Understanding Customers’ Wants and Needs – and How To Deliver Both
After a female business owner has defined precisely who her ideal target customer is, she must develop her understanding of what that customer wants and needs. Typically, customers buy what they want, and the most successful business owners create products or services that fulfill those desires – and provide a necessary solution.
After a female business owner has defined precisely who her ideal target customer is, she must understand what that customer wants and needs. Typically, customers buy what they want, so the most successful business owners create products or services that fulfill those desires – and provide a necessary solution.
Female entrepreneurs will achieve higher levels of success (not to mention personal and entrepreneurial satisfaction) when they position their marketing efforts around what their ideal customers want, knowing that when those customers buy, the business owner’s products and services are going to deliver not only what the customers want, but what they need.
To understand exactly what her ideal customer needs, a woman business owner must reach out to her ideal customers by conducting research. The goal: to learn the customers’ biggest challenges, problems and struggles – and how a specific product or service could solve those.
As an example, consider Tina, a purse designer. She has identified her ideal customer as Sarah, a 38-year-old married professional who has three children younger than 12. She loves to be part of her children’s activities and volunteers at their schools several times per month. She’s constantly juggling her romantic relationship, her corporate career and her children’s activities.
After speaking with Sarah – and other potential customers who fit Sarah’s profile, Tina discovers that what Sarah wants is a hip, trendy, hot pink, patent leather purse. She wants to look good! She’s also constantly misplacing her keys and dropping her PDA (which she doesn’t go anywhere without), and she’s hopeless at keeping her papers separated. So Tina also realizes that with as busy as Sarah is, she needs a purse with an outside pocket for her PDA, a handy hook for keeping track of her car keys, and a matching file folder with several compartments where she can keep school handouts and work papers, as well as recipes and grocery shopping lists. When Tina presents Sarah with the adorable hot pink purse, Sarah loves it – and she loves it even more when she realizes that its special compartments, hooks and file folder help her keep track of the many important components of her busy life.
By conducting interviews, sending out surveys, and simply talking with people in her intended market, a female entrepreneur can discover her potential customers’ biggest needs, as well as the language they use to talk about them. When the entrepreneur shares information back to her ideal target customers in the language they use, the customers will feel understood and appreciated – and will have faith that the entrepreneur deeply understands them and their needs and is therefore able to present solutions.
Research of her ideal target customer allows an entrepreneur the important opportunity, during product creation and product development to reinforce how her solutions are going to give her customers what they want – and how those solutions are going to help her customers achieve whatever they most want to achieve in life.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michele DeKinder-Smith, is the founder and CEO of Linkage Research, Inc, a marketing research firm with Fortune 500 clients such as Starbucks, Frito Lay, Tropicana, Texas Instruments, Hoover Vacuums and Verizon Wireless. She parlayed this entrepreneurial knowledge and experience into founding Jane Out of the Box, a company that provides