How to Use Demographics to Reach Your Target & Position Your Brand

by | Nov 25, 2020 | 0 comments

Today, demographics dictate brand positioning as cultural sub-sets define local markets.  Demographics act as the blueprint for determining your brand and advertising strategy. Start-ups, emerging businesses, and those in their 2nd growth must look at demographics to determine the feasibility and potential of the marketplace in relation to their brand.

To illustrate, I took the four zip codes that comprise Tacoma, Wash. and analyzed their demographic makeup. Here’s what I found…

Zip Code 98403 (the twentysomethings)

General Demographics:

  • Total Population: 7,783
  • Number of Households: 4,569
  • Median Home Value: $375,000
  • Population Mix: White-84%, Black-5%, Asian-3%, Two or more races-5%, Other-3%
  • Population By Gender: Male-48%, Female-52%
  • Median Head-of-Household Age: 29
  • Median Household Income: $52,763
  • Households: Families-29%, Singles-49%, Other-22%

Market Analysis & Brand Positioning:

This market is composed of young adults who are career oriented. Most are single, mobile, and urban. Education is key to this market’s success. This is a good market for local restaurants, clothing outlets, cafes, gyms, and bars. This demographic is educated. They read books and the media of choice is online streaming and gaming.

Zip Codes 98405/98409 (newly formed households)

General Demographics: Both of these zip codes have very similar demographic profiles.

  • Total Population: 22,851 and 22,989 respectively
  • Number of Households: 10,412 and 9,992
  • Median Home Value: $195.000/$167,000
  • Population Mix: White-60%, Black-18%,Asian-6%. Two or more Races-10%, Other-6%
  • Population By Gender: Male-49%, Female-51%
  • Median Head-of-Household Age: 34
  • Median Household Income: $44,970
  • Households: Families-31%, Singles-53%, Other-16%

Market Analysis & Brand Positioning:

These are moderate income households.  Unemployment and poverty are low with half of the workforce employed in  manufacturing.  Home values are 40% below the national average. These residents are active in community activities, volunteer work, and taking domestic trips. Most drive older cars and use coupons for grocery purchases.

There’s a difference between demographics and psychographics:


  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Location
  • Employment
  • Income
  • Married/Single


  • Personality
  • Values
  • Attitudes
  • Interests
  • Lifestyle
  • Politics
  • Religion

Zip Code 98416 (college campus)

General Demographics:

  • Total Population: 1,014
  • Number of Households: 50
  • Median House Value: N/A
  • Population Mix: White-81%, Black-1%, Asian-8%,Other-10%
  • Population By Gender: Male-41%, Female-59%
  • Median Head of Household Age: N/A
  • Median Household Income: $25,000
  • Household: Families-6%, Singles-94%

Market Analysis & Brand Positioning:

This market is comprised of student housing. Spending goes to college expenses and social life. Top-ranked are fast food take-out, and ATM cards.  Purchase decisions are based primarily on price. Rank high on video gaming, social media, and TV sports.

As seen, brand positioning and marketing/advertising would be different within each zip code, although adjacent to each other. Tacoma is a small urban center but even there the demographics between zip code areas are very different.

Studying the demographics will, in many cases, drive your brand positioning and marketing strategy. Note: You only have to search the zip code to obtain most of the demographic information.

Categories: Marketing

By Jim Lavorato

Jim Lavorato is the founder of 4M Performance which is designed to assist businesses to survive and thrive in these uncertain times. Jim launched an entertainment-related company in 1988. He was at the forefront in cinema technology and helped spearhead the movie industry's transition to digital presentation and distribution. He also co-founded the Arboreal Group, an environmental consultancy. He has published articles on the motion picture and media industries and is a contributing editor for ScreenTrade magazine and writes a blog "Cinema Mucho Gusto". He is a certified SCORE Mentor in the SCORE Greater Phoenix Chapter and lives in Scottsdale, AZ. Learn more about Jim in his "About" page.

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