Designer Insights

How Designers Can Adjust Their Message for Different Audiences

designers and customers working together deciding on a solution using color palette

As a designer, you know that your customer base is growing and changing. Recently KBIS shared research that reflected four segments of your customer base: Young Starters, Moving Ups, Mid-Life Made-Its, and Older Next Phasers. You have seen all of these segments represented in your clients, and you know they have different needs and respond differently to marketing. When you understand those differences, you can customize your content and approach to meet their needs and ultimately make a sale.

With a few exceptions, designers shared that they can generally predict what each segment is looking for: the Young Starters are looking for Modern and Industrial kitchen designs with open shelving and connected appliances. The Moving-Ups like all of those elements plus unique backsplashes and a more Transitional style, a style preference they share with Midlife Made-Its. They are also looking for luxury and ventilation hoods that make a statement. While the Older Next-Phasers look for Refined Traditional styles, they share a desire for custom cabinets and high-end appliances with the Midlife Made-Its. When you start to see the characteristics of these segments, you as a designer can predict behavior and adjust your communications approach. 

Here are some additional marketing changes you should make: 

  • New Social Media Platforms – You know that your Young Starters, Moving Ups and Midlife Made-Its are gathering ideas from multiple platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Houzz. Can they find your business and your ideas on those platforms? Can they find you on LinkedIn when they are looking for designers? 
  • Marketing Message Changes – You may have a social media presence, but if your messaging doesn’t connect to your audience, you won’t see the results. Through project ideas, tips, and educational content, 27% of designers are adjusting their messaging to fit specific segments of their customer base. Designers are also shifting the focus of their messaging to the services they provide (22%) or focusing on the customer experience and emotions (16%). Some are also focusing on high-end products in their messaging and seeing a shift in their clientele.
  • Different Design Service Emphasis – Designers are showcasing the services they offer in different ways, and most (25%) keep the design services as a central focus. But they know that Moving Ups want more DIY and how-to advice content while the Older Next Phasers are downsizing and interested in aging in place. Other designers (12%) are emphasizing their knowledge or areas of expertise and their whole project approach, including an emphasis on universal design for the Older Next Phasers.  

Even slight adjustments in how and what you communicate can impact how potential clients respond. Taking time to identify your audience and create a simple strategy to deliver the right messages can make a big difference for your business.