Content of this unit
Build a customer profile
Customer types identification - In the centre of a large piece of white paper you write down the main envisaged circular product or service you will offer. Divide the paper around the centre in 4 quadrants, each which will be used to analyse the following 4 factors that directly influence the (potential) customers.

  • Environment – What is our market? What is the environment of our potential customers? What does the environment of the customer look like? (e.g. type of household, educational level, income)
  • Processes – What kind of activities does our customer engage in that are related to our product or service? (e.g. occupation, leisure, hobbies)
  • Problems – What problems are they facing?
  • Solution – What kind of solution they may be looking for?

This exercise will help you to get a first insight into the customer’s needs, it helps to start thinking about types of customers or even whether there are different segments. However, this approach does not give a very concrete definition of the potential customer(s). It is a good step in the way and helps to reflect but for building realistic and more detailed customer profiles the two approaches below are recommended.

Form this exercise, you should have a picture emerging of who you think your ideal customer is (or who you want it to be). You will be able to write a description of your customer. "My target customers are couples in her 30s or 40s who have children and are environmentally conscious and like travelling." (for a responsible tourism activity).

At this stage you can also think about the type of customer you do not want (as opposed the ideal one you are describing in the profile). The reasons for not wanting a specific customer-type can be that it is too difficult or too expensive to reach them.

Personas - One of the best and most intuitive way of defining your customer profile, it requires some good reflection and thinking, it provides much more detail and is more useful when it comes to adapting and finetuning your idea for a circular product or service to your customers needs, demands and perceptions.  You must analyse both the demographic characteristics of your customer (including age, gender, education, occupation, household type and income) as well as the so-called psychographics ones (behaviour and beliefs, including personality, hobbies, style, and humour).

If you need some help in formulating both aspects, here is a set of questions that can help you along the way: CustomerProfileTemplate or check out the template below.

For more information to decide on which and how many personas you need check this: When to Add or Remove a Buyer Persona in Your Marketing Strategy