How to Define Your Ideal Customer as a Fashion Brand or E-Commerce Store Owner

Whether you’ve already launched your fashion brand or you’re in the process of planning out your e-commerce launch for 2019, defining your target audience to find your ideal customer is critical to your company’s long-term success. Without a well-defined target market, your business will stagnate, flounder, and most likely fail. We help you define yours below.

If you run a fashion startup or clothing e-commerce website, your target audience won’t be men and women ages 18 to 80 around the world because your market will be too broad. When you try to reach everyone through every channel, this simply isn’t an efficient use of your marketing budget, resources, or time. You’ll end up spending thousands of dollars trying to reach the wrong consumers.

Alternatively, you don’t want to pigeonhole or make your target market focus too narrow either because then you won’t make enough revenue unless you’re selling a rare watch or one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry that costs $10,000 and has a very limited market.

To begin defining your target audience characteristics and creating an ideal customer persona, start by asking yourself and your marketing team the following questions.

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Buyer Persona/Target Market Worksheet

  • What is your ideal customer name? This will help you visualize this person.

  • What are the fundamental demographics of your ideal customer persona? Include age or age range, gender, location, education level, occupation/job title, salary, and overall lifestyle.

  • Does your ideal customer live in a major city, the suburbs, or in a rural location

  • What industry do they work in? What types of hours do they work? Do they work in an office or from home?

  • Are they single, married, divorced, or widowed? Do they have children? If so, how old are they?

  • What are their discretionary and household incomes? Do they own or rent a home, apartment, or townhouse?

  • Do they take vacations? If so, where do they go? Do they take family vacations or vacation with their friends/spouse?

  • Are they into health and fitness? If so, what are their fitness routines? What are their eating habits? Do they eat home, order takeout, or dine out?

  • What are their interests and hobbies? How do they spend their free time?

  • What magazines, newspapers, and blogs do they read? What television shows and movies do they watch? Do they watch regular television or subscribe to a streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu? What radio stations and podcasts do they listen to?  How do they get their news as well as learn about the latest fashion trends?

  • Are they active online? If so, where do they hang out? How do they spend their time online?

  • What are their online buying habits?

  • What is their preferred communication style? Email? Telephone? SMS?

  • What type of electronic devices do they use? Do they use mobile devices, desktops, or laptops to shop?

  • Do they shop online or in brick-and-mortar stores? What are their favorite stores?

  • How much money do they spend on making such purchases a month and a year?

  • What social media channels do they use? How often do they use them? What days of the week and times they are most active on social media? What social media influencers do they follow?

  • What are their pain points or challenges? How can your products help alleviate those pain points or overcome those challenges?

  • What motivates them to buy a certain brand?

  • What is your target audience’s biggest frustration? How can your products help eliminate those frustrations?

  • What drives your target market to make a purchase?

  • What brands do your ideal customer persona buy and wear now? What qualities are most important? Price? Quality and Craftsmanship? Brand name? Availability? Where products are sourced and produced? Celebrities and influencers wearing the products? Do they have a social mission?

  • What influences their decision making? Are they the primary decision maker? Do they make fast and loose decisions or do they think through each decision carefully? If not, who do they have to speak to about making such purchases?

  • What are their primary objections to the sale? How will you overcome this objection during the sales process? What factors would make them buy a competitor’s products over yours?

If you’re currently using data to learn about your target market, then answer the following questions.

  • Do you use Facebook to market your business? If so, do you use the data and insights to gather details about your ideal customer persona? How do you use that data to shape your market?

  • Do you use Instagram and Pinterest to market your business? Again, do you use the data and insights to gather details about your target market? How do you use that data to shape your ideal target market?

  • Have you set up a Google Analytics account? Do you analyze and leverage the data from the “audience” tab to shape your target market?

  • If you’re not using these free data tools and insights to learn about and define your target audience, you should start now. Buyer Persona Worksheet Example:

  • Profile/Avatar Category Name: Creative Female Entrepreneur

  • Name: Abigail Johnson

  • Age: 34

  • Profession: Freelance Fashion Designer

  • First year in business

  • Company Revenue: $25K

  • Personal Income: $15K to $25K

  • Lifestyle: Married with one child and husband is a professional.

  • Goals: Wants to scale beyond $1.5K a month in income.

  • Would like to learn about public relations to build brand awareness and how to leverage it to become more credible with prospective customers.

  • Challenges: Limited budget to spend on marketing, lack of marketing and public relations knowledge, and no audience/brand awareness.

  • Motivations: Has a desire to generate more income so she can spend time with her family and travel; self-fulfillment and self-confidence.

  • Frustrations: Abigail is frustrated because she sees her peers getting featured in the press and growing their businesses effectively but she can’t seem to scale beyond the $25K a year mark. She has dabbled in a variety of marketing tactics but she has not been able to find the right one that will grow her business.

Paid Advertising as a Form of Market Research

With a small budget (less than $100.00), you can run tests in various markets by running promoted Pin campaigns on Pinterest. You have the ability to test different age groups, interests, locations, gender, and occupations.

Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads are quite saturated and the cost per click is generally much higher so you’ll need significantly more resources (into the four figures) to run tests on those platforms.

While you won’t know who your exact market is until you’ve done some testing and collected and analyzed that data, you’ll have a better sense of who is currently buying your products or will be in the near future after completing this simple exercise.

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