Why You Need to Keep Your Marketing Strategy Simple and Specific

Putting your best foot forward in business can be challenging, both generally and when figuring out what’s best for your audience.  If you’re having trouble defining your marketing strategy and branding, sometimes the best tactic is to simplify your approach. It may be intimidating to select a target market that’s very specific or niche, but unless your product or service is as revolutionary as a smartphone or sliced bread, your target market is not going to include everyone. Once you have a narrowed target, it becomes far easier to accurately address the customer’s wants and needs.

Find the problem

Every product or service solves a specific problem or serves a unique need for the customer. While a donut shop addresses the need of basic hunger as well as the novelty that comes with trying an exciting new flavor, a pair of steel-toed boots provide security to a worker on a factory floor. Therefore each business requires a unique marketing strategy.

Something to note about marketing is that it’s nearly impossible to market to everybody. It’s not a game of who can shout the loudest, but who can shout to the right people– customers that are going to respond with interest in the goods/services that you provide. You might have the most resources and the greatest and priciest marketing team out there, but if you sell maternity clothes, your target market is still only a specific section of the population.

Find Your Voice

For any marketing strategy, you need a “voice” and visual language that helps your brand stand out. Any advertisements, whether they have an audio/visual element or are just print, are going to be more cohesive if they are written in the same style. 

If you sell skateboard supplies, a punky, no-frills voice is going to serve your target market better than an eloquent, polished address using language like “exceedingly superior skateboards.” Study other brands that have similar target markets– both ones that work and those that are ineffective.

Simplify your Design

In the world of branding and marketing, design used to be far more intricate in general. Look at this timeline of the Starbucks logo. This graphic perfectly displays the trend in design of simplifying the logo or “mark” of a company in a way that is still recognizable and eliminates visual “clutter.” Attempt this exercise with your own business– if you or your designer has created a logo, try taking one element or idea away to simplify it further (stopping before the point where it becomes nonsensical). 

Graphic featuring evolution of the Starbucks logo from 1971 to 2011

One example of a company going too far with simplification of branding is the recent change from HBO Max to “Max.” HBO already had a simple, effective logo and a high level of brand recognition, but seemingly in an attempt to get in on a fad, boiled their brand down to just “Max,” also changing their iconic purple to blue. This rebrand lessened the company’s brand recognition, making them less unique in the streaming platform market. 

Graphic showing the old HBO Max logo to the new MAX logo

Specify your Design

This mentality of specification and simplification can also apply to the design/branding of your business. An effective strategy is to visually address the taste of the specific target market you’ve found. If you sell Zevia (stevia-sweetened beverages,) your target market is health-conscious consumers who are looking for a soda replacement. The health market generally uses neutral and green colors that help products stand out on the shelf as “natural,” a convention that is easy to spot and will appear to the specific target market. The logo also gently evokes the shape of a leaf (referencing a stevia leaf) in a simple and aesthetically pleasing manner that doesn’t feel gaudy or forced.

Photo of Zevia zero sugar free water to illustrate logo design specificity


Overall, considering a less cluttered approach to your marketing strategy and branding is a great way to grow your business when combined with finding your specific target market. If your focus is narrowed, you can fully pursue the voice, style, and visuals that are going to speak directly to your customer.

If you need help nailing down your target market or a fresh set of eyes to look at your branding, feel free to book a business coaching session.

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One Response

  1. I’m completely in favor of simplicity, but I wonder if Starbuck’s current logo would work very well if they hadn’t spent decades building their brand. Today it’s very easy to associate the Siren with Starbucks and coffee—just that color of green screams STARBUCKS to many people.