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WHO is Your Core Customer?

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Fri, Feb 28, 2014

Can you meaningfully define who your core customer is?  Can you provide a clear picture in 10-14 words of who your customer is?  What drives and identifies them as someone with specific wants and needs that you satisfy?

To grow your business you need to know your potential customer well enough to define your WHO as an individual with special needs, concerns and desires.

In The Inside Advantage, Robert Bloom states, “The easiest and most profitable growth will be achieved by adding additional customers very much like your current most valuable customer.”describe the image If you have no idea who your core customer is, or if you’re focusing on the wrong group, then your company will never reach its full potential.  Your marketing will miss its mark and you’ll waste valuable resources by preaching to the wrong choir.  

When you have clarity about who you’re selling to, however, you can hone in on this group with laser-like focus, and your efforts will pay off ten-fold because you’re not wasting time on the people who don’t need, or want, your product or service.

“The best way to expand the size, scope, and profit of your business is to grow it from inside, capitalizing on hidden strengths that already exist with the company or brand,” The Inside Advantage, Robert Bloom. Many business leaders look outside their business for ideas to market themselves more effectively, many look to reinvent their businesses when the key to growth is right inside the business.  It’s no different than finding your personal mission statement, the key to your growth lies inside your business.  It’s just waiting to inspire you, your people, and your customers to do business with you on a grand scale.

The most important word for any business is customer.  In marketing a lot of time and energy can go into defining the demographics of your target market.  We would not suggest that this effort is wasted, but rather your customer is not just a statistic.  Knowing your customer involves understanding their needs, preferences and prejudices.  Can you form a mental picture of the customer you are trying to sell to?  If you cannot, you need to spend more time visualizing who that person is. Think about your customer in human terms and suddenly they become more than a statistic; they help you to generate sales growth. 

Some keys to discovering your WHO include:

  1. Understanding the wants and needs of your core customer – your WHO
  2. Recognize that your customer’s aspirations evolve, often quite rapidly.
  3. You can buy growth, but you cannot borrow imagery.
  4. Look inside your business for your Inside Advantage. 

By identifying the right core customer you can open up all sorts of opportunities, unlock a product or company’s true potential and change your business fortunes.   New customers in many ways look like old customers, as noted the easiest and most profitable growth can be achieved by adding customers who are very much like your current customers.  Finding your most valuable customer is simply recognizing who is most attracted to your product or service.  Defining your customer in terms of demographics is only a partial solution.  You need to discover the emotional benefits your customer is seeking.  You need to discover their needs and wants.  Customers buy emotionally, and discovering all the logic in the world will not make someone purchase unless you discover the emotion that drives their decision.  The key to making your business marketing work is to answer the question, what emotion are we selling? 

Maurice Saatchi, the great advertising entrepreneur notes that in today’s fast-moving, digital, multitasking, new–technology world there is a necessity for a new way of marketing.  He stated, “Companies compete for global ownership of one word in the public mind.”  Saatchi believe that “one-word equity” is “the most priceless asset” your company can own.  Examples of this in practice are Google with the word search, Apple owns innovation, America owns freedom.  It is now more imperative than ever “to reduce the complex to the simple without being simplistic.”  The intention is to reach that one word that says it all.

What one word do you wish to own that would captivate and emotionally charge your customers?  Efforts in determining your right WHO will largely rely on the right choice of words to define your core customer.  Mark Twain offered, “The difference between a perfect word and a near-perfect word is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” 

Putting down on paper the most accurate and meaningful description of your core customer is not easy.  But it can be done.  When finished you must understand and believe every word.  You must capture the essence of your customer.  For examples please read Robert Bloom’s Inside Advantage.

Next blog more steps to discovering your Core Customer, your WHO!

Topics: Business Growth, The Inside Advantage, WHO WHAT HOW The Inside Advantage, Your Core Customer, WHO

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

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