I’ve been in Canada for the last 2 weeks. It’s my homeland. We’ve been privileged to work in the US for the last 10 years and every summer my family visits relatives in East Coast Canada.
While I’m there, I visit with former co-workers from marketing agencies I’ve worked at. And of course, I’m a consumer of uniquely Canadian delicacies, like Tim Horton donuts, Seafood Restaurants, BeaverTail Pastries and other brands that we have in the States, but they are different in Canada. Mountain Dew has no caffeine in Canada (not sure why!), candy bars use different tasting chocolate and recipes, Costco and even Walmart boast about their “proudly Canadian” products.
I’m amazed at the how different the US and Canada are, and each year I seem to see an increase of how advertising and marketing is unique in the two locations. This year I saw many product claims that were Patriotic (Canadian) and, with the Winter Olympics coming to Vancouver next year, they have Olympic themes everywhere!
Why so different? Because the people are different. And so are their interests.
It reminds me of a simple business principle:
Every company targets different demographics. It’s so rare that two companies have EXACTLY the same people in their sights. So it begs the question, “How do the different demographics affect your product, your vision, your brand?” It’s what makes you totally unique!
If you’re marketing to a different demographic (whether state to state, community to community or even country to country), you need to examine your brand “promises” and consider changing based on the people. In Canada, the same products that we see in the US, have very different advertising and marketing. In fact, many companies and products have totally different groups giving creative and direction.
For the most part, small to medium-sized businesses need to start with identifying who their (one) targeted audience is first. I would recommend building your business on the most limited group of people possible first, before branching out to multiple demographics.
Can you describe your audience in every detail? Male/Female? Age? Likes/dislikes? The more you can, the more you can give them benefits that fit them. Try it, start with “My core, target audience is…”