Something I wrote for my friends over at the very excellent Marketing Donut
Recently I was lucky enough to spend some time with a voluntary worker for Oxfam. He was a fascinating chap and gave me some really valuable input into how the charity sector works. One of the major challenges Oxfam has faced recently is the perception of it being old fashioned. The brand was seen to represent something the charity didn’t, and this was a major problem.
Oxfam’s solution was to identify ways to appeal to a younger audience and in 2006 it launched OxJam, a UK-wide series of music festivals. Every year local Oxfam branches team up with schools and universities in their area to organise the events, hunt for musicians and discover interesting venues. The results are impressive; not only has the charity used OxJam to raise awareness and money, but it’s also an effective way of recruiting the next generation of supporters.
This got me thinking about brand perception with traditional businesses. Now unless you are led by your demographic —
SAGA springs to mind — being perceived as old fashioned could be a major problem.
There has been a lot of discussion regarding retaining customers and servicing their requirements, however the risk is your business grows old with your existing customers at the expense of the all-important new blood. Honda is another great example. During research in the 90s it discovered the average customer was over 50. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it was counter to the Honda marketing strategy.
As business owners, it’s important we understand how our brand is being perceived against the markets we are targeting.
Are you unintentionally growing old?