Future Brands

The two forgotten rules of brand strategy: Know your people. Then know them some more.

Tess Robinson

The first rule of branding is to know who you’re speaking to.

The second rule of branding is to know what their drive-thru order would be.

As a marketer or brand builder, your job is to get granular and get to know your consumer on the nitty gritty level.

  • What does their typical day look like?
  • What are their habits?
  • Likes?
  • Dislikes?
  • Goals?
  • Motivations?
  • Guilty pleasures?

Understanding your customers’ needs, desires and expectations is crucial to having a brand that connects, making market research one of the most critical steps in developing a robust brand strategy.

You need to know who you’re speaking to before you open your mouth.

It goes without saying, that constructing a brand and a product for someone you know intently, is a much easier feat than creating for someone you know nothing about. 

Conducting thorough research is critical in providing valuable insights into your target audience, market dynamics, and competitive landscape.

Before you jump into what you think you know about your audience, let’s get one thing carved in stone:

Assumptions don’t make for great brands. Data does.

When it comes to knowing your audience and making decisions around them, data is your best friend.

It’s the difference between having a map and flying blind, a vital component of establishing brand positioning, helping you navigate the market and finding your place in it with effective accuracy and insight.

Tools such as market research therefore offer brands an invaluable opportunity to identify emerging trends or customer preferences, which can help to engineer campaigns, messaging or products with increased specificity and success.

Understanding your target market before launching a brand is crucial for several reasons:

Customer Relevance: 

Understanding your target market allows you to create a brand that resonates with your customers.

By knowing their needs, preferences, and pain points, you can tailor your brand messaging, products, and services to meet their specific demands, increasing the likelihood of attracting and retaining consumer love and loyalty.

Effective Communication: 

It’s not just what you say, but how you say it, when you say it and where you say it. Knowing your target market helps you communicate effectively with your audience.

By understanding their language, communication channels, and preferred methods of engagement, you can develop marketing campaigns and brand messaging that effectively reach and connect with your intended audience, driving better engagement and response rates, and therefore greater connection, and the ultimate win: conversion.


Find what you can offer that others aren’t offering, a different perspective even.

Understanding your target market enables you to differentiate your brand from competitors. 

By identifying gaps in the market or unmet customer needs, you can position your brand uniquely and develop a value proposition that sets you apart from the competition. This differentiation helps attract customers who are specifically seeking the solutions and experiences your brand offers.

Efficient Resource Allocation: 

Knowing your target market allows you to allocate your resources more efficiently.

By understanding who your ideal customers are, you can focus your marketing efforts, budget, and resources on the channels and strategies that are most effective in reaching and engaging that specific audience.

This prevents wasteful spending on broad, ineffective marketing campaigns.

Product Development: 

Understanding your target market helps you develop products and services that meet their specific needs and preferences.

By conducting market research and gathering insights about your target market, you can identify opportunities for innovation, refine existing offerings, and create new products that align with their desires.

This will lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Customer Experience: 

Understanding your target market allows you to design a customer experience that caters to their expectations and preferences.

By considering their demographics, behaviours, and motivations, you can create touchpoints, interactions, and experiences that resonate with your target audience, enhancing customer satisfaction and fostering long-term relationships.

Market Growth Potential: 

Understanding your target market helps you identify the growth potential of your brand. By evaluating the size, demographics, and purchasing power of your target market, you can assess the market opportunity and make informed decisions about market entry, expansion strategies, and potential market segments to target.

Understanding your target market is vital for developing a brand that is relevant, differentiated, and appealing to your intended audience.

Without this understanding, chances are your brand may struggle to connect with its audience and chase its competitive edge in the market as it would a mirage in the desert.

Once you know your audience, you can ignite the right conversations with them.

Participating in a great conversation with your audience is key to ensuring your relationship goes beyond merely a transactional one. It’s what turns great brands into cultural icons.

With the days of relying on TV commercials and newspaper ads to propel our brand forward disappearing in the rear-view mirror, brands need to open up, become human and keep things interesting.

To succeed in the now, they need to engage in ways that ignite curiosity, influence perspectives and spark conversation.

Our ability to draw audiences into our brand orbit and ensure they stay spinning in our universe hinges on our ability to strike the right chord of conversation with them. 

Sparking dialogue between the customer and brand is the best way to invite them on the journey, and become invested devotees to our brand. This might mean opening up the proverbial closet, relinquishing perfection and putting your brand in a position where it could be criticised, which is understandably a daunting risk with any new venture.

But one that can pay off with impressive results. 

Letting go of control is what allows consumers to become part of the story. Their content gets featured, they see themselves in the brand’s narratives, and they feel more invested.

Instead of a top-down approach, it’s a conversation, and conversations are by their very nature unpredictable—at least the good ones are.

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