An important rule in marketing is: You are not your customer. Sure, that’s why you define target groups. A second wisdom says: With personas you can categorize your customers to reduce the complexity of the target groups. This makes sense, because a well-founded strategy can be developed based on clustering into homogeneous groups. But now a problem arises: Target groups are not static. They evolve, and communication must take that into account.
An end to static considerations in brand building
Consumers are not ready-made personalities. Rather, they evolve with age and life circumstances. For brand owners, this raises several questions: Am I still reaching customers even though they are changing? How do consumers who are growing into an age group differ from the previous generation? Is my brand positioning still appropriate? Even the different decisions of customers in changing everyday situations are often not considered in communication. And yet everyone knows that people who are hungry at the moment make different purchases than those who set off straight from the lunch table to the supermarket. And the same thirty-year-old with the same income in the same place of residence develops completely different needs when she has just become a mother.
Dr. Andreas Baetzgen, Professor of Business Communication at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences, has critically examined the common sense of the static target group and developed the model of context-based communication. For him, the crucial factor is the concrete situation in which the message reaches the recipient: via the advertising display in the supermarket during the lunch break, as a newsflash on the cell phone after work, or while reading a parent’s blog before bedtime.
Kontx communication’s consulting approach is based on Baetzgen’s concept. We do not only determine the needs of the customer, but also the potential touchpoints of the customer in different situations within the framework of our stakeholder analyses. Our recommendation is based on this: No standard proposals according to a pattern for target group X, but rather precisely developed concepts and strategies for potential customers on the way to work, when they check their LinkedIn news, when planning the renovation project, for which they look around on blogs and YouTube, and when relaxing on the terrace, where TV or Instagram are more the preference. Of course, we always keep an eye on the current trends in brand building that are developing as a result of changing consumer behavior.
Holistic brand building requires knowledge of user behavior
A brand shares up to 600 touchpoints with its potential customers. In order to place the message, a „holistic brand experience management is required, which anticipates the complex actions, decisions and insights of the consumer through new segmentation methods and translates them precisely for each touchpoint“ (Baetzgen). In order to implement this successfully, two things are important: the careful analysis of user behavior and the consciously sent signals of customers, which are also in abundance in today’s interactive brand management. And building a credible, compelling brand story.