Marketing is Entrepreneurship


In marketing, we are taught to know everything about our target audience. We are expected to know their gender, age group, religion, list of interests, marital status, and so on. Apart from being a bit invasive in our John (or Jane) Doe’s life, this step in the marketing process is crucial. By the time we’re done this step, we’ve narrowed down our target audience enough to create a plan to approach this market with the product/service.

All of this is simple to remember, but how can we, as marketers, differentiate businesses from others in their industry. A certain creativity and entrepreneurial mindset is needed.

Now, back to our target audience.

Take a two minute break from reading this blog and recognize the furniture industry. Now narrow down the target audience for this industry. Pretty hard, isn’t it? Furniture stores have so many target audiences, that it’s hard to be original with their marketing, in fear of offending or neglecting anyone.

There’s no breaking the status quo in the furniture store sector of marketing. Sure, we’ve got our Brick’s and our La-Z-Boy’s who use their big sales to attract customers, but they’re still limited to how they advertise because the customers’ furniture needs may be the same, but no other aspect of their life is exactly constant within the group.

It makes sense. If we narrow down a target audience using marital status and a list of interests, we should look at those things when we’re marketing the product or service. But when everyone needs a certain amount of furniture and has at some point has been to a furniture store, how can we market to just one audience? The marketing for furniture stores then becomes overly inclusive, bland, and targeted at anyone who has ever bought a chair. In other words, different imagery of a family on a sectional sofa isn’t really eye catching anymore, right? Right.

Enter IKEA. IKEA is a ready-to-assemble furniture store that labels their target market. They want to provide nice looking furniture, at a cheap price, to those willing to screw in a few nails themselves.

IKEA is different than their competitors and they celebrate that in their marketing. They still have a large target audience, but now it is narrowed down enough for them to be creative and build a strong name for themselves, rather than being clumped together with the other “furniture stores.”

An example of different marketing is The Imperial Group, a past client of Design4Change. The Imperial Group specializes in funeral products, including caskets and urns. Design4Change was hired to brand The Imperial Group, as well as create a few marketing materials useful for their clients. A struggle for this project was differentiating The Imperial Group from its competitors. First off, the products being sold are very personal and sensitive, making it difficult to not offend anyone if we want a strong brand. Secondly, and a little more bluntly, how do we help The Imperial Group to sell death?  

Design4Change took the approach of “honouring life”, rather than mourning death. We are still targeting the same audience as before, yet we are steering our marketing in a different direction, standing out from the crowd. The Imperial Group is building a name for themselves because they are not just a “place that sells urns”, but they are the company you can trust to take care of your loved ones. This trust is ensured through The Imperial Group’s actions and approach from their employees, and cemented through the marketing that we at Design4Change have created.

Marketing is entrepreneurship. It’s breaking the status quo and standing tall amongst the crowd. Since when can’t we disrupt these random industries, like furniture stores, libraries, or sporting equipment stores?

Take entrepreneurship to a new level. Level one. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to be an entrepreneur, you just have to reinvent a perspective. When you’re ready to start your marketing process, Design4Change is here to help! You know, the marketing agency that didn’t reinvent the wheel, but took their differentiators (AKA our student employees and archetyping process) and brands itself to celebrate these assets.


Emily BartlettComment