Branding 101 – Your Customer Avatar

Customer Avatar

The first time I heard the term customer avatar I felt pretty sure that my mentor wasn’t talking about the blue guys from the James Cameron blockbuster. So what is your customer avatar all about? It’s a combination of demographics and psychographics.
It’s as much what your customer buys as where they live and the things they like to do or be. It’s where they hang out online and in real life. It’s vital to form a full and rich picture of WHO your customer is and what makes them tick.

How do you form an avatar?      

Building an avatar takes times and patience but once you deepen your understanding of their lifestyle, you can talk directly to them in your product stories. The easy things to find or understand are the demographics. It helps to think about your avatar as ONE person, give them a name, assign them a height, weight, hair and eye color.  

Now you can think about the demographic categories:

  • Occupation
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Relationship status
  • Income
  • Education level
  • Location – City, State, Country
  • Family? Children’s ages?
  • Hobbies

Understanding these gives you a fairly good picture of your avatar. Yet they are really only scratching the surface of the whole person that you are looking to talk to. Now you need to dig a little deeper into their personality.  

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How many years have they been in their current job?
  • Have they held one job or several in this same career?
  • What are their political views?
  • Religious views?
  • Personal interests?
  • Hobbies?
  • Do they follow any celebrities?
  • What websites do they visit daily?
    • For news?
    • For fun and entertainment?
  • Where do they hang out on social platforms?
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • Twitter
    • Pinterest
    • Snapchat
    • Podcasts

So, now think about a day in the life of your avatar, what do they do on an average workday or weekend?

  • When do they get up?
  • Do they go for a run or to the gym before work or after or not at all?
  • Are they running late for work?
  • Do they go to work early and then pick up the kids? Or do they drop off in the morning?
  • Do they buy a coffee? Do they remember their reusable cup?  
  • Do they catch public transport or do they drive to work?
  • Do they make their own lunch or do they buy?
  • Do they eat at their desk? Or do they leave the office for lunch?
  • Do they own a pet?
  • Messy? Tidy?
  • Do they bring work home with them? Do they stay late at the office?
  • Yoga or CrossFit?

 

Dig deep into their day, think about all the things that your avatar does and doesn’t like to do in their daily life. When you can start to form their habits and rituals you are starting to really see them and how your product can fit seamlessly into their life.      

Now that you have dug deep into the life of your avatar, you can penetrate one more layer of their mindset and lifestyle. Just like you, your customer is a complex human, made up of more than just the places and things that they buy or the work they do. They have hopes, dreams, secret desires, deep-set fears, things that motivate them, a life they aspire to, and things that keep them up at night. Once you can visualize those parts of your avatars psyche, you can start to have a deep and much more intimate relationship with them.

Having your avatar to talk to in your branding communications, marketing and sales copy means that you can really look the person in the eyes and relate directly to them. When you craft a piece of information for your avatar, your customers will say things like “I felt like you were talking JUST to me” or “that sounds JUST like me”   It makes it easier for you to look for the people that match all or some of your avatar’s features. Once you can understand the movement of your avatar, you can start to place advertising for your product where they are going to be.

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