Part 1: Understand Your Customer
Here’s the first installment of an eight part series we’ve written, outlining eight essentials to help grow a business of any size.
Since launching iUVO, we’ve worked with all kinds of businesses, from one person, home office start-ups to £100 billion turnover mega corps. And the one given about them all? None of them are perfect.
There’s never been an easier or harder time to be in business. The tools are all there to help start-ups go from zero to billion dollar valuations in a few years, or let ageing Goliaths redefine and breathe life into their brands to stay relevant to a new generation of consumers.
But whatever stage we’re at: wondering whether we can afford a new logo design, or signing off a $4.5 million rebrand, we could all be doing better.
So… there’s a model right? Of course: thousands of them. For the time-poor among us, we can dip in and acquaint ourselves with the likes of Ryan Holliday, Seth Godin or Eric Ries to frame the basics without having to shift our savings into a business school’s Swiss bank account, or build stronger shelves for our library at home.
Clients work with iUVO to benefit from the years of experience we’ve built up, both as individuals and as an agency. While there are no simple solutions that will take your business from where you are now to where you want to be, there are some rules we think will get you there more quickly.
So here’s the first of our ten fundamentals that can be applied to help grow any company, no matter what size it is, the resources it has at its disposal, or industry sector it operates in.
1. Understand Your Customer: building a consumer profile
Your customer is more important than your product or service.
Some may have you believe otherwise, but if you don’t place your customer at the centre of everything you do, a competitor will and you will lose them.
This should be a given, but time and time again businesses lose their focus, stop understanding their customer and then can’t work out why everything else they’re doing isn’t working as it should. Without putting your customer at front and centre, all other activity you do begins to lose relevance
So who is your customer? Start by walking a mile in their shoes. How old are they, where do they live, what do they read, where do they shop, what do they drive, what brands do they love or hate, what films do they enjoy watching, do they have children, where do they go on holiday, what are their spending habits? … The list goes on. Ask anyone closely connected to your business to get involved and think of questions that, when answered, might help them do their jobs better or sell your product or services easier. By getting inside your customers’ heads and creating an in-depth profile, you can begin to understand them in the same detail as you would a close friend or family member.
Now give your customer a name, a real human name, not a marketing term. Write up what you’ve got, make a mood board for them, design some nice posters, anything that will help you and your business focus on who they are.
For established businesses running analytics on their websites, busy social media channels, email newsletter lists or CRM, much of this information is ready to be mined and outputted into your plans. For start-ups, you might be relying on hunches or some competitor research.
But even the broadest of consumer profiles will help forge connections between your internal design, sales, marketing, PR and digital teams or activities. Suddenly, briefing external agencies will become a whole lot easier. You can fix your objectives more clearly, test what works and what doesn’t across your sales and marketing mix, set firm KPI’s and refine each profile as time goes on to make it more precise and give your business even more efficiency.
Sound too complex? Think you’ve got it nailed already? Reckon we’re talking nonsense? Take up our brand amnesty session where part of what we’ll do is to show you how powerful getting this right can be.