Help, I don't know who my Target Customer is!
Believe or not, you already know who your target customer is. There is only one question you need to answer to identify this group: why did I start my business? Without getting into behaviors, psychology, and demographics - your target customer is the reason you started your business. You simply can't conceive a business idea and not consider who you are going to serve.
Your target customer is the framework of your business strategy. Every detail of your business is centered on how they are going to engage with your product or service. The goal is to narrow down to a certain audience so that your brand can communicate more effectively and deliver the correct message via the proper channel.
Fortune 500 companies are not the only ones vested in knowing this vital information. You need to know who your audience is, whether you are a driven business owner hoping to expand or a person trying to establish a personal brand. You need to set marketing initiatives that are targeted and goal oriented.
And yes, you can have more than one buyer persona within your target audience, in addition to different target markets. It all depends on how many products and services you are offering.
Before moving ahead, we must answer: what is a target customer? An individual, institution, or business looking to solve a problem, meet a demand, or fulfill a need with the help of your product or service. You aren't selling your product or service to just anyone or everyone. The easiest way to waste money is by not having a clear marketing strategy. It doesn't make sense to waste resources on consumers who don't want or need your product or service.
If shoe brand x, is known for selling high heels to professional women, why pay for ads marketed towards seniors who want comfort and stability? As a business owner, it's not about forcing your way into people's lives but showing consumers how their lives are going to improve with your product or service.
Now, that I've given you a basic understanding of target customers - we can now get to why you are all here: messaging. I've spent a lot of time learning about the components of branding for the purpose of developing specific messages for small businesses.
To develop your brands messaging, I, or you, need to know who you are talking to. Without target customers or audience, those messages are headed straight for the metaverse.
If you own a coffee shop, your overarching target customers are coffee drinkers. You may sell tea, but tea drinkers are not your target. You can create a separate messaging tract for this group. Let's say your coffee shop offers something distinct to your local community like late night coffee. The inspiration behind this unique trait is to serve the local university student workers who need help staying awake but don't have a place to get coffee late.
When you design your messaging, this distinction, along with the target customer should be the focus. We're going to create a piece of messaging called a brand positioning statement, which expresses how your brand fills a particular customer need in a way that competitors don't. It's important that you learn to Set Your Business Apart from similar brands in your industry. I'm going to use the template below to create a mock positioning statement for Twilight Coffee.
[Our Company] is targeted toward [target customer] who needs [what do they need/problem]. [Our Company] offers [what do you offer that solves problem] that makes customers [how does your product or service makes them feel].
[Twilight Coffee] is targeted toward [busy students] who need [a boost of energy to fuel late nights]. [Twilight Coffee] offers [extended business hours] that makes customers [feel supported as they accomplish their goals].
All your business messaging is to be created with your target customer in mind. The message that you consistently want to send to your target customer is how your product or service is solving their problem and improving their life.
Empathy towards your target customer is vital in making a human connection and building a loyal base. Empathy allows you to better understand customer pain points-what they value, how they want to connect, what sparks a connection to your brand.
I offer brand messaging services to help startups and small businesses reach their target customers. Check out our services page for more information.