Author Archives:Luci Parmer, Ph.D.

So Just Who is Your Customer Anyways?


who is my customer?Embarking on an entrepreneurial endeavor is no easy task. Figuring out who is your customer, who is going to buy your product or service can be even harder. At first thought you might think, “well everyone is a potential customer,” but is that really the case? Often times if you really reflect long and hard on the product and/or service you are offering to the world, you will start to see some clearly defined characteristics of what your customer looks like, acts like, and even thinks like psychologically. While it is a bold move to say “everyone’s welcome!” as an entrepreneur, take a step back and really delineate whom that customer actually is that will be buying your product or service.

Some entrepreneurs may even start a business with a particular customer in mind, whereas others define their customer (or target market) much later in the business process. Occasionally, unique customers will define and find the business all on their own! This process can help the entrepreneur in actually seeing who is at their business steps on day-to-day bases. There are many ways to distinguish who your customer is, but it is always better to have specific identifying features (demographics) in mind for your ideal customer base. Yes, sure, there are some products that can be purchased by any gender, ethnic group, and/or socio-economic background, but age is one of the strongest demographics that help to clearly define a customer base, or set a customer group apart.

For example, kid products, tween products, and teen products are in a marketing shell all of their own. Yes some products do crossover from these age groups into adults and vice versa, such as with make-up products, or razors, but very few do. So when defining your product or service start with the age demographic and then work your way up from there into gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, city, region, language, and even such areas as education level. A student just starting out at college would be more in the market for a backpack as opposed to a student about to start writing a dissertation at the doctoral level who would be more in the market for technological software products or high-end organizational devices.

So when figuring out who your customer base really is, if you are already in business and selling, take a look at what types of customers are calling you up and asking you questions about your product/service. Take a look at which customers are actually buying your product/service already. Are there any patterns that stick out regarding the type of customer they really are? Are there any clearly identifiable customer features that come to mind?

You may be asking “but is it OK to have a product/service that does appeal to the masses?” Of course it is! However, having a clearly defined customer base, or target market, to which you are actively selling or servicing to allows you the freedom to market your product/service directly to the them, and make this group feel important, unique, and noticed! It can be scary at first to define your customer base, but this doesn’t mean that your customer base won’t evolve and grow, and change over time, but having this picture of what your customer looks, and act likes is getting you, as an entrepreneur, one step closer to being focused on your business, what it means, and what it brings to this giant marketplace, as a whole.