Companies have traditionally created products with a primary target audience in mind. However, as technology opens up new markets and inclusion continues to be a growing CSR initiative, it’s important for businesses to consider a larger, multi-dimensional audience.
If you’re trying to expand your product into a new industry, here are a few tactics to consider.
1. Define Your New Audience
For many products, the target audience naturally presents itself. A manufacturer of luxury cars will market to affluent individuals. A tech company that creates workflow tools will target professionals and businesses.
When a brand decides to expand its target audience, though, they often need to do so deliberately. This is due to the fact that, while they may see potential, their new audience may not connect those dots on their own.
That’s why it’s important to clearly define a new target audience when expanding into an industry. Why will your new audience want the product? What need does it meet for them?
A good example of this concept in action is Laundry Sauce. The luxury detergent company creates premium washing machine pods for an elevated laundry experience. While detergent is something everyone needs, the company has been deliberate in weaving the luxury message into its products, branding, and even its packaging from day one. This has ensured that its target audience can see the need that its products fill.
2. Don’t Expand Too Rapidly
When you decide to pursue a new industry with your products, it can be an open-ended affair. Often, a product can have utility in a lot of different settings. A software company that creates communication tools for businesses might want to pursue consumers — but that can be a very large target audience.
It’s important to define your current goals clearly to avoid overextending your growth efforts. Uber provided a good example of this when it expanded into the food delivery sector a couple of years ago. The company’s proprietary software was ideal for connecting riders with drivers. It took a simple reworking to reallocate the software’s potential to help deliver food to hungry customers, as well.
However, Uber was smart enough not to go further at the moment. It could have started delivering all sorts of purchases, USPS style. But it restrained its growth strategy to ensure that it could find sustainable success and consumer buy-in within its new market.
3. Offer Incentives
You may have a proven product that you know answers the needs of your current customers. But that doesn’t mean another group will recognize its inherent value.
With that in mind, you may need to find a promotional element or incentive to attract your new target demographic to your product or service. Walmart has been doing this through its online and pickup services for several years now.
The retailer wanted to pursue the business of online shoppers and those who don’t want to conduct their shopping in a physical store. It accomplished some of these objectives with Walmart.com. In concert with the exclusive e-commerce initiative, the company also launched its curbside store pickup program where orders could be placed online and then brought out to a vehicle outside of the actual store.
Walmart.com orders only ship free if they are above a certain threshold or the customer is a Walmart+ member. However, curbside pickups are always free, incentivizing customers to try the service.
From defining your audience to strategic growth to offering incentives, there are many ways to expand your product into a new industry. This can help a brand’s image and increase profits making it well worth the effort — when done correctly.