Defining your market

The more you know about your target customers, the more you can offer to meet their needs and desires.  And the more you can tailor your marketing and sales strategies - which means, of course, that you can sell more product.

  • Identify your target customers
  • Research their lifestyles
  • Research their spending habits

Identify your target customers

Your target customers correspond with your USPs.  Figure out who exactly wants your product or service.  Consider gender, age, profession, hobbies, income - a clearer profile will mean you can meet their needs more precisely.  Find out more about your proposed customers by holding focus groups, speaking to retailers who deal with the market you're considering and talking to people who would fall into the target category.

  • Target customers correspond with USPs
  • Research to back up your assumptions

Research their lifestyles

Where do they live, what do they do for a living, how old are they, where do they go on holiday, are they married, do they commute?  This will help you tailor your product and marketing.  Get demographics info from your local council.  Think about where they live and how that would effect distribution of your product.

  • Build up as specific a customer profile as you can
  • Consider how their location will influence your business

Research their spending habits

Spending habits will be a key decider in how to sell your product.  Do your customers shop online or in person, impulsively or after lots of research into competitor products?  Do they prefer independent shops or huge supermarkets?  How will they find you?  Look at how similar products are being sold to get a preliminary feel for consumer habits.  Remember to consider less obvious competitors - online mobile phone top-up sellers are now competitors to sweet shops because kids spend their pocket money online and on their phones now.

  • Identify customers' spending habits
  • Use the information to formulate your sales strategy
  • Consider all potential competitors, not just the obvious ones

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