Advertising not working? Maybe your target market is not what you think

Advertising not working? check your customers demographics. Analysing data is not the easiest thing to do for most of us, but

Analyse your customers

Analyse your customers

when it comes to our businesses it may mean the turning point to growth and profitability. Black Label, an edgy fashion company set out to supply fashion to trendy young things but discovered  this was not their customer base.. Then they tailored their business on the needs of the customers, not the owners gut feelings . A great lesson for us all.

Advertising not working? Maybe your target market is not what you think

“It was like, ‘Holy crap, our customers aren’t 22-year-olds who are rebellious and against ‘The Man,’” Bi says. “Our customers are The Man.”

Although Blank Label was targeted towards hipsters, artists, and other creative types, Bi explains that the majority of Blank Label’s customers were actually well-off white collar workers in their late 30s. Many were attorneys. They were the type of consumers who had previously been shopping at Brooks Brothers, not Urban Outfitters.

“We had a hard decision to make,” Bi recalls. “Do we try to still be this fun, rebellious brand? Or do we serve the customers who are letting us run our business?”


They chose the latter. For the next six months, Bi and Wong entered into marketing limbo. They revamped the site, and reworked its messaging. Since 89 percent of their customers bought shirts based on fit—not style—the founders re-focused their offerings to focus less on flashy design, and more on comfort.

read full post

Of course not to be overlooked here is the old ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’ adage.  Gut feel only goes so far, analysing your sales,  looking at the demographics of your database can throw up some interesting results. And if you are not on the shop floor then encouraging ground up reporting by your staff on who your customers are is an important step in deciding how and when to advertise.. Then it’s up to you to supply a message that is meaningful to those customers.  You may get a surprise and maybe this will help get you out of the advertising not working rut.


Enter your details in the box on the right to receive our complementary weekly newsletter, no hype, just good practical advice for small business owners



  1. D C Rona says:

    Very thought provoking. It is easy to go along without taking a fresh look at the target market – it really does change over time. Thanks for a great post.

  2. Kathy says:

    Great tips for small business. Marketing is key!
    Thanks for sharing this.

  3. This is a great idea – I wonder how they determined who their clientele actually was? I guess you could send out a survey, but you probably get such a limited return that it may not be accurate. Sounds like this company made a smart move tho. Is it Black label or Blank label?

  4. Stacey says:

    We had the very same experience! We targeted teens 13-17 years old believing the would tell their parents where they wanted to take music lessons. After a while we tried marketing to parents. Over five years we learned that our message must be targeted at MOMS. Once we changed our target our business grew much faster.

Leave a Reply to Stacey Cancel reply