How closely should my business focus on a single demographic?

How much work should I put into focusing on a certain type of customer?


Do I need to work out the exact demographics of those that buy from me the most and pitch only to them, or keep it as wide as possible?


This is such a good question and one that I’m faced with often. There are many ways to define your business opportunity, and what consumer you should be focusing on.


Your business could, for example, target:

  • A particular type of consumer (men aged 18 to 25).
  • A motivation (all men who have a desire to stand out).
  • A particular time of day (all men who want to have a break at 5pm).
  • People by where they live (all men who live in inner city suburbs).
  • People by what they do (all men who drink our competitor’s product).

I’ve just outlined the five W’s you should consider when thinking of who your target community is: Who, Why, When, Where, What.


The answer for what to do will lie in (a) good segmentation, and (b) being very clear on whose behaviour you are going to change, and how you are going to do it.


The only other thing I’d like to add to this evasive answer is don’t confuse your positioning target with your communications target.


The former is a tight positioning on a tight audience, as tight as can be.


The communications audience can be much broader, as long as you are clear on your brands proposition.


For example, the iPhone probably is positioned against at a young inner city hipster, yet everyone buys into that proposition.


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