10 Questions PRO Guide: Customer Avatar (Pt. 5)
Who is my ideal customer?
Branding a good story requires an explicit profile of your ideal listener, who relates to your values and converts easily to a customer. To put it another way, you need to know who you are talking to in order to reach them effectively with a tailored and targeted marketing approach!
You can look at that this part of the market research as the most result-focused and decisive step of the whole business planning venture. Creating a Customer Avatar, or a fictional customer character, helps new brands pigeonhole a market persona, who is a profitable target prospect in the short and long term of starting their business. This way, brands find customers based on real data rather than relying on chance and risky wild guesses.
In previous blogs, we’ve talked about understanding your target audience (Part 1) and the importance of defining your niche market for your products. This is the foundational knowledge in the next part of your marketing research, focusing solely on one Customer Avatar, with their individual real needs, pains and challenges.
Define Customer Avatar?
Imagine it this way, you are creating a fictional figure that has its own personality, feelings, preferences, and problems to be resolved with your crafty business solution. This is a buyer persona that you build from facts, surveys, and interviews which you’ve gathered from real people online, or in person.
In this part of the market research, asking people questions and researching trusted sources online may take up some time, but it will all be worthy of your time and efforts in the end!
Why is it important to have one?
You have to pick a certain type of buying persona for your products because you simply can sell to everyone... Knowing your customer well allows businesses to fine-tune their marketing campaigns directly by targeting groups of people that are more easily persuaded compared to everybody else.
This, practically, guarantees you sales, at least in the starting phase when your business is toddling its way into the marketplace. Buying habits also change quickly and it’s crucial to always be in touch with the trends, wants, and challenges in your market niche (or niches). By doing so, you will always have an effective selling approach with your campaigns that is targeted to the right type of customer, at the right time, and with the right delivery of your tailored content strategy.
When should you make your Customer Avatar?
This is an important milestone to complete when establishing a successful T-shirt business model. You can go ahead with it in the very beginning when you define your market or later on when you’re finally off to advertising your brand to the wider public. Either way, you can check to see if it’s a good time to start creating your Customer Avatar if you struggle to come up with an answer any of those questions straight away.
Do you have buyers for your products?
Who is the customer who wants to buy your products?
How would you speak to them if they were in front of you now?
Where is this customer most active on- Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, etc.?
Can you think of a quick selling strategy that is targeted to your ideal customer?
If you found it hard to think on the spot, you are better off considering creating a Customer Avatar by following our template form below. It will help you sketch a conceptual figure of your ideal customer in a lot of detail, which you can use, once again, for your targeted marketing campaigns at a later stage.
For your ease, we’ve provided you with sample answers that address the questions for a hypothetical Christian apparel brand, marketed at young girls and women.
Q1: Where does your ideal buyer hang out and socialize?
(A) In-person: meeting places & leisure time?
(B) Online: companies they follow/social media channels and use/ groups they join online/ videos they watch?
Q2: Where do they get their information from?
Q3: What are their challenges and frustrations in life?
Q4: What are their dreams, hopes, and desires?
Q5: What is your ideal buyer afraid of?
Q6: What is their preferred mode of communication?
Q7: How does your buyer talk and use language when communicating with other people (list phrases/words or sentences)?
Q8: Describe one day of the life of your ideal customer?
Q9: What makes them happy? What surprises can I make that will leave them feeling excited and impressed?
Q10: Summarize your ideal customer- Choose a name and occupation for them, then create a story of their life based on the answers you gave in the previous 9 questions (2-3 paragraphs long).
Template Sample Answers
- (A) After making a small online survey in our niche market, we discovered that the ideal customer for our Christian apparel brand hangs out in church and they like to meet in groups with like-minded individuals outside or at mission trips. In Part 3 of this blog series, we defined our Unique Selling Points. We also found that our brand appeals to teenage Christian girls, passionate about vocalizing their faith in style. Now that we know well of our target market, we can see from the surveys with these groups that they like to spend their time on Christian dating sites and social platforms such as meetups.com.
(B) They like companies like Forever 21, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Alaska Airlines, H.E.B Grocery Stores (Texas), and Tyson Foods. We compiled a list of 12 brands that paint a good picture of our fictional buying figure and their personal spending habits. In addition, we created a list of 10 influencers on Tik Tok and 30 channels on Youtube that our ideal customer watches and follows regularly. You can find popular accounts in blog articles and suggested searches on the topic.
- Our survey also showed that this ideal customer gets their information from Church and their local community. When they are browsing online, our buyers’ persona spends most of their time on Youtube, Tik Tok, and Instagram (in this order).
- We got more personal with our questions and we asked our ideal buyers what are their biggest challenges and “pains” in life. The majority of the respondent ladies shared that it is difficult to find a religious Christian man who shares the same values and belief system. Our persona seems to have a tough and vibrant personality, which can contradict the old stigma about Christian women in society. These ladies want to be accepted and stand up for their unique individuality in the modern day and age of tech and popular fashion. For them, a big challenge today is also talking openly about celibacy and sex.
If you want to avoid asking personal questions in your survey, you can always make your bit of online research and choose to trust user’s opinion in blogs, forums, and social media channels.
- Opposite to the previous question, our ideal buyer was asked to define their dreams and earnest desires in life. The shared the belief that happiness comes from having a stable home, a loyal partner, and getting married with kids. Our ideal customer dreams to grow their own family and feeling part of a loving and accepting Christian community. Family life is very important to them, which is why we want to make this an important aspect to the persona of our Customer Avatar.
- Identifying fears is another important part of the investigation of your buyer’s persona. If you know the soft spots of your customer, you can make campaigns that comfort and make your customer feel welcome by your T-shirt brand. In this instance, our ideal customer is worried about staying single and not feeling accepted in their communities. They are also rather ambitious and afraid of failure in their career.
- After doing our market search and checking our survey results, we found that our ideal buyers spend a lot of time texting online and engaging in social media channels where they can communicate and share their beliefs openly.
- To find more about their jargon and the language our customer uses on a daily basis, we looked into online forums, comment sections & popular quotes they follow. Girls seem to call the name of God often as they speak and they like to glorify their faith, love, and true purpose in life as women who are strong individuals with unique personality.
- We interviewed several people in our target market about their day-to-day life and habits. By checking the activities that that they have in common, we made into a small story that depicted one day of their lives from morning till evening:
The ideal buyer for our Christian apparel T-shirt brand wakes up and prays at home. If they are in school, they would also sometimes pray in school. In their leisure time, they hang out with their Christian friends outside, in shopping malls, or in Church. This customer spends a lot of time socializing with friends, boys or doing extra-curricular activities such as sports and crafts. In the evening, they spend their free time watching TV or using their phone.
- At the end of our Customer Avatar investigation, we found that in order to surprise this customer, our content needs to make them feel hopeful and truly cared for. We ought to make our customer pursue their dreams and believe that they can be accomplished if they are authentic to their true selves when wearing our garments.
In summary, for Question 10, we created an Avatar that matched the profile of our market search so far:
Our Customer Avatar is called Vicky and she is a schoolgirl in Senior High from Texas. Vicky is 18 years old (our broader niche market is 18-25), she is very faithful and youthful, often looking for love, understanding, and attention in her close circles. Our Avatar is feeling confused by the big divide in religion and tech, where Christianity is not considered cool or trendy enough. She yearns to find a safe middle ground in which she is safe to express herself freely but also show her devotion to God without coming across as outdated. Vicky feels the pressure of society to settle down and get married to someone who shares the same belief system and religiosity. She is a kind and driven person who appreciates the value of family and righteous living in tune with her faith, hopes, and personal goals in life.
So, there you go! We created a fully-fledged Customer Avatar with her own personality, wants, and pain points.
These will serve as your guide when you are selling, marketing, and promoting your products or content, for checking in whether you are staying relevant to the needs of your buyer as a real person, rather than trusting an imaginary or vague customer profile.
Remember also that buying habits change quickly, so running regular surveys and online research once every 4-6 months to see how your market adapts to the ongoing trends is useful for crafting successful campaigns that bring you profit!
That’s all for now. We are coming back with more practical content to boost your business and help you create a thriving brand from the get-go…! We encourage you to use all the freely available resources that you have at your disposal and turn this valuable data into real-time sales.