – showing them their measurable impact on the success of the company makes them invested in what they do and want to do better.

Engagement: Purpose’s cousin, engagement, is all about preparation – specifically how prepared your employees feel to fulfill their purpose. If there are distractions or inefficiencies, or people don’t feel like they can fulfill their role to the best of their ability, there is an engagement problem.

Trust: A critical aspect in life that transfers into the workplace, trust needs to be an important company value, period. If there is mistrust about your employees, whether it comes to personal effects or getting the job done, the issue needs to be addressed and rectified as soon as possible.

Evolve: Continuous learning = continuous improvement of your company. Processes and the way things are done change and evolve over time, and so should your workforce. It is the responsibility of the business owner to make sure employees feel empowered to seek their own continuing education, and if they don’t, you need to dig a little deeper into finding out why.

Why company culture matters

Culture matters – a healthy culture creates enthusiasm and happiness, which means more productivity. Job satisfaction starts with job creators caring about their employees. When an employer hires that perfect candidate, they definitely want the best return on their dollar, but if you ask the reverse question ‘besides a paycheck, what are your employees getting out of their job?’ it may help you understand how to engage and motivate employees to their full potential. Improving company culture may seem like it takes a lot of effort, but once you have a healthy one, the benefits are countless; from getting more work done faster to higher retention rates of valuable members of the team, as well as eventually being able to recruit the most competitive employees to keep your company moving forward. The best and brightest employees in any given field want it all; competitive salary and benefits, work/life balance, and a great company culture that makes them look forward to going to work every day. In turn, they’ll give you their best and be invested in your company’s success as much as you are.

 

If you’re reading this and feel like you don’t know where to begin with changing your company culture for the better, you’re not alone. Company culture is unique to each business and can sometimes be a complicated aspect of your company to change. If you’re ready to make that leap, our culture experts are here to help with solid advice and business development plans. We have the unique perspective of being on the outside looking in, and may be able to pinpoint certain pain points in your culture that are easy to overlook when you are busy running your day-to-day operations. Give us a shout out today – we’d love to talk to you!

 

When Brands Become Products

When a business is started, the dream is to gain so much word of mouth that the brand becomes a household name – or is it? For the companies that introduced us to Thermos, Cellophane, and Bubble Wrap, that dream became a nightmare. In this month’s ‘Powered by Creativity,’ we take a look at the advantages and disasters that happen when a brand becomes ‘genericized.’

SMG-Blog-Header1

Living the American Dream

Picture this: Someone has an incredible idea for a unique product to put on the market, and a dream to start their own business and make a living by reproducing this product to make life easier for millions of consumers. After all of their hard work planning, saving, spending, and branding the new product, it becomes phenomenally successful on the market. This is great news; more people engaged in a brand with purchase power will lead to higher sales just by word of mouth. However, in order to hold onto the exclusivity of the brand, the company will need to toe the line of popularity vs. becoming such a household name that the brand now becomes the name of the product itself.

SMG-Blog-Header2

Be careful what you wish for

On the opposite end of the spectrum, when a brand becomes a common name that turns into the name of the product itself, then the business has a problem. Once the brand becomes the common name used to describe multiple products that are similar to a company’s product, then not only is the brand image oversaturated and devalued, but the company’s trademark becomes vulnerable to loss of legal protection for exclusive rights to the name.

SMG-Blog-Header3

A good example of this is Bubble Wrap, which was introduced by Sealed Air Corporation as wallpaper in 1960, but came to prominence as packaging material after being used to ship IBM computers. The product name is technically “air bubble packaging,” but because all products of this design became commonly known by the layman’s term of bubble wrap, the brand name became muddled with the product name and therefore not only lost its brand name value, but became a generic trademark as well.

In today’s world, it is so important to distinguish your brand identity in the marketplace and create loyalty not only for producing a reliable product, but because your brand image is superior to others and top of mind when purchasing that product. One of our specialties at Stray Media Group is helping clients maintain an elevated and consistent brand image to distinguish their products in the marketplace. If you are looking for expert knowledge to create, refresh, or grow your brand, we would love to meet with you; contact us today!

SMG-Blog-footer-red