Catering To Diversity: How Brands Are Adapting To Meet the Needs of Diverse Consumer Groups

Written by

Jorge Lucena

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When you think of the brands you know and love, there are probably a few that stand out in your mind as ones you trust. Maybe this is because you bought their products in the past, or perhaps it’s due to a positive customer service experience. There are also probably brands you choose to avoid, maybe because of a bad shopping experience or a sense that their values don’t align with yours. 

More and more frequently, consumers can control branding through their desire to connect with brands they trust and respect — and their willingness to completely boycott those they don’t align with. As such, brands today need to pay attention to their audiences so they can effectively reach their market. 

Much of this comes down to listening and paying attention to who their consumers are and what they want. If a brand comes across as tone-deaf regarding connecting with their audience, they won’t experience success. 

What Audiences Want to See in Branding

Audiences want to see themselves reflected in the brands they support, which makes marketing hugely important when reaching diverse consumer groups. Brands must understand that their consumers want to find something about the brand to connect with. Studies have been able to prove just how necessary it is for brands to cater to diversity today. 

A 2019 study conducted by Adobe found that 61% of Americans value diversity in marketing materials like ads. In fact, this can make brands appear more trustworthy and thus gain more customers, as 38% of those in the study also felt increased trust towards brands with inclusive advertising.

Even further, in a 2018 study done by Shutterstock, results found that younger audiences want to see better representation in advertising, branding, and company values. 90% of millennials responded that inclusive representation positively influences a brand’s standing. 

Because consumers expect to be reached as they are by brands, they want to see more brands targeting specific groups. After all, there’s an expectation that every group should be catered to in 2023, no matter the unique demographic, interests, professions, and lifestyle choices.

Unique consumer groups make up many niche audiences that haven’t always been seen. 

What Is a Niche Market?

A niche market is a specific, narrowed-in market with a unique consumer base. Niche markets can be recognized through a number of factors, including demographics, professions, lifestyle and habits, culture, and more. 

The value of a niche market is that it benefits both businesses and audiences because, finally, the consumers can find a brand that caters to their particular needs (which have perhaps gone unmet for a long time). When done right, consumers can feel incredibly satisfied and seen through connecting with a brand that adapts to provide for them. These audiences may become loyal customers for life, but only as long as the brand successfully reaches them where they are. 

In this article, let’s explore some unique consumer groups that brands are adapting their products, values, and marketing towards in order to better reach. Companies that understand and listen to these consumer groups experience successful connections and sales. 

After diving into the ways that brands are reaching diverse audiences, it will be clear just how imperative it is for companies to meet the needs of those doing the shopping because today’s society is a wave pool of diversity. 

Transfer Master Caters To Those With Mobility-Specific and Medical Needs

Some demographics have difficulty finding products that are tailored to them and their needs. One such group is non-able-bodied people and people with mobility-specific needs. 

When you include people who have distinct medical needs in this audience, there’s a large gap between the products available and the buyers. This consumer group often gets overlooked and thus has trouble finding the products they need amongst the products tailored towards non-disabled people. 

To reach this group, brands must understand that people with mobility and medical needs often look for the same home and lifestyle goods that non-disabled people want. Still, they need products that have slight distinctions that cater specifically to their physical requirements. One such brand that has adapted to meet the needs of this unique consumer group is Transfer Master. 

Transfer Master effectively reaches this target audience by understanding their customers’ desire for a home hospital bed that meets their needs and blends into their homes. Their products don’t scream “hospital bed” but rather simply say “bedroom,” a normality that non-disabled people experience every day. 

This company provides for its audience’s needs by realizing that people who must purchase hospital beds for their homes don’t want them to interfere with the hominess of their space. The result is home rehab beds that are affordable, comfortable, functional, and contemporary, something their consumers are delighted to find.

Reach All Ages and Backgrounds With Pictures on Gold

Buyers want to be acknowledged for who they are and what they want. More than half of consumers (53%) reported that they feel more connected to a brand when it understands what they’re looking for and who they are. Pictures on Gold reaches a wide range of people with its mission of promoting love through wearable products.

No matter their age, interests, background, or religion, consumers can wear pictures of their loved ones in a locket. Although this encompasses a broad spectrum of people, Pictures on Gold understands that nothing is as universally connective as love, so they offer customers the ability to purchase a custom locket necklace. By giving consumers additional options for the appearance and theme of their necklaces, the brand is able to satisfy a diverse range of people. 

Pacifica Beauty Targets Audiences Living Cruelty-Free, Sustainable Lifestyles

Gen Zs and Millennials care about sustainability, with 75% of Gen Zs stating they prefer sustainability over popular brands and the majority of the younger demographic saying they’re willing to shop differently — even if it means spending more — to support eco-conscious efforts. This is imperative for brands to know and adapt their practices towards. 

Because Gen Zs and Millenials are so intent on making lifestyle changes for the good of the planet, brands are expected to also take up this fight if they want to retain customers.

It isn’t always easy to know where to look for products that match these goals, and even though they’re intent in their values, consumers look to brands for information. They want brands to state how their products are helping make a positive impact on the environment (or at the very least, not making a negative impact). This target audience cares more about supporting a brand’s values than its products, but they still want to find lifestyle goods they can incorporate into their everyday routine. 

Brands that listen to younger audiences’ desire for sustainability are successful because they meet the needs of their consumers by providing what they want. They also make it easy to follow an eco-friendly lifestyle by presenting buyers with products they can keep ordering. 

Pacifica Beauty understands the target audience for their vegan makeup; these shoppers care about the impact of synthetic ingredients, manufacturing processes, and testing procedures, so they desire cruelty-free products with sustainable packaging. They also care about the ingredients they use on their skin, so naturally derived, vegan beauty products appeal to them. By creating makeup and skincare that meets multiple needs at once, Pacifica Beauty shows their customers that they understand and cater to them.

Sips By Offers Curated Product Sets as Gifts or Subscriptions

Another niche market is the one Sips By caters to with custom tea gift sets that can be sent to friends and loved ones or used by the buyers themselves. 

Sips By’s clientele is those who enjoy quality tea goods with genuine flavors that come in pretty packaging. This niche audience is looking to either order beautifully-packaged products for their home or send gift sets to others in their circle, be it friends, colleagues, their children’s teachers, family members, or significant others. 

Because this niche consumer group is willing to order their tea goods online, which adds extra wait time with packaging and shipping, the brand focuses on what their audience wants that makes the wait worth it. 

Sips By sells products that are charmingly designed, high quality, and aligned with their audience’s other interests. For example, Sips By sells tea boxes based on popular books, Galentines-themed tea gifts, travel-themed sets, and women-owned tea brands sets, all in line with what their audience likes.

Stoggles Reaches Those With Vision Needs Working in Diverse Fields

Many people want to be both safe and stylish, and although they work in fields that require safety glasses, they don’t want to compromise on style. Stoggles reaches this niche audience with their prescription safety glasses that come in a variety of shapes and colors but have the protective capacity of goggles. 

Stoggles’ glasses reach all people who work in fields requiring eye protection and want a more comfortable, fashionable fit of eyewear. They even include prescription options for those who don’t have 20/20 vision. Stoggles even offers blue light blocking in their glasses because many people switch between computer work and their other roles. 

Considering that numerous jobs require safety glasses, such as positions where workers interact with chemicals, debris and dust, fluids, sparks, metal shards, and screens, this audience is fairly large and has a previously-unmet need. 

Anyone in construction, nursing and laboratory work, manufacturing, welding, electrical labor, office management, carpentry, and auto work will turn to Stoggles when they’re ready to upgrade their basic goggles. Fortunately, for both parties, the brand will be there waiting.

Olipop Targets Consumers Who Want Health-Conscious Options

Most people feel a soft spot in their hearts for the foods they grew up enjoying. However, with age comes knowledge, including the understanding that bodies need fuel and many childhood favorites have little nutritional benefits. Those who care about eating well and want to buy products they can consume guilt-free make up the health-conscious consumer group. 

Brands that understand this adult longing for foods from customers’ pasts that meet their health goals today are able to achieve great sales and customer loyalty. Olipop meets this need with their healthy soda. With only two to five grams of sugar, nine grams of fiber, and prebiotics for added digestive support in every can, Olipop is extremely drinkable. 

Compare that to the 39 grams of sugar in a can of Coca-Cola, plus the high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and caffeine content (34 mg); it’s no surprise that consumers are ready to make a big switch in the carbonated beverages they drink.

The fact that Olipop tastes like a nostalgic sugary drink from childhood but is a healthier alternative that adult bodies with food sensitivities, slower metabolisms, and more health concerns can enjoy is a huge selling feature. Since it’s hard to know how to prepare healthier versions of their favorite foods from scratch, consumers love being able to look to a brand they trust.

Takeaways on Brand Adaptation

Brands are called on by consumers to meet their diverse needs, as one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to reaching people who, by nature, are unique. 

These brands do an excellent job at listening to their consumer groups and adapting their strategies to provide for buyers’ needs. A key part of reaching diverse audiences is using messaging that resonates with them. Getting this piece of the puzzle right can lead to loyal customers for life. 

And, of course, equally as necessary is providing products that cater to exactly what niche markets are looking for. When these steps are taken, brands are on the right path to being well-loved and successful, and customers are content.

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Pacifica, Transfer Master, Sips By, Ollipop