When I was taking a marketing class, the professor, an experienced advertising professional, asked a girl in the front row what type of car she drove. She said BMW. The professor then continued to tell her what type of alcohol she drank, what type of hair product she used, and other things that she bought. You could tell by her expression that he had amazing accuracy! The class was stunned. Was it rigged? Was he some type of magician? How did he know these things after only seeing her in class for a few days?
The Formula is in the Values
It turns out this type of game is a common and calculated one. There is an actual science to it, but the goal to knowing this information is to get down to the values of the consumer. For example, according to my professor, BMWs are for people who value the exotic. Deciding what alcohol a person would drink who likes BMWs, is easy if you know what alcohol would have matching values. This is a helpful skill in advertising.
Learning how to predict what products are similar is a valuable skill because it will help you know how to find your target market. Here are some examples of products that would have a similar target market.
Type of Car
When you see someone in an expensive car, you may think it is a highly educated professional such as a lawyer or doctor. This can be true, but there is much more to analyze.
Picture a man driving a Bentley. He has red hair, a car seat in the back and a fluffy steering wheel cover. Does something seem strange about this picture? Ok, try this one; this man is a black professional sports star with a smoking hot live-in girlfriend. Doesn’t this fit better? These are words from my friend Jordan Beal. He also has insight into Jaguars.
He said, “Jaguars are for doctors or lawyers with a substantial income. He said they like golf way too much, and their wife is cheating.”
Color of Car
The color is usually based on values as well.
Someone who owns a white car doesn’t usually want something showy. This person is often conservative or older. White cars will hide dust so it is practical and functional.
There is a reason why red cars get pulled over more often. These people are social and young, who will take risks in the name of fun. Each color has its own type of person that it will attract.
Next time you are analyzing your product and wondering what direction to go with the advertising, just go back to the basic values your customers have, and go from there. It’s like magic how well this works when trying to understand your customer.