Graphic Design Portfolio

The Importance of Targeting Different Audience Demographics

In my previous post, I started talking a bit about understanding and targeting different demographics and considering various audiences a company may want to market to. This post is a little more on that topic, and uses TOMS shoes as an example.

By implementing shoes that represent musical artists, the teenage demographic would be sure to love them. — Classmate

I think this is a great point about TOMS shoes. I think it is important to consider our audiences when designing and take into account the different things that interest them or might attract them to the company or product.

I think that each company targets a different style or social demographic, but any truly successful company seeks to include various age demographics in their product marketing. Even children’s toys consider the adult demographic when creating their brand and promotional materials in order to prompt purchasing by those parents. Children’s toys therefore often include some educational or developmental value in order to consider what their secondary target audience wants (although it may be their primary target audience, as adults are the ones with purchasing power).

Therefore, when considering a brand or design, I think we should take into consideration all the different demographics that are targeted by the company, to determine what expectations they might bring to the company. As the oft-quoted line says, “The customer is always right” so then we should put our customers and audiences first when considering how to implement a new design. Regardless of what we as designers think, or the higher-ups of the company think, if our audiences don’t connect with the brand or message we are trying to convey, then our designs will fall flat of their marks.

This audience attention is important enough in trying to maintain and increase a company’s market share in a certain demographic, but it is much more important in trying to draw in an entirely new demographic. Each audience has different needs and expectations, so different product lines under a large brand can effectively target each demographic. Therefore, in the case of TOMS shoes as mentioned above, adding music artists to shoes may effectively target the teenage demographic. And as TOMS shoes donates a pair of shoes for every pair purchased, TOMS may also effectively target the “social activist” personality types. With a few more great ideas, TOMS could effectively cover all their audience bases, and then it is up to the designer to create a cohesive, united brand under which all of them may be marketed.

What about you?

Do you know about TOMS shoes? Do you like what they do? Are they effectively targeting their audiences? What about other companies, or other marketing strategies? Any insights?

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