When building a brand, there are many factors to consider — market demand for products or services, graphic design, and your own business personality matter. There are also other factors that may not immediately come to mind to an entrepreneur but hold just as much significance in making a splash with one’s brand. Diving into your target market’s psyches, emotions, and complexities — called psychographics — can elevate a brand from simply another startup business venture to something people connect with fully.
What is Psychographics?
What if, as a business, you could gain a deep understanding of your customer — their persona, values, opinions, and lifestyles? When brand building, going beyond the basic demographic information can be exceedingly valuable in genuinely engaging with your target audience and elevating your brand. Psychographics is a qualitative methodology that deeply dives into customers’ true desires, goals, and interests and applies them to how they brand and market the business.
Suppose a business is just getting started and applying all of the standard branding techniques through hashtags. If calls to action or demographic research are not finding traction, using psychographics may be precisely what the business needs to get the attention of the right people.
Businesses can get a much better picture of consumers’ purchasing and engagement habits through psychographics. When used along with other branding techniques, a complete view of one’s ideal customer begins to emerge.
Using Demographics to Get to Psychographics
Demographics tell us who our customer is: age, sex, race, location, and other informative basics. This information is wildly useful when building a brand and attempting to get a business off the ground. You cannot possibly be everything to everyone. There is the perfect person out there for your venture. Using demographic research is a great way to narrow the field of potential customers.
Once one’s demographic information is well in hand, one must dive deeper to find the meat behind psychographics. You may find that your ideal customers for your product or service are women between the ages of 18 and 35. But what do they value? What feelings do they have towards ideal lifestyles? Psychographics go far beyond simple market segmentation, narrowing your market to the point where they cannot ignore what you offer. It is exactly what they value, love, and respect.
Examples of psychographics include social class, beliefs, interests, and habits. This may seem like a massive list of possible traits to find in a customer, but narrowing these traits can be well worth the extra effort. Here are some ways that psychographics can be used within branding:
Personality: Everyone has their own unique personality, but some personality characteristics can be shared within groups. Perhaps your brand is very extroverted, bubbly, and injected with humor. People with more outgoing personalities will be more likely to be attracted to your branding if you include some of that within your social media posts, design, or other marketing.
Social Class: While most places are no longer broken up into actual social caste systems, a hierarchy of social classes still exists. They each have their own behaviors, beliefs, and approaches to life. Whether they know it or not, people can make purchase decisions based on these social class norms.
Habits: Habits can be positive or negative, but marketers can use them, either way, to appeal to a target market. Because habits are often well-ingrained and not easy to break, they are a way to gain loyal customers. Think about your daily run to the coffee shop for that shot of caffeine in your favorite frappe. The marketing behind that shop can definitely appeal to more customers by tapping into the psychology behind that caffeine habit.
Beliefs: People hold their beliefs close, and companies that align with people’s firm beliefs are likely to attract loyal followers. Many companies have been open about their particular beliefs, whether religious, political, or otherwise, and this has gained them exactly the market they were after.
Suppose you own a vegan skincare company. You have discovered through demographic research that your ideal customer is female or identifies as such, aged 25 to 50, and has a household income over $75,000. With psychographic research, you can further narrow this demographic of your perfect customer. Women interested in sustainability or health-conscious lifestyles would be more likely to gravitate toward vegan products. Women who are concerned about their appearance or have disposable income that they will spend on self-care are also more likely to engage with your brand.
Applying psychographics can help when you are taking to social media to attempt market engagement. How you do this can vary, but it can open up your brand to an audience more apt to buy your product or request your services. Businesses can apply much better marketing to their advertisements, social media posts, and brand design when they truly know their consumers. Psychographics help brands understand their audience and speak directly to them and who they are.
Hollie Boodram is a public relations account strategist and manager at Otter PR who oversees multiple account executives and all their client accounts as a supervisor.