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A customer avatar (also known as a customer persona) is defined as the complete profile of your ideal customer or client. It includes information that will help you to make meaningful connections with them, to build a loyal community and encourage sales. 

Creating a customer persona is one of the first steps when developing a strategic marketing plan for your business. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the values and demographics of your customers before you can serve them with your products or services. 

Here are some guidelines to consider when thinking of the behaviours of your ideal customers and how you can develop a brand that will be meaningful to them. 

Name and Photo. It may sound silly to give a name to an imaginary person, but it helps you to start thinking of this person in real-life scenarios. Similarly, adding a photo to your planning sheet also encourages you to imagine that this person – and others who are similar – really exist. You can use either a photo of someone you know, or a stock photo image. 

Gender. Although we typically avoid gender stereotypes, some products are specifically branded to appeal to traditional male or female audiences. If your business is marketed to more than one gender, you may want to create 2 or more separate personas.

Age. How old is your typical customer? Determining an age range for your ideal customer will have a major impact on how, when and where you will market to them. This is especially important when it comes to things like family life and social media. We’ll explain more, below. 

Income. Write down the annual income range for your persona. A person’s income level will have a profound impact on their purchasing habits. For example, lower income customers will put strong emphasis on value for money, whereas wealthy buyers don’t mind paying a lot of money for designer products with high prestige. 

Location. Where does your ideal client live? Are they all in your city? Rural or urban? Will you market outside of your country? These are important considerations when it comes to images, local culture or languages used to communicate. 

Profession. What does your ideal customer do for a living? This will often affect their outlook on life and help determine your communication style with them. It also helps you understand what some of their life stresses may be and how you can help them overcome those challenges.

Family Composition. Is your ideal customer married, single, living with a partner, or parenting young children? People’s immediate family circle is an important factor in how they spend their spare time, where they live, work and play. 

Lifestyle and interests. Are your clients traditional or adventurous? Do they enjoy the arts, or sports? Their lifestyle and interests stimulate ideas for where to find them and what activities they enjoy. It also helps you to create marketing images where they see themselves reflected in your promotional materials.

Media/Social Media Preferences. Your media choices are closely linked to the age of your customers. Do some research on different social media platforms to see what the typical age range is for users of those platforms. For example, Facebook tends to appeal to adults 35 and older, whereas TikTok is more popular with people in their teens and 20’s. 

Challenges. Think about what makes people worry. What are their primary concerns in daily life? If you know what their fears and challenges are, you’ll gain insight into how your brand can offer solutions to those issues.

Values. What’s important to your ideal customer? Values are about their perspectives on issues that are important to them. For example, are they dedicated to restoring the earth’s environment, or do they prioritize convenience. Understanding their values will affect everything from your packaging to the companies that you partner with. 

Goals and Aspirations. What are their goals in life? Are they highly focused on one particular area of work or their personal life? What about issues related to their personal health or wealth? You may be able to market your product in such a way that it relates to their goals. 

Want to learn more about planning your business strategy? Check out our free online course, “What Is A Business Plan?”.

If you’re ready to take the next step, book a meeting with an experienced Business Advisor at Small Business Centres Ontario. We have 54 offices across Ontario.  Working with a Business Advisor means you are not alone and that you can get help to build your plan.  Find a location near you.