Expanding your brand is something that a lot of new younger brands and even some larger brands overlook due to the fact that people assume if you are in a market than you must sell within that market only. This is somewhat of that case, but not the whole case.
This seems fairly straight forward. For example if you are selling boutique women’s bikinis in Australia than you would most likely target 16 to 35 year old women within the main beach cities being Perth, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Wollongong (essentially the entire east coast of Australia) and a few others here and there spread around depending on where you are operating from to give that ‘hometown’ vibe. This is basic targeting and it will put you in front of a very crowded audience filled with lots of other brands. What this really means for you is a lot of wasted time and money! It’s like blindfolded throwing darts at a dartboard. It may hit, but chances are, you won’t.
So if you’re now questioning your brand, question no more because expanding your brand can be broken down into the following easy to follow steps.
1. Know Your Demographic’s Interests
Going back to the bikini example, that demographic looks correct right? Right! Well what does that demographic like to do? What do they look like? These are the questions that a lot of brands grind their gears over because there is no one answer. There is no fill all box and magically that question covers all audiences. The audience may also like going to the gym, working out, yoga, health foods, the beach (shock horror!), different styles of music like pop and hip-hop, other brands like sunglasses, tote bags, clothing brands, soap brands, other self-care products and other lifestyles, like travelling or Boho styles or SoCal and on and on and on. This is the thought process that needs to occur when you are at the forefront of brand expansion and lacking the ideas of where to go next.
2. Position Your Brand In Other Markets
To get away from the bikini example and on to something else completely different, let’s look at project real estate. New developments are everywhere if you keep an eye out for them. There’s always potential to build up or build out depending on where you live. People who are into the real estate market, are interested in downsizing to an apartment or looking to purchase a first home have a lot to choose from and can get caught in the trap of too many options. They just end up buying a second-hand home in the suburbs instead of buying their brand new dream apartment in the city or on the beach. There is a lot of people, however, that aren’t immediately looking for real estate but are more than willing to purchase. To get out of this trap, an apartment building doesn’t need to be sold like an apartment building, it can be sold as a fashion label, a lifestyle brand, a location. The fashion label; think high end, dark sexy contours with pops of colour here and there; think Yves Saint Laurent. How do you achieve this? What can be gained from this? You target their audience! Who buys Yves Saint Laurent? They are the audience who are interested in your development, even though they aren’t looking for it. To catch an eye in today’s bombardment of social media you have to position your brand in places that people don’t expect it but are receptive to it.
3. Content! Content! Content!
This is very self-explanatory for the most part. Post! Bunches and bunches! People aren’t attracted to following a page if you post once a week or in most cases, once a month. It is a massive job to create, design and post content that is engaging, but in today’s digital landscape, you need to consistently engage with people or they drop off. You need to stay relevant and interactive to cut through all the noise competitors are putting out. This means replying to comments, engaging in the communities around your industry and contributing helping information which builds your brand up as an industry authority. Love the people back that love you and a good way to continue that love is sharing or reposting a photo of theirs to your pages with a shoutout. User-generated content is a fantastic way to save you time and increase page views as now that person is going to brag to all their friends that they got reposted. It works better than a lot of people think so give it a go!
4. Be A Part Of The Community
To extend your brand to a whole new level is don’t just say your brand is a such and such brand but live that! Go to the local shows in your industry, or conferences, or days out. Meet the hardcore die-hard supporters of your industry and get to know them. Meet competitors and be humble in the sport of business. The community will be able to put a face to a name so when they think of your company they think of you. You aren’t just a computer running ads, you are a person and they love everything you love. Run competitions, show genuine interest, see what the competitors are doing and learn from them. Be a part of the community! Only around 1% of people are ready to buy or engage at any one time but being a prominent part of the community keeps you top-of-mind of potential customers when for when they do need you.
Understanding your target audience thoroughly and creating engaging content around them, not always directly to them, is key to not only having your brand stand out, but positioning your brand to be seen everywhere is key to leaving your mark in 2018.