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Who is your brand for? And who isn't it for?

A catch-all approach to branding can take the wind out of the sails of any rebrand project. Giles Thomas of Mimo Brands explains why understanding who your brand ISN'T for is just as important as who it IS for.

Agency News

Giles Thomas
Mimo Brands

Targeting. Ignore this basic discipline at your peril. 


The first task in any rebrand is to review your targeting, but it is often overlooked in favour of running headlong into creating a new logo. 


One reason this vital discipline is given less attention than it should is because too many products and services owe their genesis to “Look what we can do!!”


This is obviously precisely the wrong place to start because 9 times out of 10 no-one cares.


The correct opening questions for any rebrand are “Am I still focusing my resources on right people?”, closely followed by “Is my brand still meeting their needs better than the alternatives?”.


These are often hard to answer, making them unpopular. Too often I hear marketing people claim that their brand is for everyone in the category, or for all mums, or Gen X, Y or Z.  They fear that by targeting a section of the market they are reducing the opportunities to attract new customers.


There is an abundance of evidence to show that a mix of tightly targeted activity and wider brand building in the category will deliver greater long-term results than either activity alone.  (See Les Binet & Peter Field’s seminal book on the subject.)


The clear benefits of targeting include finding the 20-40% of customers who will drive 80% of your profits. You should enjoy economies since you will minimise budget wastage on people who frankly you are unlikely to convert.  You should also find it easier to make brand decisions including positioning, messaging, communication & promotions.

Download: The (Re)Brand Workbook


Some practical advice on targeting:


  • Start by segmenting the market.  Chunk it up so that you understand the different groupings of customers, their attitudes and behaviours, and their potential value in the market.
  • Choose the segments that you think best suit your product/service and ambitions, ensuring they are big enough, and that there is enough headroom for your brand to exploit profitably.
  • Draw up pen portraits of them.  For each of your target segments you should capture what they think about and how they behave in the category, what turns them on and off, and the barriers to buying your brand.
  • Focus around 40% of your available budget on them to land them as customers in year 1 (leaving the rest to build your brand amongst the wider category with more brand-related activities.)

If you follow this you will inevitably improve your chances of a commercially successful rebrand, as opposed to one that simply looks nice.

Giles Thomas is Founder of Mimo Brands, GO! Network Member and leading Brand Strategy. Agency. If you'd like to connect with agencies that can support on rebrand projects that fit your needs, get in touch here.

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