Case Study Lesson: How to launch a Separately Branded Version of Your Subscription Service for a Different Target Market

If your subscription content is perfect for two very different target markets, it’s better to create separate brands for each rather than trying to create one service that meets both group’s needs. That’s one of the big takeaways from this week’s Subscription Site Insider Case Study, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the stock-photo site Fotolia launched an entirely new subscription-based service called PhotoXpress aimed at a different target audience.PhotoXpress was created initially as a free image site to generate prospects for Fotolia’s high-end, corporate subscriptions. But the team quickly saw an opportunity to make the site a subscription service in and of itself, which offers lower-priced plans for small businesses and nonprofits.

The approach makes sense because it’s difficult to serve the needs of two distinct audiences. If you aim the service at one demographic, you risk losing the other.

Instead of trying to shoehorn smaller businesses into Fotolia subscriptions, which offer a range of features and subscription terms geared to high-end, heavy users of stock images, the team designed the new PhotoXpress site as a much simpler, lower-cost version of the parent site. While much of the content available on the two sites is the same, PhotoXpress simplified the pricing and licensing agreements to better suit the needs of the typical small-business subscriber. They also designed the site to be easier to use than the somewhat complex image search and selection tools available on Fotolia.Even better, PhotoXpress also functions as a lead-generation channel for the parent site. The marketing team monitors subscribers’ usage to find prospects for upsell offers to the parent-brand’s higher-end subscriptions.So before reaching out to a new target audience, think carefully about whether one site can meet the needs of existing subscribers and the new demographic – or whether it makes more sense to design separate sites tailored specifically to each audience’s specifications.

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