Every business book you read, every piece of business advice you see all chant the same mantra…” Know who you are selling to and the sale is practically yours”. I’ve gone through this exercise in previous corporate roles over the years and more recently in small retail businesses I have operated…and it’s hard to do. Whaaaatttt? Yep, it is hard, nigh on impossible with some businesses to drill down to the specifics of who your ideal client / avatar / super customer is. Knowing their age, vital statistics and the finer details of their pay Cheque can be difficult with “general” retail businesses.
What do I mean by general retail? I mean regular every day stuff – homeware, gift, toys, clothing, jewellery, things that you would use, wear, play with on an everyday basis, to decorate your home, or wear for general occasions. These product categories are so difficult to pin down your ideal customer, and can have business owners literally tearing their hair out trying to understand who their ideal customer is.
Let me give you an example…. A cream duvet cover with embroidered trim. Who could or would be buying this?
- A teenage wanting a clean, crisp bedding
- A 20 something female wanting bedding for her first apartment
- A 30 or 40 something female wanting to refresh her home
- A 50 something female buying it as a gift for her teenage daughter
- A 60 something female wanting it for a wedding gift
- A 70 something female wanting it for her guest room / gift for daughter / granddaughter / great-granddaughter
- A 20/ 30/ 40 / 50 / 60 something male buying it for a gift or for self-purchase
Do you see how lovely things can appeal to so many people? Such a diverse age range of customers…each with a different background, want and need.
Here’s another….A pull-along wooden duck toy. Who may consider buying this?
- A new mum buying for their toddler
- A teenager buying for younger sibling
- A 20/ 30 / 40 female buying for niece / nephew / birthday gift / christening gift
- A 20/30/ 40 male buying for gift
- A new dad buying for toddler
- A 50/60/70-year-old buying for grandchild
- A teacher buying for school use
- A nursery buying for business use
- A couple in their 50s/60s buying for the child next door
The list can go on, I’m sure I’ve missed someone of some age or category out, but do you see how so many types of people can buy “general” products?
So, when we are told we can’t market to everybody, often we know we should market to everybody, because our product does appeal to everybody.
But it is hard to create your style of marketing to appeal to everybody, so you do have to choose your marketing to suit a “group” of ideal customers, or, create your marketing to appeal to their pain point…which, in turn markets to everyone with that pain point.
So, let’s take the example the bedding set again…
Your marketing could say
“Fancy a new look in your bedroom? Tired of your old, faded bedding and wanting a fresh new look”
“The latest trend in bedding is cool, crisp, contemporary – bring your room up to date with our modern fresh bedding”
This would appeal to customer numbers 1,2,3,6 and 7 as it inspires them, updates them on fashion trends and jolts them into considering refreshing their rooms.
For the duck….
Your marketing could say
“Traditional wooden toys have been popular gifts for generations. Unsure of what to buy for that perfect gift, our pull along duck is perfect”
“What to buy the baby who has everything? Bring some nostalgia and tradition into their nursery with our hand crafted, premium wood pull along duck – no batteries, just simple old-fashioned fun”
This would appeal to all but customers 7 and 8 (who may still respond as they see the words traditional etc.).
By opening your marketing with a question that touches their pain point, you can really tap into a wide range of customers without panicking over niching down to one specific customer avatar.
So which businesses can niche down to a specific customer? Products that appeal to a hobby, occasion or activity are niche- such as craft shops – selling wool, paints etc. Their ideal customer is a crafter, or keen hobby crafter, into home renovations and upcycling.
Occasion wear clothing retailers have niche customers such as mother of the bride, vintage lovers or attending weddings, races, VIP parties.
Activity businesses could be sportswear retailers – focusing on yoga fans, runners, new runners starting a new hobby, keep fit / weight loss, …selling cool flexible clothing, sports and water bottles, fitness equipment. It’s quite easy to aim your marketing and advertising at these smaller, niche customer categories.
So next time someone asks you if you have nailed your ideal customer, you can answer, no, it’s impossible but I’ve nailed my customers common paint points.
For more information on ideal customers and covering your marketing, I can help you with customer research and focusing on getting your marketing right to cover those pain points. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you downloaded my free EBOOK, which also covers the topic of super customers? [[ Download Here ]]