Nine Design Strategies to Inspire Sustainable Profits | Part Thirteen

March 8, 2019

Nine Design Strategies to Inspire Sustainable Profits | Part Thirteen


Traditional brand and marketing strategies have tended over the years to view customers through the lens of traditional demographic variables such as age, gender, ethnicity and income. Unfortunately, traditional branding and marketing strategies do not consistently work. Why not? Because demographic variables are limited and are only helpful insofar as they help us attain practical insight into the hidden hopes and fears of our audiences. At best, demographics are but a proxy for that which no demographics can directly measure– our audiences core world-shaping values.

Grasp your customers’ core values and you will have a blueprint for designing messages that inspire them. Furthermore, understand the different value-types that populate our world today, and you will have a foundation for designing packaging and marketing collateral that reaches audiences that may have before seemed completely inaccessible. Why is this? Because at the core of every human being is one simple, universal desire to enjoy life and to be of service. A person’s core values provide the framework that we must engage and transcend if we hope to design messages that cut through to that one, universal core.

Nowhere has the pragmatic value of shifting from demographics to psychographics been more resoundingly demonstrated than with President Barack Obama’s monumental presidential run. Instead of relying on traditional political wisdom about historical demographic alliances, President Obama defied to create a seamlessly branded campaign based primarily upon the core values of community, compassion, and service. From logo, to speech content, to web messaging and campaign design, every element of this remarkable marketing effort was consistently in line with these simple core values. As a result, he was able to build value-based alliances among demographic groups that had largely been considered irreconcilable based purely upon historical data. Whatever your political affiliation may be, it is hard to argue with results. Shift your thinking from demographics to psychographics, and apply this same wisdom to your company’s advantage. Don’t be surprised if you attract customers that market researchers might have before thought unreachable.


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