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  • Writer's pictureBrian Fleming

Building your brand: Target Analysis

Updated: Jun 18, 2018

Part 4 in our series on building your small business brand.

Target analysis is the detailed research into your brand’s potential customers – i.e. the audience the brand is targeting – to get a thorough understanding of your audience.

Why it’s essential

To market and sell to customers you need to first know and understand your customers, speak their language and identify with their fears and desires, otherwise you’re just throwing it out there in the dark.

What it covers

Target analysis includes creating target profiles, determining your targets’ needs, desires, fears and frustrations, defining which features and benefits are most important to them, creating a target story arc and a brand awareness funnel.

How you’ll use it

You’ll use your target analysis to get a complete understanding of whom your speaking to and how you need to speak to them. The analysis will also serve as the basis for targeted online campaigns and as the foundation for all copywriting.

How you’ll create it

Target Profile

To create a target profile, start by thinking about who your target is. There are all sorts of ways you can do this. For starters, do research online. Conduct surveys on Facebook or LinkedIn. Stop people on the street and ask them. Find data sources. Whatever you need to do to learn about your target.

Next, use what you learn to separate your targets into groups with similar features and create a profile of each target group. In the case of B2B, separate your targets into companies who’ll benefit from your brand and into work positions (i.e. the people who’ll actually make the buying decision within the company or will benefit from it).

Here’s a target profile we created for our life coach.

Needs, Desires, Fears & Frustrations

Next, for each target group, write down their needs, desires, fears, frustrations, challenges they face, the miracle scenario that they’re secretly wishing for and the nightmare scenario that they are deeply afraid of that your brand’s offer can help with.

It’s essential that you know these, since it’s your brand’s aim to.

  • Meet the target’s needs

  • Fulfills the target’s desires

  • Alleviate the target’s fears

  • Remove the target’s frustrations

  • Overcome the target’s challenges

  • Avoid the target’s nightmare scenario

  • Make the target’s miracle scenario come true

Here’s a simplified example of how this may look, based on what we did for our public speaking coach.

Importance of Features to Target Group

Next, go back to your list of features and rank how important each feature is to each of your target groups from most important to least important, then apply the corresponding benefit. This will tell you which benefits you’ll want to communicate to each segment.

Target Story Arc

Everyone of your potential customers – whether B2B or B2C – follows the same, simple “story arc”. Seeing the story from your customer’s perspective, not your own, is the key to connecting with them.

To do this, fill in the brackets in the sentences in the graphic. This is a great tool to help you understand your customer’s story and target your message accordingly.

In this way, you see the story from your target’s eyes, not your own.

Target awareness level

Now that you understand your target and what he or she wants, you need to understand what the target’s awareness level is in relation to the problem he or she faces and the solution, including your solution, available.

To help you with this, we have the awareness funnel. This shows how aware a target is of the desire, the problem, the solution, the product category, your brand or what else you offer.

Take a look at this funnel. Once again, you’ll want to fill in the parts in brackets.

On the left in the bubbles you see the core question the customer is asking at each stage of awareness. On the right, you have the general strategy for each step. I’ll go through it with you.

  • What do I want? Here the target has a desire, but doesn’t know or understand that problems that stand in the way of achieving that desire. The target is confused here, so your job is to show the target how overcoming the problem will help he or she achieve the desire.

  • What’s in my way? Here the target understands the problem or obstacle standing in the way of his or her desire, but doesn’t know the solution yet. The target is feeling frustrated, so here your job is to bring clarity by educating them on the solutions available, including, of course, your own solution. For most businesses, this is the category a lot of your targets will be in.

  • How do I overcome it? At this stage, the target understands what the solution to the problem is and is looking for someone or something to help him or her. In other words, they’re looking for direction. Your job here is to provide that direction and show the target how your product category will solve their problem. Once again, a lot of customers are in this category.

  • Who will help me? Here the target knows the solution and is comparing products or service providers. They’re feeling motivated, so here your job here is to show the target why your brand is the best option for them. If, for example, you’re selling on Amazon, this will be the big bulk of your targets, so this is where your positioning and differentiation, which we’ll talk about in a later lecture, will become essential.

  • What do I do next? At this stage, the target is ready to take action and wants to know where to click, what number to call or whatever you want them to do. This should be as easy and frictionless as possible. They want to buy!

  • How else can you help me? This is a loyal customer who is looking for other solutions from you. This is the customer you love, love, love. Keep them happy.

Once you’ve completed the funnel, you’ll be able to define where the bulk of your customers are and build your marketing accordingly.

Next, we’ll be looking at competition.

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