An effective marketing strategy to attract customers is something that is necessary in every industry, from CPG brands to restaurants to major retailers. Effective marketing strategies allow brands to adjust with the times, reach new markets, and get consumers to interact with the brand. By focusing on parts of the market which may be underserved, adjusting campaigns to reach those consumers, and then actively working to engage them, brands can attract new customers and build market share.
Knowing what your competition is doing is important, but knowing what they aren’t doing is even more important. When a brand is trying to reach consumers of a product in a highly competitive market—whether they’re a CPG conglomerate or a small challenger brand—they must find a way to stand out. Even if the product itself isn’t niche, the brand can be positioned as niche.
One effective marketing strategy to attract new customers doesn’t focus on reaching highly competitive, almost drained consumer pools. Instead, the campaign might focus on helping brands find new consumer markets, adjust strategies to reach these markets, and engage these markets in a way that kick-starts the path to purchase.
Marketing Strategy #1: Reconsider Your Target Demographic
Sometimes, there’s very little growth potential in an existing market; brands that want to compete must carve out a segment within that market. One brand that successfully utilized this strategy is California-based ice cream brand Coolhaus.
When Coolhaus recognized that the traditional ice cream market aimed at children was oversaturated, they decided to instead focus on an adult market with more sophisticated palates. The brand markets itself as gourmet, locally sourced, and sustainable, and thereby reaches its target demographic on multiple fronts. It features grown-up flavors like Street Cart Churro Dough—a mixture of brown butter ice cream and churro dough—and Farmer’s Market Strawberry Cheesecake, which offers a grown-up twist on a traditional flavor with mascarpone and cream cheese ice cream.
This new approach to traditional favorites has resonated with fans, and the company has grown from a start-up brand with a cult following to a product represented at 6,000 retailers nationwide.
Coolhaus used three key strategies in accomplishing this incredible growth:
- Carve out a segment within a large market: Coolhaus chose to market not to children, but instead to the highly desirable adult demographic. Then, by focusing on what’s important to those customers—including natural foods, sustainability, new experiences, and sophisticated flavors—Coolhaus rapidly developed a customer base.
- Leverage purpose-driven marketing: Purpose-driven marketing doesn’t focus exclusively on product but instead on connecting with society. Purpose-driven marketing is a way for brands to align themselves with target markets by supporting the causes important to them. Coolhaus manages this through its sustainability initiatives, making a point of only working with suppliers who follow sustainable practices. Sustainable sourcing also helps them achieve a secondary objective of supporting local businesses, which further helps them build a community connection.
- Take a unique approach: One of Coolhaus’s key principles isn’t just to serve ice cream but to serve it in a way that inspires an interest in architecture. Company co-founder Natasha Case refers to this as “Farchitecture,” or Food + Architecture. Specifically, the brand’s flavors are built around the idea of design creating perfect combinations to enhance the eating experience. It’s a philosophy intended to drive awareness to the design field with food.
Using these strategies, Coolhaus was able to carve out a place for itself in a market that was traditionally designed focused on a different consumer. While Coolhaus is a young brand, this is a strategy that even major, established brands are embracing.
Marketing Strategy #2: Use New Technology to Revamp a Traditional Brand
If your target demographic has changed due to trends, attrition or other reasons, then it’s time to change your marketing, as well. Many companies focus on one market segment for so long that they become synonymous with that segment. Consider Fruit of the Loom’s casual approach. By focusing on the comfort of its product, the brand was long able to control significant market share.
When the brand wanted to reach a younger market, they had to shift their focus and look to something that goes hand in hand with comfort: convenience. The brand rolled out a subscription-based program in November called Fruit to Your Door. Essentially, customers could buy a six-pack of underwear and then, six months later, receive an automatic reorder at a 30% discount. The program could also be e-gifted, which worked well in servicing households where the woman acts as the primary buyer. As Bryse Yonts, a spokesman for Fruit of the Loom stated, “you might see a lot of moms doing this for their kids in college.”
Fruit of the Loom’s marketing strategy for the program takes several brilliant approaches to gain the attention of younger, tech-savvy consumers while still connecting with parents:
- Provides a digital experience: The Fruit to Your Door program is entirely web-based and is run through a separate website from Fruit of the Loom’s main site. There’s a wide selection of both men and women’s undergarments as well as options for one-time purchases or subscription programs that repeat as often as the consumer desires.
- Delivers convenience: Consumers won’t have to worry about buying new underwear as the subscription plan eliminates the need. They sign up for auto delivery, then every 1 to 12 months receive a new delivery of the last item purchased.
- Makes it multi-generational: While, as Yonts says, it’s easy to see where a parent could use this to make sure they’re getting the necessities for their child, the product can also be targeted to different generations. The subscription service appeals to both young people and the large demographic of older individuals approaching their empty nest years who still want to take care of their kids as they’re off at college.
With this program, Fruit of the Loom is able to market to both the busy millennial and the parent sending their child off to college for the first time. Instead of a product, it has become a service, delivering convenience on top of comfort. This subscription-based method is a way of proactively encouraging loyalty through digital interaction.
Marketing Strategy #3: To Attract Customers, Build on Interactive Marketing
Interactive marketing starts a conversation between a brand and a consumer. This type of marketing is frequently seen in retail rewards apps, a form of mobile app marketing where consumers receive rewards for certain purchase path behaviors, whether they’re discovering a product or buying it for the tenth time.
Many shopping apps use gamification as a strategy in reaching consumers. By using location-based marketing, brands can even connect with consumers as they’re in the shopping aisle. This improves the likelihood of purchase by incentivizing the sale, a strategy Shopkick uses to connect brands with consumers via its mobile shopping app.
By using location-based marketing, brands can even connect with consumers as they’re in the shopping aisle.
In addition to narrowing your targeting, these three marketing strategies are part of a process that ushers consumers through the sales funnel. The brand can look to new markets, adjust their campaigns to reach these markets, and engage with the consumers in real time using mobile marketing. These strategies help guide the customer through the purchase path by opening communication with the brand and inspiring brand affinity, which brands can use to expand their market share.
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