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Who is Your Ideal Customer?

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Understanding your ideal customer is essential to your success as a business owner, and one way to get to know that person before your company even launches is through the development of a customer avatar.  No company will have a customer base comprised of identical individuals; however, to develop effective marketing strategies, it is imperative to identify your ideal customer. 

This ideal customer is someone who embodies the characteristics and behavior traits most common to your customer base as a whole.  For example, a magazine for stay-at-home moms probably has some dads and some working moms as subscribers.  Yet, the company will use the typical subscriber—perhaps a 38-year-old, married mother of two in a large suburban area—in making strategic business decisions, particularly with respect to marketing. 

One method to help you better understand your ideal customer is to create a customer avatar.  Rather than just brainstorming, sit down and create a physical information sheet on this individual.  Include as many details as possible, such as gender, age, marital status, hometown, salary, hobbies, and personality traits.  Give this individual a name, and even include a picture found online or in a magazine. 

Now you have a face and a name to consider as you further develop your business.  Rather than wondering if a large market out there will want your product or service, you can ask, “Would Kristin eat in my restaurant?  Why or why not?”  The concrete answers that result will help you tweak various aspects of your business, giving you a greater chance of reaching your entrepreneurial goals.


Adapted from: Tribby, Maryellen. Reinventing the Entrepreneur: Turning your Dream Business into a Reality. Hoboken, NJ: John WIley & Sons, 2013. 27-29. Print.

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