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Your audience


Year 1

The following presentation takes a look at the idea of the target audience. What is a target audience? Why are they important and fundamental to you as a designer? Why it is important to understand who you are talking to when working to a brief. It is designed as a broad introduction to the idea of social groupings, stereotypes, demographics, categorization, the market and consumer behaviour patterns.

The NRS social grades A system of demographic classification used in the United Kingdom. They were originally developed by the National Readership Survey to classify readers, but are now used by many other organisations for wider applications and have become a standard for market research. They were developed over 50 years ago and achieved widespread usage in 20th Century Britain. Their definition is now maintained by the Market Research Society. The distinguishing feature of social grade is that it is based on occupation.

A target audience In marketing and advertising, a target audience, is a specific group of people within the target market at which a product or the marketing message of a product is aimed at. For example, if a company sells new diet programs for men with heart disease problems (target market) the communication may be aimed at the spouse (target audience) who takes care of the nutrition plan of her husband and child. A target audience can consist of people of a certain age group, gender or marital status, they could be teenagers, females, single people or in a same sex marrage.......they are many and varied. Discovering the appropriate target market(s)and determining the target audience is one of the most important activities in marketing management. It is also something you as a designer will have to consider when responding to a brief. The biggest mistake it's possible to make in targeting is trying to reach everybody and ending up appealing to no-one.

So how do you define a target audience?

Supermarkets - A case study of three different consumer audiences

Their outward appearence - the shop face

Their interior appearence - the customer experience

Their produce - the look and feel of their packaging

The customers

Heston Blumenthal & Delia Smith

Their celebrity endorsments

Ant & Dec

Kerry Katona

Waitrose twitter campaign goes slightly wrong

Newspapers can reflect a readerships political persuasions and leanings

What radio stations you listen can define you

What you drive can define you

Your musical tastes can define you

What you drink can define you

What you watch defines you

What you are read defines you

Even your dog can define you.....or is it the other way round?

stereotype - noun 1 a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing: the stereotype of the woman as the carer | sexual and racial stereotypes. • a person or thing that conforms to such an image: don’t treat anyone as a stereotype. 2 a relief printing plate cast in a mould made from composed type or an original plate. verb [ with obj. ] view or represent as a stereotype: the city is too easily stereotyped as an industrial wasteland. DERIVATIVES stereotypic |adjective, stereotypical |adjective, stereotypically |adverb ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from French stéréotype (adjective).

What technology you use defines you

“Get a Mac” Campaign In 2006, Apple released a series of twenty-four “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” advertisements as part of their “Get a Mac” campaign. The ad campaign cleverly used two broad sterotypes to personify a PC and a Mac. David Mitchell was cast as a somewhat nerdy, awkward and officious character. While Robert web was a smooth, casual and laid back character.

Silver surfer Refers to the population of individuals over the age of 50 who utilize the internet on a consistent basis.

The number of older users has increased dramatically over the past several years due to their being more accustomed to the technology. It has been determined that this segment of the population now uses the internet on average four hours more per month than the age group 18-24. Research shows that the silver surfers are spending a majority of their time using search engines and online shopping sites. Other sources indicate that this growing trend among the older population is due to the increase in use of social networking sites to stay in touch with family members or close friends that live far away. Studies point to Skype, Facebook, email, and instant messaging are all highlighted as commonly used, mainly because the means for communicating have become more available and even free. While the rise in internet use among the younger population has led to fears of isolation, it is argued that the increase in use for the older population has done the exact opposite.

White van man A stereotype found in the United Kingdom of the driving of smaller-sized commercial vans, perceived as selfish, inconsiderate, mostly working class and aggressive. According to this stereotype, the “white van man� is an independent tradesperson, such as a plumber or locksmith, self-employed, or running a small enterprise,for whom driving a commercial vehicle is not the main line of business, as it is for a professional freight-driver.

Cougar A slang term that refers to a woman who seeks sexual relations with considerably younger men. It typically refers to women aged 30–40 years old. The New York Times states that the women are over the age of 40 and aggressively pursue sexual relations with men in their twenties or thirties. The origin of the word cougar as a slang term is debated, but it is thought to have originated in Western Canada in 2003 and first appeared in print on the Canadian dating website It has also been stated to have been used as a put-down for older women who would go to bars and go home with whoever was left at the end of the night. The Graduate (1967) demonstrates that the concept is older than the term. As in the film a middle-aged married mother Mrs Robinson pursues a much younger man.

Exactitudes Photographer Ari Versluis and profiler Ellie Uyttenbroek have worked together since October 1994. Inspired by a shared interest in the striking dress codes of various social groups, they have systematically documented numerous identities over the last 19 years. Rotterdam’s heterogeneous, multicultural street scene remains a major source of inspiration for Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek, although since 1998 they have also worked in many cities abroad. They call their series Exactitudes: a contraction of exact and attitude. By registering their subjects in an identical framework, with similar poses and a strictly observed dress code, Versluis and Uyttenbroek provide an almost scientific, anthropological record of people’s attempts to distinguish themselves from others by assuming a group identity. The apparent contradiction between individuality and uniformity is, however, taken to such extremes in their arresting objective-looking photographic viewpoint and stylistic analysis that the artistic aspect clearly dominates the purely documentary element. The Guardian TV advertisement above challenges a stereotype and effectively twists the viewers assumptions about that great effect as we realise, we should always look at every angle of the story. The Guardian: Points Of View Agency: The Boase Massimi Pollitt Partnership

Extracted from a presentation courtesy of Mike Rigby

Burburry When a Brand is hi-jacked by a different demographic

Burburry - as a heritage brand

A Short History Burberry was founded in 1856 when 21-year-old Thomas Burberry, a former draper’s apprentice, opened his own store in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. By 1870, the business had established itself by focusing on the development of outdoors attire. In 1880, Burberry introduced in his brand the gabardine, a hard-wearing, water-resistant yet breathable fabric, in which the yarn is waterproofed before weaving. Over the intervening years The Burberry Group was to become a British luxury fashion house, distributing clothing and fashion accessories and licensing fragrances. Its distinctive tartan pattern has become one of its most widely copied trademarks. Burberry is most famous for its trench coat, which was designed by founder Thomas Burberry. The company has branded stores and franchises around the world and also sells through concessions in third-party stores. Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales have granted the company Royal Warrants. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

In social histories of Britain, 2004 may well go down as the year of the chavs. This newly identified underclass, they will report, was young, white, under-educated and apparently jobless. Male chavs wore Reebok trainers, baseball caps and masses of cheap gold jewellery while the chavettes sported massive 9-carat hoops on their ears and scraped-back hair. Above all, they became identified with one designer label: Burberry. The sub culture adopted the luxury brand as their trademark feature. The iconic Burberry tartan soon lost all its prestigious status as more and more chavs began to wear clothing with the tartan displayed. As a result of this Burberry went through a major rebranding to distance themselves from the chavs which had adopted their label as their hallmark.

Collecting data

Some traditional forms of ‘analogue’ market research & collecting data Surveys - Focus groups - Questionnaires In the past there was more emphasis on marketing agencies actively going out to collect this information ....... now comes to them, instantly, alot of it free and in huge quantities


Now your consumers will tell you everything you need to know about them. if you just know where to look. The answer, of course, is everywhere. Then you just need to put the data together. All of it.

Market research has traditionally had its fair share of compartmentalization -- separating consumer insight data from consumer behaviour from consumer attitude...and so on. But, as McKinsey & Co. has pointed out in a recent white paper called Winning the Research Revolution, a customer life-cycle management (CLM) mindset, which focuses on testing consumer responses and consumer behaviour, doesn’t paint a complete picture of what makes a consumer tick. The CLM process can be slow and doesn’t have the capacity to keep up with the data integration that is happening on every channel. McKinsey & Co. suggest that companies can be a part of the research revolution by paying attention in four areas: 1. Leverage the Internet to rapidly obtain details about consumers 2. Keep the limitations of focus groups in mind 3. Learn how people shop 4. Link consumer attitudinal and behavioural data. The industry has pretty much moved beyond the first two of these recommendations -- that is how fast things are moving. Information about consumers is being gleaned from the media faster than market researchers can get it all catalogued and analysed. The Conversation Prism is a good example of an heroic effort to manage and understand the voluminous inflow of information from social networks. And the fact that market researchers are now conducting focus groups in virtual worlds like Second Life is a strong indicator that they long ago figured out the constraints imposed by conventional ways of implementing focus groups.

Today a huge amount of the population are whittingly or unwittingly offering up huge amounts of data,via multiple channels, on their day to day behaviour. This can be easily accessed at an ever increasing speed by corporate marketing, advertising and design agencies who extrapolate and rationalise the data in order to target, with ever increasing accuracy, products and services back to you the consumer. To what extent is this a good/bad thing.........


The Target Audience  

An introduction to the concept of a target audience. Designed as a primer for further in depth research into what constitutes a target audie...

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