A small retail business must have a unique niche, a strong company image and a meaningful connection with its consumers to succeed in today’s competitive retail landscape. Target marketing is the process of focusing marketing efforts toward a specific group of customers. Four commonly used target marketing types that companies can take advantage of include age, income-sensitive, gender-specific, and geographic target marketing.
Determine Your Niche
Using just one target marketing type is usually not enough. For instance, often times targeting an all-encompassing female audience as a retail business won’t cut it. To succeed, a retail business must have a niche, something that differentiates it from the competition. For instance, Lululemon, a yoga-inspired athletic apparel company, targets women between the ages of 25 to 35 that are interested in leading a healthy lifestyle in a fashionable way, explains Mary Charleson, president of marketing consultant company Charleson Communications. Through their niche, Lululemon continues to target the behavior of a unique demographic with store displays, a mobile app, brand ambassadors, and a blog that embodies company culture.
A great way to find your retail business’ niche is by finding out who isn’t being targeted in your area yet and pairing this deficiency with the right products, suggests Entrepreneur. In other words, if professional women above the age of 50 that enjoy playing golf have nowhere to shop for clothing, you can step-in and fulfill that need.
Establish a Strong Company Image
Once you’ve decided on a particular niche, it’s time to establish a strong company image. Forever 21 is an affordable fashion-forward clothing company with a fresh and young image, which is fitting since they target women in their teens and early 20s. Their black and white design puts the emphasis on the clothing and creates a striking contrast compared to other retail clothing stores. Forever 21’s image is bold and stylish, which tells their young consumers that the company is not afraid to be different. Additionally, Forever 21 puts geotargeting into practice by placing its stores inside malls, a common hang-out for teens and young adults.
A company’s image should speak volumes. It should tell your audience right away what your retail business is all about. And one way to speak to your audience right away is with a logo that represents what your store is all about. Some business spend thousands of dollars with a branding agency or designer for a logo that truly represents their brand, and some cash-strapped business even create a free professional logo using a logo design tool. Make sure that the finished result is eye-catching, will look great on both billboards and business cards, and gives shoppers an instant feeling of what your store is all about. The colors and layout you use in your logo should be consistent throughout the rest of your company image. Use your logo as inspiration for the company letterhead, product packaging, and website design.
Connect with Your Audience
Whether you have a brick-and-mortar retail business or an e-commerce website, it’s important to connect with your consumer through the communication method he or she typically uses. For retail stores targeting women, women’s relationship-centric behaviors mean that they spend 40 percent more time on social network sites than men, reports a marketing study by Jack Morton Worldwide.
Furthermore, the content you create to establish a business-buyer relationship needs to be carefully crafted to appeal to the group’s interests, suggests Social Media Examiner. It’s not enough anymore to share lifestyle articles or DIY tutorials. Content and social media user engagement must be tailored to your niche. If your retail business specializes in maternity clothing for stay-at-home mothers with a high disposable income, share or create content that focuses on pregnancy, high-end baby products and homemaking advice.