As students head back to school, we're getting back to basics and reviewing some "Marketing 101" tips.
In today's lesson, we are discussing the importance of understanding the singular archetypal person you build your brand for... your Ideal Customer. This customer is most highly predictive of your brand’s success and will bring the most amount of revenue over time because he or she has so strongly bought into your brand’s experience.
At Sol Marketing, we empower our clients to discover who their Ideal Customer is, because your brand is ultimately about your customers. Some business owners have a hard time believing this, but your brand isn’t about you. Your brand exists to elevate your customers’ self-image, help them to achieve their goals and become the kind of person they want to be.
Traditional marketing would suggest going after all potential customers that could possibly buy your product or service, and then dividing them into further segments based on demographics and other consumer behaviors. This method can dilute your brand's impact over time, which is why we believe in first identifying your Ideal Customer.
There are a lot of organizations who do a great job at marketing their products and services, but in many cases they're not targeting the right people.
One example of a company that aims its brand at their most profitable customer is “The Beard Club.” Everything that is their brand, including visuals, products and experiences, is aimed squarely at men who take great care of their beards and prefer to buy their grooming products online.
Branding starts with understanding your customers, and in order to do that you must first get inside their heads. Here are some tips for your company to consider when attempting to identify its Ideal Customer:
Talk to existing customers, either through formal or informal research about their experiences with your brand.
If you don’t have money in the budget to conduct formal research, then talk to some loyal customers and buy them some pizza and beer for their time. Beware of false positives, and remind people to be as candid as possible. It’s important that they leave their personal feelings about you aside.
After speaking with existing customers, close your eyes and conjure up a vivid image of who that perfect person is to buy your brand. Don’t be afraid to get out a piece of paper and draw what this person looks like.
Who is that person? How old are they? Is this person male or female? Married or single? Do they have children? What are their shopping habits? What other brands do they buy? What are their hopes? What keeps them up at night? What are they considering when buying your product? What’s important to them, and so on…
After creating a picture of who your Ideal Customer is, think next about that person’s values and beliefs.
Understanding your customer’s needs allows you to extract the story that they want to tell about themselves when buying your brand.
Going through this exercise isn’t easy, but one of our core values here at Sol Marketing is “We do hard things.” One of those hard things is having an honest conversation about your brand – the how, the what and the why.
Eventually you’ll get a clear image of who your Ideal Customer is, and who your brand is for.
If you’d like to learn more about identifying your Ideal Customer, we’re here to help.