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Determining the Who, What, and Why Before New Product Development

Defining Your Target Market & Brand Philosophy

Developing your brand’s philosophy and defining your target market are some of the most important aspects of new product development. Whether you are a novice or intermediate beautypreneur, I want you to ask yourself these five questions.

  1. Why does (or will) my brand exist?

  2. Is this product in demand?

  3. Who is this product aimed at?

  4. What makes this product different from what’s already out there in the marketplace?

  5. What problem do I aim to solve with this product?

Your primary customer base is your target market. They are the consumers you believe are most suited for the product(s) you offer and whose views align with your brand's philosophy. A brand’s philosophy is centered around the ideas that govern your brand's ethics, objectives, and vision. For example, if your primary motive is to combat animal cruelty, you would target vegans or those who exclusively buy plant-based items as your target market to align with that objective. Understanding your brand's philosophy and target market makes the product development process so much easier, as it helps you select the right ingredients for your formulation(s).

How to Define Your Target Market

Analyzing your competition is one of the first steps in identifying your target market. Research established brands, whether they are indie or mainstream, and pay attention to who their products are for, as well as the story they tell. Leverage this information to identify similar niches that can help you determine the core of your consumer base. If you own an existing brand, analyze your current customers, and determine their needs and/or wants. You can do this by asking for feedback via surveys or quizzes to gain their insight.

Creating customer profiles and market segments is another great way of defining your target market. Market segmentation refers to the process of categorizing a group based on factors such as demographics and psychographics. Demographics define basic attributes such as income, age, race, gender, etc. Psychographics provides a more in-depth view into who your consumers are as individuals, like their values, personality, and lifestyle. When conducting a thorough analysis of your target market, it is essential to investigate both demographics and psychographics.

Target Market Examples:

  • High income earning women with dry skin

  • Low to moderate income vegans who prefer plant-based, naturally derived products

  • Men and women in their 20s with dry, curly, and kinky 3A–4C hair types

How To Develop Your Brand’s Philosophy

To build your brand's philosophy, consider first making it abundantly clear who you are. This influences your target market's perception and allows them to understand the purpose behind your brand. It also provides a distinct selling point and creates a unique marketing story. When considering the purpose of your brand, you should determine what promises you aim to keep. These promises serve as emotional hooks to entice customers and transform them into loyal supporters.

Once you’ve determined your brand’s purpose, your next focal point should be your brand’s identity. Your brand’s identity is defined by the visual aspects that support and symbolize your purpose. This includes colors, packaging, a logo, and typography. Lastly, one of, if not the most, important aspects of composing a brand’s philosophy is differentiation. With an increasing number of emerging brands, it is critical to distinguish your brand from competitors. What makes your body butter so great? Why should we buy from you and not your competitors? Being able to answer these questions confidently puts you ahead of the curve.

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