A customer profile is the most important step in establishing your fundamental brand. Think of it as a blueprint—it forms the foundation from which to build your brand image.
Knowing who you are serving is critical for the success of your business. How can you make it to the finish line without knowing where you are going? Building a customer profile is similar to drawing a road map. After we draw up your customer profile or profiles, we will reference them throughout the branding process. This will ensure that “that person” who is your dream client is going to consume and love your product or service. We make sure we are not designing something that you will like, but something that your customer will like. There is a fine art to explaining this difference to a client. Believe me, we always hear “I like this one” or “my mother likes this one,” but it’s not about you or your mother unless you and your mom are your target customers.
We start the profile by having our clients fill out a detailed worksheet that will help us identify and outline their target customer. At Stellen, we name our profiles, give them professions, ages, genders, hobbies…you name it. You will know your profile so well you will feel like it’s an old friend. For example, knowing where someone grocery shops says a lot about the rest of their behaviors. The Trader Joe’s shopper is a lot different from the Whole Foods shopper… both stores sell food, yet the customers they serve can be very different. The Trader Joe’s shopper loves to find unique items without breaking the bank, while the Whole Foods shopper really values sustainability and doesn’t mind paying top dollar. I could go on and on and build out profiles for each of these…
You might be thinking, “my business is for everyone and I don’t want to limit myself to one customer.” Don’t worry! Just because we are building your brand to appeal to a target customer doesn’t mean you are going to be unattractive to everyone else. We are simply ensuring you are primarily attracting who you want to attract. I have had clients fill out our profile worksheet and say, “the target age group for my eatery is 3-83.” But, while everyone from 3-83 can enjoy their eatery, you can’t target three year olds and 83 year olds at the same time. Plus, as an eatery, unless you want put in a play place and only serve mac and cheese, you won’t want to target three year olds. A more effective target for the eatery might be health-conscious 35-45 year olds who work long hours, don’t have long lunch breaks, and care about healthy, sustainable food.
My favorite analogy for customer profiles is Target vs. Walmart. Both stores sell the same products (albeit under different brands), yet they attract very different customers. When was the last time you saw an up-and-coming Public Relations Specialist in Manhattan wearing a dress from Walmart? Chances are, never; however, there are pretty good odds she is wearing a dress from Target that she picked up while she was there getting office supplies.
If you would like help outlining your customer profile, just let us know! We are happy to help guide you through the process.