Find the right brand for your audience (not the other way around): The trick to commissioning high converting visual branding

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Having spent over a decade in comms, I’ve commissioned and overseen many visual brands and rebrands.

My biggest red flag? When an agency’s discovery process revolves around what you (the purchasing manager) like and dislike.

When it comes to sales, it’s not about you, or the type of brand you want to be the face of.

It’s all about audience.

Too often, businesses design their brand and then seek an audience for it.

But high conversion rates come from doing this the other way around.

You’ll generate more sales by building the brand your audience wants to buy from – even if you don’t have an audience yet.

How do you do that?

With the solid foundation of demographic targeting.

No, I don’t mean stereotypical profiles like “spendy Sally” the 25 – 55 year old woman who loves a bargain. That’s not a target audience, it’s every woman with a job!

Nor do I mean targeting millennials or Gen Z. Entire generations are not a target audience. You cannot expect people to think the same way or want the same things just because they fall into the same age bracket.

Factors such as your price point, the quality of the product you sell, and even your packaging all determine who will buy from you.

But that’s just the 6P’s, its marketing 101.

Demographic targeting takes that a step further, using data to determine who is most likely and predisposed to buy your product with the least barriers to purchase.

After all, a person’s likely interest in your product or service is determined by scientifically proven behaviour patterns, based on factors including: their disposable income level, education, social class, hobbies and aspirations.

By aligning your brand with established purchasing behaviour and placing your business in the right context to reach and convert likely customers, your can move hearts and minds, target your messaging and increase conversion.

Commissioning your visual identity without audience targeting limits your ability to convert.

If you’re designing a brand from scratch, why wouldn’t you maximise ROI by tailoring it to the people most likely to purchase?

If you’re rebranding a product which customers are used to seeing on shelves, and you radically change your logo, colours or packaging, you risk breaking their purchase patterns and the powerful brand recall you’ve spent years building – which will lose you sales.

Any agency working on your brand should be able to talk you through how their recommended creative positioning will impact sales and drive conversion. If an agency isn’t taking a deep dive into buyer behaviour at the start, you shouldn’t be working with them.