Defining Your Ideal Customer


Many businesses don’t have a good handle on defining their ideal customer. Often their definition is too general like “small businesses” or “millennials”. This isn’t nearly specific enough and doesn’t explore the psychology of the ideal customer.

The most common mistake businesses make is in thinking they already understand everyone and know what they want. There are also businesses that skip defining their ideal customer entirely. They jump right in without having a clue as to who their ideal customer is and what they really want.

In both cases, by trying to attract everyone, you run the risk of ending up with no one. The ability to find your ideal customer, sell your product or service to them, and satisfy the customer so that they become repeat customers should be the central focus

Finding your ideal customer

Start by building a profile of your ideal customer by identifying the specific needs and characteristics of the consumers or businesses that buy your product or service.

For individuals, this means taking a good hard look at:

  • Who your customers are (age, gender, education, income, marital status, etc.)

  • Why they buy (lifestyle, personality type, hobbies, values, likes/dislikes, etc.)

For business clients, you’ll need to look for things they have in common, including:

  • Type of business/industry

  • Revenue

  • Location

  • Number of employees

For both individuals and business customers, examine the purchasing process:

  • How they research their purchase

  • What their need is

  • Identify the unique benefit they find in your product or service

Once you’ve given some thought to what defines your ideal client, you’ll probably find they’re not all the same. There will very likely be two or more customer profiles within your client base. Create profiles, often called personas, describing each unique segment. Be sure to be very specific. Get a clear mental image for each unique client group and give them names. Include a fleshed-out picture describing each of your ideal clients.

The greater clarity you have about your ideal customer, the more focused and effective your marketing efforts will be.

If you have questions about defining your ideal customer or need some help, just let us know.

Bob Levy