Staying True to Your Brand while Expanding into New Audiences

Published on: | Updated on: | Trisha Miles



Expanding into new target audiences is a great opportunity and often used in growth marketing strategies. But it’s not a move to be made lightly without careful consideration. Companies need to make sure they’re staying true to their brand during such a time and that they remain committed to their existing customer base.  

So, how exactly can you achieve this? It all starts with building the proper foundation and aligning all members of your company on goals and objectives. 

Expand Your Marketing Horizons with New Target Audiences

In our latest episode, Laura Ballereau, Senior Director of Marketing at Briggs & Riley, shares firsthand experience and advice about: 

  • Establishing the foundation for expanding into new audiences 

  • Communicating your company’s core values effectively, both internally and externally

  • Embodying these values in a way that supports your customers and benefits your community

She also shares an inspiring story of how Briggs & Riley dedicates itself to making a difference in society – a story that’s guaranteed to brighten your day.  

Check out this episode of our Marketing Expert chat series now to discover how your brand can expand to new customer bases while also remaining consistent in your identity and service to existing, loyal consumers. 


Video Transcript:


CAROLINE: Hi, today, I am here with Laura Ballereau She has a very rich background in building and managing brands, consumer brands, and now she’s the Senior Director of Marketing at Briggs and Riley. Laura, thank you so much for being with us today.

LAURA: Thank you for having me, Caroline.

CAROLINE: So today I’m really excited. We’re going to touch on a topic that we haven’t touched on at all here before, which is kind of… Once a company has an established brand and loyal customers, right, and want to expand into a different audience, it’s really exciting, but it really needs to be done thoughtfully. So, my question for you today, Laura, is how can you stay true to your brand while expanding into new audiences at the same time?

LAURA: Certainly, it’s now more than ever, today’s customer think of a brand as people or a group that they want to have an emotional connection with. It’s critical, it’s not just a transaction, it’s a relationship. And the foundation for growing your audience while staying true to your brand is valuing the customer and showing that you actually care about more than just profits. So, that’s relationship building, that’s holding on to your existing customer base while also bringing new audience members and customers into your business.

But it’s critical for the leadership team to establish the foundation. What is it, how do they do that? The leadership team and key stakeholders need to identify the top priorities and share with the organization, the customers, the business partners, what are your core values? What does the company stand behind? It’s absolutely critical that that is communicated internally and externally at all touch points and they do need to stay true, but continuously reevaluate everything else. They have to stay true to those core values. That’s the foundation for growth, don’t just say them, don’t just list them. Live them, embody them, make sure that you are consistently communicating to customers and the new customers. That will bring new audiences in, help people understand what the brand stands for and start developing their relationship with the brand, purchasing the product and growing with the brand as the brand grows.

CAROLINE: Mm-hmm and do you have just a couple of examples of things you’ve done at Briggs and Riley that you’d be able to share with us?

LAURA: Sure, so Briggs has a set of core values that is actually posted on a wall in the main entrance. Every employee has a mug that shows the core values as well. We list it in every, at the beginning of every meeting, team meeting, a bigger meeting. We definitely live, eat and breathe it. You go into the kitchen and the mugs are there. So, we’re constantly seeing it. We treat people as family and that’s personified from leadership down, across, down, and across, and every which way, it is a family business. So, it is at the heart and soul of who we are. We treat our customers as family, as well. We have a fabulous customer experience team that is available to make sure our customers feel good, not just about our product, but know that we’re supporting them when they’re traveling globally.

So, what that means is we make things a little bit easier for our customers, we have a global repair center. If a customer is somewhere very far away, we have contacts throughout the world that can get them and their luggage up and running if there’s any small repair needed. You don’t want to be stranded somewhere in a city you’re in a rush perhaps maybe for a business trip, perhaps whatever it is, but we can get your bag repaired very simply. It’s full service, we provide that support, but one of the other core values for the brand is giving back and for many, many years, the company has come together to support certain organizations and it’s fundraising throughout the year. It culminates in annual walks.

So, we, and that’s been year over year, but what is true, that we established several years ago and is very authentic to the brand, which we talked about earlier is we established a luggage trade-in program. So, what our, the owner was very aware, had become aware that what happens to children primarily in the foster care system, they sometimes go from home to home with nothing but a shopping bag for their belongings. And that obviously resonates, that’s a horrible experience for anyone. So, we work together as a team to say, how can we switch this? We make luggage, we make luggage that lasts for a lifetime, so we established the A Case for Giving Luggage trade-in program. And this year will be our seventh annual program.

We basically get gently used pieces into the hands of men, women, and children in need throughout North America. We have donated over 7500 pieces to different organizations and folks that really need the product. This touches many different levels. Not only is it true to the Briggs and Riley brand, it’s also a sustainability matter because the bags get reused and repurposed, and they’re not filling up landfills. So, it’s basically a 360-degree program that we’re so proud to have launched and to have established through all these years. So, that plays back to our core values.

CAROLINE: Right, that’s, first of all, that’s a really awesome story, giving back for brands is, I think it makes everybody feel good, right? It makes you feel good, it makes the beneficiaries.

LAURA: Right.

CAROLINE: It brings real benefits. And I think when people think about brands, they don’t necessarily think through all the levels of what it means, but what it really means is that you can make a real impact in society.

LAURA: Most definitely.

CAROLINE: So, that’s quite a wonderful story and way to think about it, so thank you so much for sharing this with us today.

LAURA: It is a win-win and like I said, authenticity is everything and we are so passionate about the program, in fact, we’re expanding it. And we are working with a national organization called Comfort Cases and they also are committed to helping children in need. So, we’re really happy to launch this in May and the program is going to get bigger and better and reach more people in need.

CAROLINE: That’s really amazing.

LAURA: Yeah.

CAROLINE: Well, Laura, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your insight today, I really appreciate it.

LAURA: Oh, thank you for having me. It was great speaking with you.