As humans, we have a tendency to categorize—everything from the groceries we buy to the people we interact with on a daily basis. It helps us understand the world and how we and the people around us fit. But you probably already know that labels don’t always give us the most accurate picture of what’s behind them.
Take, for example, our collective tendency to categorize different generations. From Baby Boomers to Millennials, we’ve assigned each generation specific characteristics that generate the stereotypes we all know, and probably don’t love.
Businesses also have a tendency to target certain generations to market their products. Technology, for example, is often marketed at a young, hip, millennial audience. Oversimplifying in this way can be a big mistake, because you can miss out on the rewards of a broader, cross-generational marketing approach.
It can be difficult to climb out of the niches we create to cater to one specific audience. But you need to be thinking about the people you can best serve through your business, and they rarely belong to a single demographic.
Research your existing customer base
When you’re ready to rebrand, it is absolutely essential to research your current customers without targeting one specific age-range. What you’re looking for are common and/or shared attitudes, beliefs, and needs. Once you know what these commonalities are, you can determine what needs to change to retain customers and attract new ones.
Rebrand for multiple generations
Once you’ve carried out your research, it’s likely you’ll find that the commonalities span a range of ages. When you kick off your rebranding, it’s essential to develop a strategy that will attract customers of different generations, rather than focusing on one generational stereotype.
Target commonalities, rather than focusing on a specific age group. By finding aspects of your products that appeal to all ages, you’ll avoid the risk of alienating one age group over another. Open up your marketing approach, and you can find yourself attracting a wider audience.
Focus on value
Think about how you add value in the lives and experiences of each demographic. While younger generations might use Instagram to click on an image to buy, others may prefer to use trusted shopping sites like Amazon. Other age groups might prefer a dedicated website or even a brick and mortar store to shop in. Your research will help you determine what works best for each audience.
Your business is unique and so are your customers. That’s why ditching the stereotypes is essential for any business to grow.