If you’re not clear about who your customer is, you’ll find yourself wasting time and money on marketing, advertising, product development, and more.
Before you continue, if you haven’t read Can You Say Who Your Customer Is?, then I recommend going to that article first, and then coming back to this one. It will open in a new tab, so you can easily come back here.
Without a clear idea of who you are serving, you’ll struggle to be effective and efficient across many aspects of your business, including:
- targeting customers in an attempt to generate sales or achieve another objective,
- creating content to attract and retain customers or potential customers,
- designing product changes/upgrades to keep customers and potential customers interested and delighted with your products/services, and
- developing new products/services to take advantage of new expectations and opportunities across your customer and potential customer base.
You might be thinking that many people have the same target audience, or that your product/service is so diverse that your target audience is “everyone”. Worse still, you might be worried that by narrowing down your audience, you’ll be limiting yourself and affecting your potential revenue or growth. I’m here to tell you none of that is true. Allow me to explain:
Everyone needs furniture. But Ikea and Natuzzi have very different customer profiles. Does that affect either one of them? Not at all! In fact, it makes it much easier for them to create products, sell, serve and connect with their respective customers. Each brand creates products suited to its target audience. Each brand also creates marketing that speaks to its target audience in the most effective manner. Prices, store design and experience, website design and functionality, services, partnerships and parallel product lines are all not just influenced, but also decided upon with the ideal customer in mind. Would a $1 hot dog appeal to Natuzzi’s customers as well as it does to Ikea’s customers? Probably not.
Next let’s look at cleaning products. Today, there are a growing number of eco-friendly cleaning products in the market. They do not target “everyone”, even though everyone uses cleaning products. These eco-friendly cleaning product companies target people who are environmentally conscious, do not like to use toxic chemicals, and are willing to pay a slightly higher price (if needed) for safer cleaning products. If you have an eco-friendly cleaning product business, targeting “everyone” would be a waste of your time, energy, and very importantly, money.
Another seemingly universal product, Dove, did a great job of carving out a distinct customer base for itself. Dove started off as a brand selling bars of soap. You wouldn’t be wrong to think that everyone could be a potential customer for Dove. But if you go down that path, you’ll end up competing with every other soap company out there. Instead, Dove created a customer following through focusing on women, and positioning Dove as a luxurious brand of soap that really moisturized the skin, not just cleaned it. Dove then added to this by creating campaigns tackling women’s perceptions of themselves. Through these activities and more, Dove managed to carve out a segment of soap users that wouldn’t dream of using any other product anymore.
So now that we’ve gone through the examples above, I want to come back to the all important question – why does having an ideal customer avatar in mind matter when running a business? I’d say there are at least five reasons. I’ve picked out the five that I believe are most important reasons to truly know your ideal customer and be able to design your customer avatar.
5 Reasons Why You Should Create a Customer Avatar
- To be able to create content that speaks to your ideal customer, using the language and preferences that will resonate with them.
- To ensure better targeting for paid marketing such as Facebook Ads and even TV Commercials.
- To create products and services that address your customer’s needs (and more!).
- To be able to provide the best customer experience with your intended audience in mind.
- To have consistency with your language, tone, types of products/services, marketing, and overall brand.
By having your ideal customer in mind at all times, you’ll be able to create products and services that you know your ideal customer wants, needs and will love. You’ll also be able to create the most impactful content, marketing and advertising because you’ll be able to address your ideal customer’s desires, aspirations, fears and concerns. All of this will be cohesively wrapped up in the right branding because you’ll know what type of branding resonates with your customer. And of course, you’ll have the perfect customer experience designed with your ideal customer in mind, so they will absolutely love engaging with your brand and business.
If you could have all that for the small (in comparison) effort of truly learning all you can about your customer, why would you say no?
What are your biggest challenges with developing a customer avatar? Do you have any current or planned projects to develop one? Post your comments and any questions below, and if you can help anyone else out with an answer, don’t hesitate to do so!
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