Brand Positioning: Targeting the Right Audience in a Global Market

In today’s competitive marketplace, the brand is everything. You can reach customers anywhere in the world thanks to the internet and online purchasing. But that means so can your competitors. Branding and brand positioning is the weapon you need to wield in your quest for global customers and recurring revenue.  

It’s your brand that sets you apart from competitors with similar offerings. If you can nail down your branding and target the right audience, you can more effectively reach global audiences.

If you’re ready to get started with a customized marketing strategy to take your brand global, get in touch with us today for a free consultation.

This blog will break down how to segment and target your audience and use that knowledge for successful global brand positioning.

Why targeting the global market is essential.

Many new entrepreneurs think their offerings are for everyone when they launch their businesses. But if you try to market your products to everyone, you’ll sell to no one. Specificity in marketing is essential for drawing people into the sales funnel, converting them, and turning those initial conversions into recurring revenue.

For starters, targeting the right audience for a global brand makes marketing easier. You’ll have far less work to do if you’re specific and intentional with your targeting. Also, narrowing your scope helps you adequately inform and educate your ideal customers about how your offerings will improve their lives.

This is where targeting, segmenting, and global brand positioning strategy rubber meets the road.

The STP method

The STP method stands for segmentation, targeting, and positioning. With this method, your ideal customer becomes the focal point of your marketing efforts and how you communicate your value.

By using STP strategies, you can deliver relevant, personalized messages to your ideal customer. In addition, the STP method makes it much easier for you to craft effective marketing campaigns and messages, saving you time, money, and effort in the process.

Main benefits of using the STP method:

  • Uncovers niche markets — The STP method can reveal new gaps in the market you can exploit. Or expose entirely new audiences to target.
  • Better target customer definition — With the STP strategy, you can take a sizable, amorphous audience and more accurately define how your products relate to specific target customer segments within that larger audience.
  • More relevant messaging — By using this method, you’ll better understand how to position your offerings and communicate their value, grabbing the attention of highly specific target audience segments.

Let’s look at how each prong of the STP method works and how you can implement this strategy for better global brand positioning.

Segmentation Methods

Through the process of segmentation, you’re dividing a large target audience into smaller customer groups based on a set of particular characteristics. Segmenting makes it much easier to craft effective messaging around your offering’s features and benefits that are most relevant to a smaller audience group’s specific needs, goals, and pain points, and how your offering can help.

While this may sound similar to defining buyer personas for your brand, it is not the same thing. Buyer personas are fictitious customer avatars that represent a significant customer group.

In contrast, segmenting enables you to split your target audience into much smaller groups that you can target with unique messaging explicitly crafted to their needs. The bottom line is, segments are not profiles or avatars — unlike buyer personas.

In most cases, audience segments are based on the following traits:

  • Lifestyle traits — leisure activities, hobbies, entertainment preferences
  • Behaviors — shopping habits, marketing channel preferences, brand loyalty
  • Demographics — age, gender, location, education, employment status, job title
  • Psychographics — beliefs, values, personality traits, priorities

Based on these criteria, the large target audience is split up, or segmented, into smaller groups.

Here’s an example of how segments would look for a mid-market jewelry brand:

  • Segment A — High-income earners between 30 and 55 who work overtime and prefer minimalist, neutral, professional pieces worn every day at the office or home.
  • Segment B — Middle-income earners between the ages of 30 and 55 who prefer bolder statement pieces for going out.
  • Segment C — Young people just starting their careers who are lower-income and prefer more affordable pieces and brighter colors.

As you can see, segmenting your audience into smaller groups with specific interests makes it much easier for you to craft messages that will most resonate with them.

So, you've got your segments. What’s next? It’s time to target those segments for increased conversions.

Targeting Segments

You’ve got to protect your bottom line and your marketing budget. So the first thing you want to do when you’re ready for the targeting phase of the STP method is to determine which segment will be worth your while to target first.

Narrow it down by asking yourself these questions:

  • Does the segment have a big enough audience to justify the money spent targeting them?
  • If the segment were to convert, would it generate enough revenue?
  • Is the segment adequately different from the others to justify the costs of a targeted campaign?
  • Can all your marketing and sales team members access the segment you wish to target?
  • Will the business be able to serve the segment effectively?
  • Are there any significant barriers (social, physical, legal, technological, etc.) that could stand in the way of serving the segment?

We want to stress that it takes quite a bit of legwork to target an audience segment successfully. If you’ve uncovered multiple audience segments, it’s okay to start with targeting just one of them. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin and waste money playing whack-a-mole with your marketing.

Pro tip:

It’s a good idea to cut your teeth on one segment and use the experience to become proficient at the targeting process. That way, you can replicate a successful targeting process for other audience segments in the future. Being strategic ensures that you’re being as efficient as possible. It also makes it more likely that you'll get a healthy ROI for your efforts.

Let’s take our jewelry brand example from earlier:  

Segment A is the majority of the company’s market, and it’s also the segment with the highest average income. Therefore, targeting segment A first would likely give the company the greatest ROI.

Since these customers would most likely give the brand a higher average order value, there’s also more wiggle room for mistakes. And any mistakes made won't jeopardize the company’s bottom line.

Once you’ve chosen a segment to target, the next step would be positioning your brand for a global market.

Why is positioning so important when going global?

It’s far too easy to get overwhelmed when entering a global market. What language do you choose? Which specific market segment should you target? And on and on.

A significant time and money investment are needed to translate your brand to a global market and localize a product for a successful launch. But if the audience doesn’t have the resources to convert or prefers a local competitor, your efforts might be wasted.

Strategic brand positioning for targeting global market segments is critical for protecting your bottom line. With the final phase of the STP method, you’ve got the tools needed to realistically uncover how your offerings will fit into the existing competitive landscape and how you can capitalize on opportunities in a global market.

Brand Positioning

The first step in positioning your product for a targeted segment is brainstorming how the people in the group would view your offering. Put yourself in their shoes and look at things from their perspective:

  • Would you choose your product or service over a competitor? Why or why not?
  • What features or benefits does your offering have to help it stand out to that specific segment?
  • How will your brand meet the customer's needs and solve the problems you’ve identified?
  • What results will your customer get when they choose your product?
  • What makes your company unique, and why should that matter for the target segment?

When you understand what the target segment finds most important and where top competitors meet their needs (or don’t), you can identify opportunities for your brand. Additionally, you can craft your marketing messages to fit the target segment's needs best.

Brand positioning and targeting audiences in a global market: Key takeaways

Regardless of your industry, the STP method is an excellent way to take your marketing to the next level. With strategic segmentation and targeting, you can craft much more effective marketing messages that are highly tailored and specific to audience segments, thus giving you a greater chance of conversions and a healthy ROI.

Plus, segmenting and targeting your audience helps you create more granular buyer personas, sharper snapshots of the different stages of the customer lifecycle, and more airtight brand positioning for a global market.

Are you ready to get started with a bespoke marketing plan that speaks to your target audience across the globe? Contact us today, and let’s schedule a convenient time to talk.