Hold up. Didn’t we just cover this topic? Surely there isn’t much of a difference to how invention makers profile customers and create customer segments, right?
While they sound similar, there’s an important distinction between these two topics.
- Customer Segments is when you group customers and target audiences who share similar characteristics mix assumptions, research, and facts.
- Customer Profiles, on the other hand, is data-driven – data you’ve collected from marketing campaigns and sales.
Why Create Customer Profiles?
Remember, the simpler your product idea is, the better chance of success you’ll have. This holds especially for new invention makers. Focus on creating a simple yet high-quality and well-functioning version of your product. Because you can always go back and make improvements and upgrade your product in the future. “The best inventors understand that they can always reinvest their earnings from their first product into a 2.0 or pro version of your product,” states Kevin Mako, “and to make meaningful improvements to your product, you’re going to need real data from real customers.” So creating customer profiles will help you understand how to provide further value to your customers when you plan to upgrade your product.
To reiterate, customer profiles must be based on facts. Where are you going to get this from? For starters, look into your sales data and marketing campaigns. You can pull information such as age, location, purchasing habits, and even what emails they choose to open and read. Be mindful of demographics, values, behaviors, psychographics, interests, and needs to build a full picture. Using this data, you can begin to conceptualize your customers and build personas. A customer persona a fictional person that encapsulates a general type of customer who your business would want to target. As a result, many inventors will find they’ll need to satisfy the needs of multiple personas that are relevant to their product business.
However, consider customer profiles as guardrails for your product business. If invention makers find that they’re starting to overload their product with too many features, well-developed customer profiles will remind them of what their customer truly values and drives them towards a purchase.
Crafting a Persona
Along with pulling data from your sales and marketing, another method to get valuable feedback from your customers is through surveys and customer interviews. By asking the right questions, you can learn about what product features matter the most to your customers. Consequently, this will help you generate and filter leads, and attract new customers who share similar values as your existing customers. And as your customer base grows, the more opportunities you’ll have to get feedback to continue to upgrade and even diversify your product lineup to dominate the market. Interviews are especially great for getting anecdotal evidence, building case studies, and other qualitative feedback that might not be apparent in your marketing and sales data.
With all this data, the best invention makers profile customers by creating personas. Each persona must be believable and organizes characteristics that simplify how we create targeted messages. Here’s a great example below from Amazon’s Alexa blog.
Notice how specific the persona is? As you can see this is a great way to hone in on who your customer is and how they formulate their purchasing decisions. Understanding what drives your customer is the key to making meaningful product updates and upgrades.
MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to small businesses, startups, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Feel free to Contact Us anytime for help with your project.