Who’s it for and what’s it for?

Listening to a podcast interview with Seth Godin talking about his studying design engineering straight out of school. Seth talks about the 2 most important questions a marketer must answer. These two questions when answered well will prevent your product from being a “wondering generality”.

Godin’s two questions are: Who’s it for and what’s it for? As Seth says, it can’t be for everyone and it can’t do everything.

Unscrambling the “Who is it for?

As marketers we need to magnify the question. we need to extrapolate it way out there to clearly understand the : “who’s it for?” mindset.

As brand and packaging and marketing communications designers clearly understanding the target audience is essential. If we are going to stop them in their tracks down a supermarket isle, or if we are going to appeal to them personally or have them take a photo of our product and post it to their social platform… then we must be really clear on the “who’s it for?” mindset.

Beyond just the basic demographics of male/female, age, location etc., the “who’s it for?” question is more about the details of the “buyer’s persona.”  Hubspot describes buying persona’s as follows:  “Buyer personas (sometimes referred to as marketing personas) are fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers. Personas help us all — in marketing, sales, product, and services — internalise the ideal customer we’re trying to attract, and relate to our customers as real humans. Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.

  • What do they believe?
  • Who do they trust?
  • What are they seeking?
  • What are their fears?
  • Are they already in the market looking for a solution?
  • Are they looking for something new?
  • Are they wanting an experience?
  • Do they only buy quality?
  • Are they wanting to be admired for their choices?
  • What are their preferred shopping modes?
  • etc…etc

The more we as a design company can know about the “who’s it for?” mindset, they greater the chances of success on shelf and online To create a design that gains enrolment and purchase, the designer must specifically craft and develop the all the variables of the communication process to reach the intended target audience. This means knowing as much about the profile of the intended buyer as possible.

Seth Godin:The marketer can change her story, but she can’t easily change the worldview of the person she seeks to sell to. It’s almost impossible to turn someone who doesn’t care about hats (in particular) into someone who cares a lot about hats“.

Decoding the: “What’s it for?”

In 1957 NBC television network launched a quiz show called, “What’s It For?”.  Ostensively the show involved a panel whose objective it was to determine the purpose of a specific product invention. They had to figure out the “What’s it for?”

When it comes to brand and packaging communication, the “whats it for?” question must be quick and easy to understand. The question riding behind the “whats’ it for?’ is: “Will this give me what I am looking for and will it work?”

Here’s an example: “What’s this cat food for and will it work?“The stats all show that you have between 3-5 seconds to grab the consumers attention and them sell them on putting your product into their shopping cart. That process is made a whole lot simpler when your product CLEARLY ANSWERS …Who’s it for and what’s it for?