Unless you’re selling nail clippers, lip balm, or toothbrushes, please don’t say your product is for everyone! No brand can reach or should cater to every consumer, and that especially applies to new brands with limited marketing budgets. Instead of aiming for everyone, aim for a target customer who can be served by your product or service. Understanding your customer will allow you not only to better market to them but also to provide better customer service and authentically interact with them over time.
The first step to building a customer base is identifying your target customer. The best way to begin is by literally creating the profile of the ideal person whom you see buying your product or service. Where do they shop? Where do they live? What do they like? What do they need? What motivates them?
If you already have sales coming through your shop, start by taking a look at from where those sales are coming. By identifying the attributes and purchasing behaviors of the customers whose business you’ve already won, you can better build out and determine your ideal customer profile. If you don’t have any existing data yet, that’s ok. It’s never too early to define your target audience so you can market accordingly.
Here’s what to consider when building out your customer profile:
Demographics are the characteristics that tell you the basic elements of your customer; who they are, what they do. This basic information about your customer is the foundation of your customer profile, so it’s important to have a thorough understanding of your target demographic.
- Age [5 – 10 year range]
- Education Level
- Marital Status
- Parental Status
Psychographics tell you why your customer makes the decisions they do; how they think, feel and behave. By better understanding what motivates your customer, you’ll be able to better tailor strategic digital marketing and public relations plans that can optimize your brand’s visibility in front of the optimized potential customer.
- Opinions / Attitudes / Beliefs
Behavioral traits show you how your customer acts; their personality and purchasing patterns. By understanding your customer’s behaviors, you can better tailor messaging and communications (from copy in ads for marketing to e-mail blast content to customer service interactions) so that your customer feels heard.
- Brand Loyalty
- Purchasing History
- Purchasing Habits
- Level of Extraversion
- Communication Style
It can be overwhelming to create your customer from scratch. If you need a bit more direction, a great place to start is with the Big 5 Trait Theory, which analyzes behavior and character based on 5 key factors. Keeping these traits in mind while building out your customer profile can be helpful, as it allows you to think critically about not only who your customer is, but also who he or she isn’t.
- Thrives on a routine vs. Spontaneous
- Practical vs. Imaginative
- Impulsive vs. Cautious
- Organized vs. Scattered
- Trusting vs. Suspicious
- Disagreeable vs. Pleasant
- Anxious vs. Carefree
- Confident vs. Self-Conscious
- Reserved vs. Sociable
- Introspective vs. Superficial
By having a clear understanding of who your customer is and is not, their interests, habits, and motivations, you’ll have a competitive edge that allows you to focus on solving your customers’ problems by meeting them where they are and offering a product or service that meets their needs delivered with an experience that exceeds their expectations.