I’m in a bit if a quandary regarding development of a target in my brand briefs. I learned most of my targeting craft from Peter Kim, head of strategy and number 3 executive at McCann-Erickson in the 90s. His approach to targeting was to articulate all the possible targets that might come into contact with your brand. Then massify those targets into one group, before culling the mass for shared care-abouts. Or as the brief stated “Define the largest grouping of consumers, bound by a single shared attitude or belief, that will be most motivated to buy/consider the product.”
I’ve used this for years as my targeting guide. Until recently, when I began to aim higher in the pyramid. Speaking to a high-minded, influential sector of the target, I’ve concluded, can also be effective.
In K12 education, there is a theory that removing “gifted” student from the class is a good idea. But doesn’t the whole suffer? Gifted students can help the others. As peers, they act as examples. They can inspire. Even in their fallibility. Similarly, in brand targeting, by finding the more aspirational, positive qualities in a high-performing group of consumers, we can create a powerful archetype that creates hope and ability through leadership. Not a watered-down version of every wo/man.
You say influencer, I say Rising Tide Target.