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Branding 101: Why You NEED a Target Audience to Be Successful on Your Shopify Store

March 15, 2021 4 min read

So you finally did it. You built the store you always wanted. 

You bought the inventory, you set up logistics, and everything is running smooth! There’s just one big problem; you’re having trouble selling your products.

You’re not sure what’s happening. You wholeheartedly believe in your vision, products and you’re pretty sure you’ve done everything right, yet nothing’s changing. 

What if I asked you this:

Who is your target audience?

Would you know the answer? 

The truth is, for any business to truly be successful, you need to know your audience. Having a vague idea of your target audience will make selling a lot more complicated, and not just that; it’s going to cost you more money.

In this week’s blog post, I’m sharing why you need to define your target audience in the early stages of your business. I’ll also provide an easy exercise to get you started.

What Is a Target Audience?

A target audience is essentially anyone interested in your product and has shared similarities like demographics, behaviors, socioeconomic status, and more. 

These are the people who will benefit the most from your products or services and want to recommend your business to others. 

With any target audience, you want to make sure that you’re getting as specific as possible. If you can manage to target a small niche (a small subgroup of a larger target audience), you’ll have an even easier time generating revenue.

Why’s that? Well, let’s take the example of a clothing store that offers bohemian fashion. The store has a variety of products including shirts, pants, accessories, shoes, and more. As a store owner yourself, you probably already know countless stores that target this market. But, what about the store that sells sustainable boho fashion? I’m sure you know less of those. And the store that sells sustainable fashion that’s also a Certified B Corporation? There’s even less of those.

It’s pretty straightforward: Making your target audience as niche as possible will attract an audience that wants to buy your products. 

How to Determine Your Target Audience?

Here comes the fun part. This can take quite some time to figure out. If you have other decision-makers on your team, I highly suggest coming together and sitting down for this process so that you can nail down your target audience collectively. 

To determine your target audience, you’ll need to create a customer persona. This is a detailed description of a fictional person who would embody the characteristics of your ideal customer.

Although you can use several characteristics, I typically focus on:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, marital status, occupation, annual income, level of education, etc.
  • Goals: What are the goals and values of your ideal customer?
  • Challenges & Pain Points: What challenges or pain points does your ideal customer have that can be solved by your product or service?
  • Objections to Purchasing: Why would your ideal customer choose not to buy your product or service?
  • Role in Purchase Process: Is this customer the primary decision maker or are they a decision influencer?

Here is an example:

What Now? Develop Your Brand Voice!

Once you’ve honed in on your target audience by drafting a customer persona, you can now build a specific tone, style, and language to speak to your ideal customer. 

Will your brand come across as caring? Inspiring? Enthusiastic? Candid? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what they value and how they want to be spoken to. Is there specific jargon that might be appropriate here? Are there specific words you want to avoid? 

However you decide to speak to your customers, remember to be consistent. This means that your brand voice should be translated to your online store AND off-site like on social media, guest blog posts, podcasts, and more. Consistent messaging will make your brand as easily identifiable and reliable.  

Remember that this brand voice doesn’t end with you. As your business continues to grow, you might begin to outsource some of your content to copywriters or content creators. They must understand your brand voice so that they can represent your brand correctly. There is nothing worse than a disconnected tone. It will make shoppers extremely hesitant to buy into your brand and impact your success.

Re-Assess Your Target Audience

As your business will evolve, so will your target audience. There will eventually be new competitors that will force you to pivot in your brand messaging or product offering.

When that happens, return to your customer persona, brand tone, and brand voice. A successful business will learn to adapt to its target audience’s needs, even if that requires a change in messaging.

I hope you found this post helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to DM me on Instagram. If you’re also looking for help with brand strategy or customer personas, feel free to check out our brand storytelling services here.