Customer Profile

Rafat Abushaban

- Marketing #  O 12.1K views   اقرأ بالعربية

Summary:A personification of the ideal customer (person) for whom a business is creating products and services.

Avatar A "Customer Profile", an "Avatar", or an "Ideal customer" are all terms that describe a person whom is expected to be the perfect customer who needs the products and services a business is offering. This profile is used to help the business planner narrow down the target market, and focus with their products and services offered to utilize the business resources and maximize profit.

When describing the customer profile, it is advisable to be as much specific as possible 1. Getting the granular details of Age, Family, Gender, Income Level, Education, Location, Occupancy and even Name are not uncommon to identify 2.

The more personal and detailed this profile, the better. The profile should specify:

  • Personal info (age, status, Income Level, Education, Location, Occupancy).
  • What is the customer's problem?
  • How is it affecting the customer’s life?
  • How does the customer currently deal with this problem?

Example on an Avatar

This is a sample Avatar for our online platform, Riable: “Our avatar is Raed, a 25-year-old who has been working in separate non-connected tasks since he has graduated university. He has been wanting to start a startup for 2 years already, but he doesn’t have a clear idea on where to start.

Raed has applied for a startup incubator now to follow his dream, but he found that the information requested to develop his business concept and plan tough to make on his own without help.

He is working on a freelancing task at the moment, and is usually building his business concept and plan on the nights and weekends. Raed lives alone and hopes to get married and settle down in a few years once he has made a decent business to sustain himself and his future family.”

Understanding the Customer and Customer Profile

The following video is part of the series "Free Business Modeling Course" and it showcases customer profile and relevant concepts in depth. Make sure that subtitles in English are set for best results.

How Many Customer Profiles (Avatars) Should a Business Address?

Different people have different needs that require products and services, and thus businesses try to appeal to as many people as possible. But to what degree? The following two cases help separate the focus from having one or more avatars.

  • Avatars for new businesses
  • If you are starting off (idea is still in the conception phase), it is best to keep things simple with less avatars. One avatar may be sufficient.
    However, you can set more than one avatar if your business serves customers in multiple differentiable geographic areas, or have multiple core products or services.

  • Avatars for existing businesses
  • For existing startups and businesses, they can have multiple avatars representing multiple target market segments and geographies and multiple channels. Here, an avatar may already be in place, but business owners should revisit and redefine these avatars on a regular basis to make sure that customer demands hasn't shifted, and that the presented value suits customers' needs.
    You would want to focus on three areas for your avatar(s):

    • Previous customers who have already bought in the past
    • Current paying customers who are receiving your products
    • Potential customers whom you are after

When defining avatars, this definition is used to classify such avatars for markets. We can have one or more markets to focus on, including the Mass Market, Niche Market, Segmented Market, and Multi-sided Platform Market as shown below. More details on understanding these markets and linking Avatars to them is available via the free course on Business Modeling > Target Market. Mapping market

Example on Having More Than One Avatar

Going back to the previous example for Riable, we define more than one Avatar. One is Raed (already mentioned) who is defined as a 'Mass Market' customer. The other is Huda, defined as a 'Niche Market' as follows:
Huda is a 30-year old mom with a family of three. She works as a high-school teacher and is interested in opening her own online educational center that can reach students outside her small town, aiming to create a more sustainable impact and income. Unlike Raed, she does not have much time to work on her business model and thus needs expert advice and guidance customized to her project.

Rafat Abushaban

Founder of Riable and consultant to several international organizations in entrepreneurship education and researcher in innovation systems and seed funding methods with 10+ years of practical experience in the MENA region, Europe, US and S.Korea
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