Expanding your customer base while holding the loyalty of your traditional core can be a major hurdle — especially if your base is perceived as “older” and your growth relies heavily on acquiring much younger users. When a leading consumer advocacy brand faced this dilemma, it called on Lippincott to help answer.
We understood the delicate balance required to retain the core audience but dramatically grow engagement, impact and revenue from a much more diverse group of consumers. Our starting point was to understand how each of the brand’s major functional groups currently defined and viewed their audience. A key cross-functional, rapid prototyping workshop played two critical roles. The first was to stress test how a draft segmentation model could work within the business: Have we identified new audiences to attract? Do we have the right information to influence our future value proposition? Is there an organizing framework that is intuitive to understand? The second role was to prioritize the quantitative research.
The all-day session yielded more than 200 potential audience personas from which our team created clusters that identified the dimensions and could act as the foundation to an eventual model. We quickly designed an online survey among customers and the general population to test the rapid prototyping hypotheses. From this dataset, we deployed a series of advanced analytical techniques to develop an understanding of the similarities and differences across consumer groups.
Then, through a new series of co-creation workshops, we helped our client balance statistics with judgment to develop a market segmentation that would not only yield the essential insight; it would also deliver an intuitive and actionable framework that could be carried across the organization.
The driving insight showed that the organization was indeed highly successful at attracting a segment we named “your dad.” However, their growth opportunity was within a segment the surface of which they had barely scratched: a far younger, far more diverse target most characterized by women and economically ascending cultural groups. Tellingly and ironically, our research also revealed that the new target segment was highly receptive to our client’s offer; the problem was that the traditional customer experience that appealed to the older core was a complete misfire with the new, younger and more diverse group.
We recommended eight experience initiatives using robust numerical information and softer qualitative insight informed by focus groups. Recommendations ranged from optimizing their content strategy to broadening their audience through voice and digital design. We delivered the results through a visual design system that conveyed the essence of the brand target in an intuitive and highly illuminating way.
The audience strategy not only informed the future experience design, it was a critical input into a new brand strategy and identity for the consumer advocacy group. And, it has become a foundation to their ongoing marketing implementation to also actively drive growth among their customer base.