Audience Branding Insights Strategy & Positioning

Even multifamily apartment complexes in high-demand areas generally experience lots of competition. Indeed, these complexes often offer similar rental rates, apartment sizes, and standard amenities. Savvy property managers can consider offering valuable and less-common amenities to stand out from the crowd of cookie-cutter apartments. Valuable amenities mean a complex doesn’t have to compete by price and may even have a chance to earn extra revenue. 

How Can Property Managers Decide Which New Amenities Offer Value to Renters?

Many apartment complexes offer standard amenities like high-speed internet access, a microwave oven, and a fitness center or clubhouse. No property managers will want to add amenities that most of their prospective market will find attractive and valuable enough to set them apart.

According to Redfin, most rental units include these basics: 

  • Dishwasher, garbage disposal, oven, stove, and microwave
  • HVAC and a washer and dryer (at least on-premises)
  • Closet or other storage space 

How can property managers uncover additional amenities that will help keep existing renters loyal and attract new tenants? Surveying current tenants about which offers they would find attractive enough to motivate them to renew their lease provides a good starting place. After all, the people who already rent from you should provide an excellent same of your target market. Otherwise, you might survey the general demand of renters who live in the area and satisfy other requirements. 

The ButterflyMX blog listed these premium amenities to help make apartment complexes memorable in the minds of prospective and current tenants. 

Outdoor Areas 

Shared outdoor areas can give the property a resort-like feel. Many employees work remotely these days, and they will enjoy access to an outdoor space that’s almost as accessible as a backyard. Some outdoor amenities to consider include a BBQ and picnic area, a playground, and a dog park. 

Smart Locks 

Smart locks offer extra security and convenience to tenants. Many enjoy them because they no longer worry about forgetting their keys and getting locked out. Also, some smart locks let residents set temporary passwords to admit guests or repair people. Digital locks also make excellent additions to common areas, like fitness rooms. 

Smart Thermostats 

Typically, tenants must pay their electric bills. They’ll appreciate an apartment feature that helps them keep their homes more comfortable while saving money. An investment in smart thermostats also makes sense for property managers. For instance, the managers can remotely control the temperature in vacant units and have a valuable amenity to show off to prospects. 

Transportation Amenities 

The best choice of transportation amenities depends on the property’s location and clientele. For instance, some apartment complexes near universities, other large institutions, or a public transit hub offer a free shuttle service. More people might have cars in suburban or rural areas, and they may appreciate reserved parking spots and separate visitor parking. Having bicycles to check out and bike storage available can benefit tenants in bikeable or walkable areas. 

Pet-Friendly Spaces 

According to the Humane Society, over 70 percent of tenants have pets. Many apartment complexes allow pets, and some also charge extra pet rent. More pet owners have dogs than any other type of pet, and those dogs will need a place to walk. Thus, setting aside an area for a dog run and providing doggie bags offer a valuable incentive. 

Other Considerations About New Apartment Amenities

Remember that some amenities, like a stove, generally come included in the regular rent. Complexes can also charge an additional fee for premium amenities that some tenants may not care to pay for, like access to a 24/7 gym. On the other hand, complexes that offer premium amenities without charging an additional fee may have a chance to increase their monthly rates to cover them. Either way, new amenities can benefit apartment complexes by attracting high-quality tenants and generating more revenue. 

Audience Branding Insights Strategy & Positioning

Some people may picture assisted living or skilled nursing facilities when considering senior living communities. However, a new trend has emerged that appeals to younger and healthier members of the aging population. 

This group doesn’t consider itself frail or elderly. Thus, they don’t need the assistance or supervision that assisted living or nursing homes offer. Sometimes called active senior or adult lifestyle residences, these communities offer their residents a chance to enjoy socializing along with extra conveniences and amenities. 

Active adult communities, typically meant for people 55 and over, have boomed in popularity. Even more, this trend appears likely to continue into the foreseeable future. Continue with this article to learn about trends in the active adult market and what sorts of communities appeal to active seniors. 

The Growth of Active Adult Communities for the Over 55 Crowd 

Businesswire published estimates that the active senior community market would increase by a CAGR of about four percent each year until 2030. This growth would propel the industry’s value to over $800 billion. 

Women currently account for the largest share, though analysts believe the market for men will grow more quickly. Women tend to prefer the amenities offered by these communities, but men generally have more resources to afford their choice of lifestyle and location. 

Why Are Older Adults Seeking Active Senior Communities?

Occupancy rates in traditional retirement homes decreased during the pandemic. These typically provide rooms and communal dining, so older people may have feared getting sick because of their proximity to other residents. Along with room and board, traditional retirement homes also generally have healthcare aids and nurses on staff to assist residents with medical issues. 

At the same time, retirement rates increased for people aged 55 and over, even though only some who seek an adult community have retired, at least entirely. Still, most of these communities’ populations are at least semi-retired or are planning for retirement. 

In any case, most of these healthier or younger people don’t need the care provided by a traditional retirement facility. Typically, they no longer have children at home, and many senior communities do not accept children as permanent residents. According to Building Design and Construction, the active and mature crowd feels ready to begin their life’s next chapter and views moving to an adult community as a way to start. 

What Does an Active Adult Lifestyle Community Offer Seniors?

The positive news about the growth of active adult communities includes lots of choices for prospective owners or tenants. Even though some analysts categorize these communities as multifamily housing, some offer single-family homes. 

People seeking active senior communities want security, convenience, and privacy. Many also desire a chance to stay fit and socialize with like-minded neighbors. According to a ResearchandMarket report, this population looks for amenities like fitness facilities, classes, and community rooms. Some prefer walkable areas and available transportation to shopping and high-quality medical services. 

How Affordable Are Over-50 Communities?

Some luxury communities have relatively high-end homes for sale. These communities may also require the payment of HOA fees. Some homes also include extra amenities, like lawn care, for an additional cost. Others may rent relatively low-priced apartments for accessibility to people with lower incomes. 

For example, Kissing Tree in San Marcos, TX, offers a community with several luxury amenities. Examples include a 180-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, and a community and fitness center. The community’s management schedules over 100 monthly activities, including genealogy, art, music, and dancing. Residents purchase their homes and must also pay a monthly HOA fee. 

On the other end of the scale, some modestly priced apartment communities restrict tenancy to people aged 55 or older. Some like Sunningdale in Conroe, TX, have amenities like a pool, a community room, and scheduled activities. Many of these apartments charge modest rents. Some even accept vouchers from subsidized housing programs for some units. 

The Future Outlook for Active Senior Communities 

Today’s seniors anticipate longer and healthier lives during their retirement and pre-retirement years. At the same time, they’re ready to begin the next stage of their lives by moving to a community that caters to their preferences. Meanwhile, various communities target people with different budgets and tastes. Thus, analysts expect the demand for active adult communities to remain strong well into the next decade. 

Audience Branding Insights Strategy & Positioning

Prospective tenants can help inform housing choices by looking at overall and seasonal rent trends. Just as important, property managers and owners should look for trends that help them develop data-driven forecasts to inform business decisions. While many factors can impact rental prices and vacancy rates, the calculation usually depends upon forecasting supply and demand. 

Rental prices and availability vary by season, demand, supply, and the economy. These factors can vary dramatically in different regions of the country and within specific metro areas. Consider the trends in US multifamily housing while understanding that national patterns may not reflect changes in particular regions or cities. 

Various factors impacting rentals vary considerably because of the season. For instance, the threat of icy roads and bad weather discourages people in cold, northern cities from moving during the depths of winter. Similarly, most families with children try to schedule moves from one school district to another during summer vacation. Thus, most property managers consider summer their peak season and winter a slower time of year. 

Apartment List presents with data that demonstrates online searches for new homes tend to peak in late spring and summer but drop off dramatically in the late fall and winter. Demands for movers tend to follow a similar pattern. Thus, few people will be surprised that rental prices and other moving costs tend to increase during warmer months and dip again later in the year. People prefer to move when they expect good weather and without disrupting their children’s educations.

In response to established seasonal trends, many multifamily developments offer move-in specials or reduced rental prices during the slow seasons. In contrast, apartment complexes generally increase prices and reduce specials during the summer without impacting vacancy rates. 

Apartment List pointed out that 2021 broke records for its rate of rental price growth and the low number of vacancies. Partly, the coronavirus pandemic slowed construction projects because of supply chain issues, stay-at-home orders, and illnesses. Also, many families decided they needed more space for home offices and activities, which increased demand for existing units. 

However, the rapid spike in apartment prices cooled off in 2022. That year also saw a decline in people searching for new housing. The end of the year even saw some dips in rates and slight increases in vacancies. This pattern suggested that rental prices may climb modestly or even level off during 2023. 

Perhaps sparked by rental rate increases of 2021 and part of 2022, property developers began more multifamily construction projects but fewer single-family homes. Cities in the Sun Belt led the pace for constructing multifamily units, which should help level out the demand and improve affordability. For instance, three top metro areas where apartment projects surpassed single-family home construction include Austin, TX, Raleigh, NC, and Jacksonville, FL. 

At the same time, many of the largest coastal cities, like New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, still need more units to satisfy the demand generated by population growth. These cities also rank in the top 10 for least-affordable rental housing, according to The Motley Fool. Analysts believe these high-cost-of-living areas are less likely to experience dramatic drops in prices or demand within the next year.

The September 2023 National Rent Report from Apartment List showed a negative trend for rental growth rates, meaning growth has slowed as predicted. At the same time, vacancies have increased to 6.4 percent, the highest since the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With fewer people seeking new apartments and construction rates at the highest since the 1970s, average vacancy rates may remain stable or grow modestly in the next year. At least, analysts expect to see little price growth through the end of 2023.

Audience Branding Insights Strategy & Positioning

Targeted marketing benefits businesses and the customers they want to reach. Marketers enjoy greater efficiency and higher ROIs. Thus, even smaller organizations can punch above their weight class to capture the attention of competitive markets, even when faced with more established competitors. 

In turn, customers receive the right messages at the right time, increasing the chance of sales and brand loyalty. Brands that customers love are also the companies that they’ll want to talk about to their friends, generating word-of-mouth buzz online and in person. 

How Our Targeted Marketing Captures Engagement and Loyalty 

We Develop Marketing Strategies From a Place of Deep Understanding 

Before we can effectively target customers, we need to understand them. Thus, our Bigeye teams begin by immersing themselves in our clients’ markets, both existing customers and potential ones. 

For example, our recent national survey of pet owners uncovered some amazing insights into how consumers view and care for their domestic animals. For instance, we learned how much most pet owners value their pets and what they will do to care for them. Just as important, we found out where they go online to find communities and advice from like-minded people. 

Once we understand the customer’s needs and desires, we can identify growth opportunities for clients and develop strategies to take advantage of them. Sometimes, we may work with clients to refine their branding and messaging; other times, we help redefine product offerings. 

We Introduce Brands That Customers Discuss and Care About 

We utilize data to produce personalized marketing that speaks to customers. Tailored messaging speaks to the market by addressing their unique needs and preferences. Messages focusing on the customer’s needs enjoy higher engagement, open, and click-through rates. The best brands enjoy the luxury of a customer base that looks forward to their messaging, and that’s the competitive advantage we create for our clients. 

For instance, Instagram’s notable for achieving high engagement rates and astounding growth. At the same time, the platform’s success has made it one of the most competitive battlegrounds for companies that strive to gain recognition. Our teams have honed the art of deciphering Instagram analytics to maximize engagement on this fruitful but competitive platform. 

Thus, we will help hone marketing into personalized messages that gain the attention and loyalty of current and potential customers. In turn, those engaged social media users will help spread the news and even more, patronize your business. 

We Broadcast Your Personalized Message on the Media That Your Customers Use 

With the right data-based strategy, media purchases can serve as a powerful tool. Marketers can target paid ads based on numerous demographics, including behaviors, interests, and geographic locations. Thoughtful, well-crafted ads will increase engagement. Besides, the appearance of ads on a consumer’s favorite website or program can award them automatic credibility. 

Moreover, paid media platforms offer superior analytics capabilities and the potential to maximize reach. These two advantages let marketers quickly assess, test, and tune their ads to optimize performance. Media buys offer a fast way to attract attention and often serve as a way to test messaging that businesses may also use on slower campaigns, like SEO or social marketing. 

At Bigeye, we start media campaigns by ensuring we have gathered the information we need to understand our clients’ audiences. We use our robust understanding of the audience to plan and purchase media campaigns. Our process will improve as time passes because we analyze outcomes from the initial campaigns to build the next one. Ultimately, our clients enjoy customized advertising perfectly tailored for the optimal audiences. 

Clients Rely on Our Robust Analytics Capabilities 

These days, marketers typically don’t struggle with a lack of information. Instead, they often find the massive amount of available information overwhelming. Our analytics teams know how to cut through the noise to mine valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and trends. We can use these capabilities to take information from thousands of customers or even an entire market and make each client feel they’ve received a message precisely tailored to their needs. 

Are You Ready to Define and Reach Your Ideal Targets?

Our data-driven approach to targeted marketing allows us to personalize marketing. In turn, we reduce waste, improve ROI, and best of all, encourage customer satisfaction and loyalty. For instance, a mother might signup for an eCommerce site to purchase something for her spouse or children. 

Without understanding that customer, the company might invest in repeat sales by sending her multiple ads for men’s sneakers or children’s socks, something she only occasionally purchases. In contrast, a retailer that invests in learning about their customers would take advantage of a primary opportunity by sending her messages about products that she would buy more frequently for herself. 

At Bigeye, we partner with dozens of the most innovative brands. Contact us about your exciting endeavors, and we’ll explain how we will help you grow.

Audience Branding Insights Strategy & Positioning

May 2, 2023



Orlando, FL – BIGEYE, one of the leading marketing and advertising agencies in Florida, announces the release of their new 2023 National Pet Owners Study. The study, conducted in late summer 2022, aimed to gain insights into the behavior and attitudes of pet owners across the country.

The study was conducted through an online survey with 1,001 pet owners. The participants were selected from a diverse range of backgrounds and regions to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the topic. Respondents were screened for pet ownership, buying responsibility, and an age range from 18 to 57.

The findings of the study reveal that ninety-seven percent of respondents reported that their pet is an important part of their family and they are willing to go to great lengths to ensure their pets’ well-being. This includes investing in high-quality pet food, taking their pets to regular veterinary check-ups, and caring for them like they are a child.

The study also found that social media plays a significant role in how pet owners interact with their pets. Fifty percent of respondents reported that they follow pet-related accounts on social media and use these platforms to seek advice on pet care and connect with other pet owners.

“We’re excited to share the 2023 US Pet Owners Study, providing valuable insights into the evolving nature of pet ownership. Our study explores consumer behavior, pet owners’ preferences, and the deep bonds we all share with our pets,” said Adrian Tennant, Chief Strategy Officer of BIGEYE. “My hope is that this information will support businesses in their innovation efforts to better meet the needs of pets – and their owners – today.”

To learn more about the findings of this study or to download a copy of the full report, please visit  


Located in Orlando, Florida, BIGEYE is a fully integrated, multi-platform advertising agency that curates deeply compelling campaigns and brand experiences alongside their clients. The BIGEYE team of creative directors, copywriters, artists, programmers and account managers works closely with clients to better understand the needs of their consumers and deliver measurable results.

Audience Branding Insights Strategy & Positioning

Why should marketers make time to perform a social media audit? In general, any marketing activity that replaces guesswork with relevant data should provide opportunities to improve ROI. To answer this question, it also helps to understand the increasing importance of social media marketing for growing businesses.

According to data collected by Sprout Social in a Harris poll:

  • Social platforms introduced over half of consumers to new brands in the past year.
  • Even more, almost half of consumers increased their usage of social sites solely to learn more about new products.
  • Almost eight out of 10 consumers said that positive social interactions with a company would motivate them to make a purchase.

Social sites allow companies to connect with customers and expand audiences by crafting posts, influencer marketing, or responding to citations and mentions. At the same time, lots of businesses improvise their social strategies without taking time to develop a plan, state goals, or uncover information that will help them improve. 

Even though many brands find social media marketing productive, they also recognize that they have plenty of rivals competing for attention. Businesses can benefit from the competitive advantage that data-based marketing plans can offer. 

A social media audit provides essential insights into critical metrics. It demonstrates which activities offer the best returns and which ones need improvement. In turn, marketers can use this information to improve their results by fixing problems and focusing on activities most likely to yield positive results. 

A quick five-step social media audit template

A term like audit might intimidate some marketers. Don’t worry. This kind of audit won’t require a team of financial professionals. The process should not take long and will rely on easily accessible data and a simple, five-step template. The audit also relies on information that marketers should find easily accessible. 

Best of all, the audit won’t impose any penalties. Instead, it offers insights into areas for improvement. For instance, marketers may find they lack key metrics. Anything missing provides an essential insight into a place for improvement. Solid marketing plans start with measurable goals and the metrics required to measure them. 

Step 1: Make an informative list of all social media platforms

As with any exercise, it helps to begin with a simple warmup. Start by listing all the social media sites the business uses. If a list of social sites already exists, ensure a team member takes responsibility for keeping it updated.

Social media management tools help improve efficiency and team collaboration. Some popular examples include Hootsuite and Sprout Social. These tools may also offer social listening features that help marketers keep track of brand mentions from other sources. For an audit, using one of these tools should make it easy to pull a list of social sites. 

Social media software and apps can save time, help marketers stick to posting schedules, and provide important analytics. If the company uses specific social sites but hasn’t set them up in their social media manager, include a suggestion to update them in the audit report. If the business hasn’t started using a social media tool, this might offer an excellent opportunity to consider it. 

Step 2: Check for consistent branding and messaging

Does the company’s presence across various social networks share a consistent brand voice, according to brand guidelines? Has the company even established brand guidelines that offer team members essential information like the mission, goals, target audience, brand voice, and images?

According to the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, consistent branding benefits companies by developing positive brand recognition, trust, and customer connections. Many marketers only associate branding with logos and other images. While visuals matter, so will communicating values and missions to customers.

Businesses must develop brand guidelines to ensure marketers understand these critical factors and communicate them to the right audiences. Thus, reporting on deviations from these guidelines or even a total lack of them offers an essential opportunity for improvement.

Step 3: Identify the best-performing content

Marketers with plenty of social media history and some successes can gain quick insights by examining posts that performed well previously. Consider various metrics, including likes and shares, views, click-throughs, and conversions. Also, look at these metrics in light of the content’s goals.

With the right social media analytics, this step might look pretty easy. However, interpreting performance can take some judgment. For instance, engagement might help measure brand recognition campaigns, but marketers should measure revenue-generating posts by click-throughs and conversions.

Also, keep the specific platform, goals, and target audience in mind. For example:

  • Light-hearted videos might provide a good way to improve engagement, but product posts, infographics, or longer text posts might do a better job of closing sales.
  • Longer posts often succeed better on video-centric platforms, like YouTube, but Facebook users tend to have less patience and might prefer shorter ones.

Use analytics platforms to ensure the content attracts the intended audience. For instance, a light-hearted, punchy video might have generated plenty of engagement. However, it might not have achieved its goal if it had primarily attracted teenage viewers, but the intended audience consisted of millennial moms. In contrast, if an unexpected audience converted with click-throughs and sales, marketers might reevaluate their targets.

In any case, scouring high-performing content should offer plenty of insights to inform future investments. Similarly, low-performing content can tell marketers what their audiences don’t care for. At the same time, make sure to evaluate performance with other factors in mind, like the social media platform, audience demographics, etc.

Step 4: Spot high-performing platforms

As various audiences prefer different types of content, all social media users don’t share the same platform preferences. Past metrics will show which platforms have performed well in the past. That information offers a quick way to determine which social sites to focus on in the future. 

At the same time, marketers may hope to expand into new platforms or experiment with different content on platforms they haven’t enjoyed a lot of luck with in the past. Combining an understanding of the audience with information about performance on other platforms can offer valuable clues for choosing new social sites.

For example: 

  • Sprout Social offered recent demographic information about popular social media sites. Despite Facebook’s reputation as a network where mom and grandma socialize, average users range between 25 and 34. Men slightly outnumber women. Users spend an average of about half an hour on the site daily.
  • Companies looking to engage with older women should consider Pinterest, with an average user base of women between 50 and 64. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Instagram has similar average demographics as Facebook. If marketing performs well on Facebook, Instagram might provide a logical place to expand.
  • In contrast, TikTok attracts teens and has an audience that skews towards females. Snapchat engages a similar demographic. Twitter attracts a young adult audience with more men than women.

The top platforms attract hundreds of millions to billions of users. Thus, social sites that might not look ideally suited to a specific brand’s target could still have plenty of users that qualify as part of a target audience. Thus, a product aimed at college students might sometimes perform well on Pinterest or Instagram. Use typical audiences on various sites as a guide, but don’t let it prevent experimenting with other venues. 

During the audit, focus on figuring out which sites have performed well in the past. Understand that the reasons the posts succeeded might not carry over to another platform. In-depth knowledge of audiences can offer clues, but only real-world tests can provide verifiable results.

Step 5: Take Action

By now, a social media action report should offer plenty of valuable insights. The completed audit report should contain:

  • A list of all current social media platforms
  • Notes about posts that don’t conform to messaging and branding guidelines
  • Information about high-performing content and platforms 

Marketers should not need to struggle to find plenty of actionable items, including issues to fix, analytics data to acquire, brand guidelines to create or update, and potential types of content and platforms to focus on. Keep the audit document to refer back to, and very importantly, set a date for the next social media audit. The report can also provide a tool for budgeting and meetings with management.

Why conduct a social media audit as soon as possible?

Businesses increasingly depend on social media to connect with customers. Optimizing any marketing efforts requires a plan, goals, and a way to measure progress. The information produced by the report will enable marketers to develop an effective, data-driven marketing plan that should improve returns. Just as important, the audit report will give marketers a way to communicate with other team members and management.

Completing the five steps in this social media audit template should not take long. If the preparer faces obstacles because of a lack of information, the audit has already done its job by uncovering a significant weakness. At least the marketers now know they’re missing data, and this understanding will offer ways to improve to ensure the following audit report doesn’t take much time. Of course, taking actions specified in the audit report may provide plenty of work until it’s time for the next one.

Audience Branding Insights Strategy & Positioning

Research suggests that consumers make most purchase decisions for consumer packaged goods while they’re out shopping. Imagine customers viewing similar products from various brands on store shelves or in an eCommerce shop. Brand packaging that attracts attention and engages interest can significantly influence shopping choices. 

Customers can’t open boxes, bottles, and jars in the store before purchasing and certainly can’t open online purchases. At the same time, most shoppers arrive with set preferences and tastes, and they need to rely on labels, descriptions, and branding to figure out if one item or another will satisfy them after they get home. After all, most people don’t spend that much time researching products like yogurt, lotion, or snack bars before they shop. 

A product’s packaging needs to catch a customer’s eye and make a good impression. Brands need to rely on their packaging to tell their stories. The text, logos, and other graphics must do an excellent job of differentiating themselves from alternative options. Find out how brand packaging can influence purchase decisions and explore some real-world package redesigns that had a significant impact on sales. 

How much does brand packaging influence buying choices?

For instance, a scholarly article in the National Journal of Medicine discussed packaging design for cosmetics products. The authors found that consumers made 73 percent of their buying choices at the point of sale. The researchers concluded that the shoppers’ perception of the product and the entire brand’s value begins with attractive packaging. 

An excellent package design can benefit consumers and companies by easing the shopping decision by helping the well-packaged product stand out in a crowd of choices. Elements of using packaging to develop and reintroduce a positive brand identity can include colors, shapes, quality, materials, and convenience. 

Companies invest a lot in developing products that suit customer preferences. For example, cosmetics consumers enjoy attractive packaging that reflects their lifestyles and tastes. Successful brands take time to learn about their target audience and design packaging to please customers. 

Packaging serves as a “salesperson on a shelf” 

For instance, these shoppers will want to ensure the packaging makes dispensing easy, protects the product, and offers a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative. In a typical consumer’s mind, packaging can add to or detract from the quality and value of the product. 

These factors often combine as a first source of the customer’s perception of the brand’s identity. The researchers referred to packaging as a salesperson on a shelf. If brands want to profit from a 24-7 remote and unsupervised salesperson, the packaging must support and communicate their brand message. 

Examples of packaging changes to support a positive brand identity 

Since packaging’s first job involves engaging the shopper’s attention, it helps to parse out visual elements of recent package design changes. Many companies have boosted sales after learning more about their target audience. This understanding offered them insights to introduce packaging improvements. To understand how these improvements helped attract customers, consider some examples. 


Chobani yogurt package redesign

Chobani redesigned its packaging a few years ago. Find the old version on the left and the new one on the right. When the company changed its packaging, it had already produced yogurt for over a decade. Chobani had also beaten the competition to become the best-selling brand in the country. The redesign surprised some observers who associate packaging changes with businesses that struggle and not those that already lead their fields. 

The company’s chief creative officer, Leland Maschmeyer, responded that they didn’t want to wait for a problem that would force them to rush into making impulsive choices. He also said that the company’s leadership position gave them more confidence to make calculated moves to help position the brand for future growth. 

Chobani had learned more about the changing tastes of yogurt buyers and wanted to ensure that their packaging reflected it. He added that rebranding during a downturn might communicate weakness rather than innovation. 

At first glance, the new design appears more straightforward than the old one. Mr. Maschmeyer said this design choice reflected the brand’s transparency and natural, whole-food, simple ingredients. 

The Packaging Lab also reported on psychological studies that help explain how other elements of the changes supported the idea of a natural, simple product: 

  • In places where people read their language from left to right, shoppers prefer reading the details on the left side of an image. The new package moved most of the text to the left side instead of centering it on top of the strawberry. 
  • The company also changed to a bolder and simpler font, replacing the fancier script. A plainer font can also help communicate a more natural and simple image. 
  • Chobani left the basic color scheme the same as customers probably already unconsciously associated these shades with the brand. At the same time, the new design appears less complex and cluttered. 
  • Instead of just one extremely bright, oversized strawberry, multiple realistic berries adorn the label, signaling natural abundance. 


In contrast to Chobani, RxBar floundered in relative obscurity before redesigning its packaging about five years ago. Peter Rahal and Jarred Smith founded the company. These two partners designed the original packaging on the left in PowerPoint by themselves just before they launched RxBar in 2013. 

At first glance, the design appears adequate. However, it didn’t do much to differentiate RxBars from its competitors. For instance: 

  • Consumers can find plenty of protein bars at grocery and convenience stores, most of which look similar. Rahal and Smith probably gained their initial inspiration from products they had seen on store shelves. 
  • Most snack bars, even supposedly healthy ones, look like candy bars in the package. Some snack bars also resemble candy more than healthy snacks after reading the ingredients. Thus, consumers might not know the difference between healthy snacks and candy bars full of processed ingredients, fat, and sugar. 

After a few years, the founders realized that most sales the brand had achieved previously came from word-of-mouth emphasis on RxBar’s natural, whole ingredients. They listed the ingredients on the back of the bar, but most people didn’t bother to turn the package over to read them. The company’s founders grew convinced that promoting these real-food, recognizable ingredients would give them a competitive advantage over highly processed competitors. 

After achieving stability a couple of years after launching, the pair consulted with a packaging design company to help them rebrand. Thus, RxBar’s new packaging lists the simple, healthy ingredients in bold letters on the front. The redesign also changed the large photo representing the bar’s flavor to a smaller and more modern graphic image. In addition, the company shrunk the logo, figuring the basic but distinctive style of their packaging would offer plenty of branding. 

Despite some concerns from consultants about making the package look generic, the founder’s ideas worked. RxBar’s packaging won design awards, and the company soon had contracts with major retailers like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. RxBar may have violated plenty of traditional packaging design rules. However, they conveyed their most important message to distributors, retailers, and consumers. 

Luma & Leaf

Luma & Leaf serves the growing market of younger adults who prefer organic skincare products. Bigeye took on the project to revamp the company’s branding while maintaining the company’s playful voice. 

Bigeye took the time to understand Luma & Leaf’s business goals and target market. For example: 

  • The designers understood the client’s core belief that everybody deserves products that help them look and feel their best without adding unnecessary stress. 
  • They also knew the audience preferred natural, sustainable products that offered convenience and a pleasant appearance. 

Skincare product companies must stand out in a highly competitive market. Thus, Bigeye wanted to ensure that the packaging communicated Luma & Leaf’s competitive differentiator in a prominent yet attractive way. Various patterns represent collections within the company’s brand architecture, including Clearing, Soothing, and Illuminating. Each distinctive pattern showcases the natural, plant-based ingredients used to make the product. 

Organic ingredients and sustainable packaging support healthy skin and a healthy environment. The company’s customers care about using natural products on their own bodies. These consumers also express concerns about the environment. In addition to making skincare products with sustainable ingredients, Luma & Leaf also offers upcyclable packaging that customers can use for plant misters, bud vases, and more. 

The messaging paid off. When Luma & Leaf launched the newly designed products on the company’s eCommerce site, they generated thousands of dollars worth of sales within days. Learn more about Bigeye’s packaging design work with Luma & Leaf on the case study page

Is it time for a better packaging design?

Instead of struggling for a few years like RxBar, startups can encourage faster growth by studying their market and designing packaging that offers more value to themselves and their customers. Similarly, established businesses might consider a revamp to meet new trends or reenergize sluggish sales. 

At Bigeye, we’re always eager to listen to your company story and help you communicate it to more customers. Contact us today to get started. 

Audience Branding Insights Strategy & Positioning

How to define product marketing 

How do marketers define product marketing? That looks like an easy question about a standard job. Still, many people will offer different answers, and few can provide a succinct definition. For example, many descriptions center on activities before the product launch, but the job of product marketing lasts through the entire lifecycle. 

In as few words as possible, product marketing refers to all activities involved in bringing a product to market and supporting it throughout its lifecycle. These activities include every step from initial conception and design to customer service and in the end, phasing out the product to make room for the next new thing. 

Product marketers need to understand their company, the product, and their audience of consumers very well. The job involves product design, packaging, product launches, customer service, and support. These tasks may require cooperation between multiple departments in large enterprises. In smaller companies and startups, product marketing teams could wear many hats. 

Successfully marketing products starts with understanding customers

Like all good marketing, product marketing centers around customers. After all, developing the world’s best product won’t do much good unless consumers learn it exists, what it does, how it’s used, and why it can satisfy their needs. Thus, marketers should differentiate their product from potential competitors, define their audience, develop buyer personas, and find out where these consumers gather information to inform purchase decisions. 

Using audience knowledge to develop a brand identity for the product 

Understanding the audience’s values and perceptions can help marketers develop a successful strategy for engaging the market. For instance, Wordstream discussed Apple’s Mac. Vs. Windows PC TV ads from a few years ago. Apple needed to tell a story to convince consumers to spend more on an Apple computer than they would need to spend on many Windows computers. 

Many competing companies offer Windows PCs, but only Apple makes Mac computers. Thus, Apple needed to quickly differentiate its products from the entire ecosystem of Windows PCs. That way, the company could engage customers and develop brand loyalty. If Apple could successfully differentiate their products, they could encourage brand loyalty that most Windows PC manufacturers don’t enjoy. Windows users might choose Windows computers, but they may not differentiate much between such manufacturers as Lenovo, Dell, or HP. 

Apple made dozens of humorous ads featuring a cool Mac guy and a stodgy PC guy. The ads differentiated Apple’s products with such benefits as being easy to use, free from malware bloat, and connected with popular software like iTunes. Primarily, the company understood its buyers. It wanted its target market to view Apple as the choice of sophisticated computer users and Windows PCs as the option for the dreary and conventional. 

Marketing steps for successful product launches 

Consider these essential steps to ensure a successful product launch. A solid understanding of and focus on customers will lead to successful product launches during all phases. 

Research the product: Before anybody considers a launch, the developers, marketers, and hopefully, some outside beta testers will thoroughly test the product to ensure it’s bug-free, works as advertised, and solves the problem as promised. At this time, feedback from various user groups can still yield improvements. 

Craft the product’s story: Document who will want to purchase this product and why consumers will feel satisfied with their purchase. This overview should explain why people should buy this product instead of taking a competitor’s offer. 

Create a launch plan: Successful product launches involve several steps and cooperation from different groups. A detailed launch plan gives the managers a way to solicit feedback, keeps various stakeholders in the loop, and assigns responsibility for each process. 

Conduct launch meetings: Most businesses will invite representatives from various groups to a meeting on launch day. Proactive product marketing managers will probably schedule regular meetings for progress reports, brainstorming, and input throughout the preparation stage. 

Develop content around the products and purchasers: Before the launch, the brand will need sales pages, advertising content, product advertising, and other marketing collateral. A solid understanding of the product’s story and the audience will enable the development of compelling content. 

Align and engage sales, marketing, and support: Various teams have specific jobs, but they still need to work towards the same goals. Accept input from all stakeholders involved in marketing, support, and sales, and make sure they all have the information to handle a successful launch. 

Engage the community: Plan how to develop and react to the buzz around the new release. Take the opportunity to reach out to previous customers, likely influencers, and other stakeholders for feedback. Incorporate any new information into the launch. Track mentions in the news or on social media and prepare to respond when appropriate. 

What responsibilities do product marketers have?

Primarily, product marketers ensure consumers positively recognize the brand. They must combine deep knowledge of the products with a solid understanding of their market. Because product managers must often work with other marketers, sales, support, development, customer service, and customers, it helps if they can also act as ambassadors to represent the overall goals for the product’s marketing. 

Some specific tasks of product marketers include: 

  • Research the market: Deliverables can include buyer personas, feedback from testers or surveys, a marketing story, and suggestions for advertising platforms. 
  • Develop a marketing plan: This plan could include details about the types of assets and platforms the company will need for marketing, including market research, content, ads, and support. 
  • Work on pricing and packaging: Product marketers may help set pricing and sales models. Plus, they help work on packaging that will help the brand stand out online or on physical shelves. 
  • Work on marketing budgets: Product managers should develop budgets they will need to market the product. 
  • Work with the talent to develop marketing collateral: These professionals develop briefs that creatives use to create various marketing assets, like web pages, videos, articles, and social posts. 
  • Develop and manage a marketing calendar: The marketers need to develop a schedule, assign responsibilities, and chart progress. 
  • Interface with other departments: The product marketers should keep other groups informed, accept feedback, and ensure every team stays updated and on track. 

This job requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Beyond market research and developing typical marketing plans, they must work with various stakeholders. For instance: 

  • During product development: Focus groups can offer feedback on the product’s designs, so the marketer might interface with the product’s engineers and designers to consider improvements. 
  • Before launch: The product marketers should work with sales to ensure the salespeople understand the product’s story, view the product advertising, and align with overall business goals. 
  • After sales: Some marketing content might support customer service by offering a FAQ page or how-to articles and videos to ensure customers know how to use the product or can connect with customer service to handle any concerns after sales. 

Thus, experienced product marketing managers generally command relatively high salaries. When they do their jobs well, these professionals start by helping their company grow sales and revenue. They can also help reduce workloads and save money by assisting other departments in running efficiently and staying aligned with overall goals. 

The importance of product marketing 

Product marketers function as product ambassadors for various departments, executives, partners, affiliates, and most of all, the company’s customers. Some marketers describe product marketers as positioned at the intersection between development, marketing, sales, customer support, and the brand’s audience. 

This task requires at least a good understanding of the other team’s functions and a deep knowledge of the product and the audience. Thus, the job requires both hard marketing and soft skills to empathize with and serve various stakeholders. Most importantly, effective marketers will strive to present customers with a positive view of the company, brand, and product. 

Audience Branding Insights Strategy & Positioning

Sometimes, authors do a fabulous job of developing characters, and readers feel like they understand a fictional person’s attitudes, motivations, and actions. If they could encounter this person in real life, avid readers believe they know what the character would do or how they’d react in any situation. These lifelike characters engage readers with stories even after they’ve finished reading. Similarly, our marketing research company strives to develop buyer personas that accurately represent target markets to give us a clear picture of potential buyers. This practice keeps us engaged with the audience. In turn, it gives us the tools to ensure buyers stay engaged with a business. 

Why are buyer personas important for marketing?

Even though the buyers profiled don’t exactly exist, consumers with similar essential characteristics are out there shopping for products. Instead of developing these characters purely from our imaginations, we gather and analyze information about real people to uncover common traits. 

Thus, a description of a semi-fictional character in a buyer persona helps marketers understand real-life consumers’ motivations, preferences, and potential actions. This important brief will provide an essential tool for developing marketing materials, segmenting audiences, choosing advertising platforms, and setting goals for testing and tuning. 

Developing useful buyer personas for marketing 

Our customer-focused process involves science, craft, and considerable testing, similar to developing a compelling story. To better understand our process, step through the methods we use to help clients understand their markets. 

Step 1: Define the anticipated target market 

Inc. Magazine observed that all marketers should define target markets to build a solid foundation for marketing. Understanding the market matters if the business intends to produce buyer personas or not. Primarily, most companies don’t have the budget to target everybody, and that’s probably a wasteful exercise anyway. Targeting general subsections of the population, like seniors, stay-at-home parents, or busy professionals, might prove too broad. 

Instead of casting a wide net, we prefer to select two or three tightly defined audiences to start. For example: 

  • Our research for a natural skincare company might uncover that the products appeal to women with concerns about dry skin and women who want to support natural, sustainable products and packaging. 
  • After digging deeper, our research could reveal that members of this population between ages 35 to 50 who live in dry or cold climates appear receptive to the products and the online subscription sales model the business employs. 
  • Just as valuable, surveys and interviews found that almost half of the women concerned about dry skin follow beauty bloggers and content producers on Instagram or YouTube. Members of the other market tend to consume news about ways to run a more eco-friendly household.

Sometimes, an existing company’s customer base provides plenty of information. Other times, startups don’t have a large pool of current customers. We may need to conduct surveys, interviews, and focus groups or rely on market research from other sources. Sometimes, the angles potential competitors use in their ads offer inspiration. In any case, we make data-based choices to fill in the details.

Step 2: Craft buyer personas to represent the audience 

How do marketers take the information they gather about their potential audience and turn it into one of these semi-fictional descriptions? According to HubSpot, marketers should begin by looking for common traits shared by many people in the audience. 

The basic helpful traits could include: 

  • Such demographic information as age ranges, ZIP codes, incomes, family status, education level, or professions 
  • Communication and entertainment preferences, like social networks, texting vs. email, favorite sports, or publications 
  • Challenges the individual might face that hinder meeting personal or career goals 

More in-depth information should prove helpful in developing a complete picture of the person. Examples of psychographics, more personal than simple demographics, include personality traits and motivations. For instance: 

  • Might the individual belong to organizations for networking, charitable causes, or fitness? 
  • Do they subscribe to blogs, publications, or Youtube channels that provide information about social matters, finance, health, the environment, or cooking? 
  • Would this person prefer to spend time off riding a bike, reading, or going to a club or concert? Do they view themselves as outgoing or reserved? How would the individual prefer to shop and gather information about shopping choices?

The better the persona describes things this semi-fictional person already does and cares about, the more it can help predict how they’ll react and what they’ll do in the future. The details can also provide important clues about media consumed and messages or even tones that would make the audience receptive. 

The information can help businesses avoid missteps that might offend audience segments. For instance, an Audi commercial from a few years ago attempted to use humor to attract attention. At the same time, the advertisement compared buying a car to choosing a wife by having the mother-in-law at a wedding “inspect” the bride. 

Unsurprisingly, this advertisement made many viewers uncomfortable. Indeed, the ad failed to attract female car buyers. Meanwhile, surveys in the US find that women play a role in 85 percent of auto buying decisions. 

Step 3: Find marketing platforms the audience already consumes

No matter how well a market research company narrows down audiences and crafts buyer personas, they won’t help their clients if the audience isn’t listening to the message they want to broadcast. That’s why we seek information about how audiences consume media and communicate. 

The better job we do of finding out where our audience “listens,” the greater chance we can ensure they will hear us. These days, businesses have plenty of platforms to choose from, including the internet, smartphones, radio, TV, print, and physical spaces. Each of these media types consists of countless outlets and platforms. Few businesses have the resources to test all of them, so we must use our research to choose the best candidates. 

Ideally, customers or prospects will fill out surveys, directly communicating their preferences. Without direct information, marketers can look for trends regarding the typical habits of the general population. For instance: 

  • Typical Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram users tend to be older than typical TikTok and Twitter viewers. 
  • Twitter attracts more men, but TikTok appeals to more women. In contrast, LinkedIn, the social site for business, draws a roughly equal percentage of men and women. 
  • Beyond the basic demographics of these social sites, savvy marketers will look for specific content, influencers, or tags that can attract the right sets of eyeballs. 

Step 4: Set goals, test, and optimize 

Despite their best efforts, few marketers have ever developed a perfectly optimized marketing plan on their first try. Businesses should look at testing and tuning as a way to improve as they learn more about their market. Sometimes, companies get lucky, and a well-considered but untested marketing campaign might succeed, but nobody will ever know if the lack of testing led to missed opportunities to improve. Sometimes, slight improvements in engagement and conversion rates can differentiate between profits and losses or growth and stagnation. 

Productive testing should begin with a theory to prove or disprove, measurable goals to measure success, and a test plan. Tests with narrow scopes may take more patients but can often yield valuable information for a low cost. 

The essential components of a test plan can include: 

  • Audience: Use one of the audiences used to develop buyer personas. 
  • Theory: A stated hypothesis about a change to marketing that could improve some aspects of marketing, like post engagement, website visitors, brand recognition, conversion rates, or sales. 
  • Goals: Include measurable goals for improvement based upon the theory. 
  • Metrics: KPIs, like post reactions, website visitors, filled shopping carts, conversion rates, and revenue, can measure results at various points of the sales funnel. 
  • Test type: A/B testing against the current advertising or another test ad that supports a competing theory. 

These tests will do more than prove or disprove theories if done correctly. Marketers can find weak spots in their overall plan. For instance, the current advertisement might do an excellent job of engaging the audience and attracting visitors to a website. Still, a problem with an online shopping cart or the sales page could hinder sales. Thus, these tests can help identify additional weak spots that need further testing. 

Consider market research and testing an ongoing process 

As a marketing research company, we don’t consider research, developing buyer personas, ad platform selection, or testing a one-and-done deal. Besides believing that we can constantly improve, we know that our client’s businesses can change quickly. Economic or political changes, new technology, and competitors can transform or even disrupt markets at any time. Thus, we may cycle through the four steps described above multiple times. 

We don’t just strive to help our clients keep up but to thrive by constantly seeking to add new audiences and expand their markets. Our efforts center on getting to know the audience very well, as if they’re our family, acquaintances, and friends. Since these people support our clients, we value them like friends, even if they’re semi-fictional representations developed into buyer personas. 

Audience Branding Insights Strategy & Positioning

Many of today’s hottest brands began by marketing directly to customers instead of seeking retail intermediaries. Fast-growing brands like Misfits Market, Smile Direct Club, and Allbirds have benefited from DTC marketing advantages, including lower overhead, strong customer relationships, and a growing base of consumers who enjoy the convenience of online shopping. 

The increasing importance of developing a winning DTC strategy 

Even the increasing popularity of DTC businesses with consumers does not mean that it’s time to neglect the basics. Some market factors that sparked the DTC boom also threaten to impede it. Thus, DTC marketers have observed that they’re now operating in a less forgiving marketplace than they enjoyed last year. 

For instance:

  • According to a CNBC report, even the most prominent examples of DTC successes during the past few years need to cope with ongoing issues with supply chains and perhaps even worse, consumers worried about their economic futures and less willing to buy impulsively. 
  • Also, social distancing during the pandemic encouraged online shopping, and DTC companies benefited from this boom. Still, increased competition from internet retailers crowded the market and made advertising more expensive. At the same time, technological changes, such as Apple’s new privacy features, have worked to diminish the supply of available ads.

Five essential components of a DTC marketing strategy 

Rather than resting on their laurels and accepting slower growth, today’s market leaders have responded to market changes. For many realistic and budget-constrained marketers, adapting in the next few years won’t mean making dramatic changes. Instead, it’s time to revisit an effective DTC strategy’s basic and most essential parts. 

Targeted branding

Direct marketing gives businesses a chance to understand their customers. Even before a DTC business attracts its first sale, it should develop comprehensive buyer profiles and understand its intended audience’s potential pain points and values to develop an appealing brand. 

Billie projects itself as a source of affordable, convenient products for women, a solid social voice, and an element of fun and relatability. For example, Billie markets women’s razors. Right from the start, this brand associated itself with the goal of eliminating the “pink tax” that occurs when women pay more for seemingly similar items than men do. 

Unique messaging and packaging

Successful DTC businesses avoid having their products considered commodities through unique, appealing messaging and packaging. Some brands can even use DTC packaging to express their voice, notably since the package generally offers customers their first physical contact with the company. 

DTC package design doesn’t have to be extra flashy to help brands stand out on virtual shelves. For instance, the Big Eye blog highlighted Misfit Market’s mission to reduce food waste by selling produce that’s not shaped uniformly enough for grocery stores. The company furthers this socially responsible business goal by using recyclable cartons for shipping. 

Other DTC brands use packaging to make their brands memorable and not just another product on a virtual shelf. Examples include using reusable packaging to ensure the customer sees their brand long after the product’s used up and making packaging more useful, like businesses that print instructions on the inside of the box. 

Customer experience

DTC businesses thrive by adopting a customer-first business model. The attention to their customer’s needs gives these companies an advantage over non-direct competitors that consumers perceive as commodities. 

As an example, Casper practically reinvented the customer experience for mattress buyers. Before this company debuted, almost everybody went to a furniture or mattress store to let a salesperson guide them to products that fit budgets and requirements. 

Casper grew from nothing to $750 million in just four years by delivering quality mattresses in a box, offering easy returns, and helping their customers understand the importance of replacing outdated mattresses and getting a good night’s sleep. 

Conversion optimization

Seasoned marketers understand that optimizing conversions can make the difference between profits and losses. The best advice for improving conversions involves setting goals, determining metrics to measure progress, and then tracking and testing. However, this advice doesn’t offer any suggestions for how to improve. The importance of tracking and improving conversion rates always rises with the cost of advertising and market competition. 

Take some inspiration from a DTC business called Crossrope that offers premium jump ropes, accessories, and a fitness app. 

  • First, the company moved from other hosting to Shopify to use the vast ecosystem of apps they could use to streamline and enhance the shopping experience. 
  • The product pages incorporate high-quality videos of people using the products. 
  • An app combines ratings, pictures, and reviews to make it easy for prospective customers to learn how current customers like the products. 
  • User-generated content, like personal stories and before and after photos, engages website visitors. 

Crossrope began to develop a global reach. The company turned to an app that could display local payment options and prices. This change alone produced a 20-percent improvement in conversions. Crossrope also relies on an app to track conversions and automatically adjust checkout-page messaging, resulting in a one-percent conversion improvement. The app also offers personalized suggestions for additional items based on the initial selection. 

Full funnel marketing 

Many marketers think of a customer’s journey as linear, like a trek across a map. Today’s shoppers gather information about purchases from multiple channels simultaneously. Full funnel marketing acknowledges these shopping habits and simultaneously provides information about a brand on multiple channels. 

For instance, the Amazon Marketing blog reported that almost 70-percent of in-store customers would check products on their smartphones as they browse the shelves. About the same proportion of people will pull out a second screen to research something they’ve viewed on TV. 

To conform to today’s consumer shopping habits, a consumer package goods agency might analyze various platforms for the way consumers might use them to interact. For instance, TV commercials might focus on developing brand awareness, a social page could help develop a community, and a product page can deliver in-depth information while focusing on closing the sale. The shopping cart page should offer a good user experience and might provide a chance to suggest other purchases to complement the selected product.

How the best DTC brands succeed 

Marketing directly to customers offers plenty of advantages. At the same time, even prominent DTC unicorns have struggled to maintain growth during the past few months. Startups will face steeper challenges as they lack a large, loyal customer base to provide some support. Marketers need to ensure their DTC strategy excels at branding, user experience, and conversion optimization to make sure they can survive and thrive.