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Marketing and in fact your entire business cannot be successful if one critical foundational element is not properly taken care of, and that is to answer in a very detailed manner, who you are making those products for; your Target Audience. This definition is the basis on which everything will be built; knowing their likes and dislikes, their habits, their taste for fashion, their spending habits and other critical factors will help you shape your business appropriately to attract their attention.

By identifying your target customer for your fashion brand, it will be easier to design, strategize your segments and develop an effective marketing plan.

A customer profile is a detailed description of your ideal customer into a person on paper; also called a buyer persona. You can have one or several profiles, but you should never have more than 3. If you have too many you lose focus, but bear in mind, a customer profile is actually a “group” of people, a generalization and not an actual description of each and every one of your customers. It gives you an overview of whom you are trying to reach with your products, what matters to them, and how you can possible attract them.

The goal is to know exactly who your customer is, what they do, where they live, how they shop etc. The better you know your customers, the more effectively you’ll be able to reach them and give them what they want.

This information will help you in your range planning, in the product design and development phase and in your marketing and sales pitches. The thing is, with the right customer profile you won’t need to pitch that hard, you will know exactly what your customers want and give it to them.

Everybody on your team should know exactly who these “people” are, in order to speak the same “language” in all departments of your apparel business.

Customer profiling can be split into Demography, Psychology and Benefits. The demography describes them by Gender Age, Marital Status, Education, Job, Income, location etc, while the psychological factors can be Lifestyle, Interests, Values, Style, Shopping behavior and motive, Online or offline shopping preferences and their aspirations. The third part are the beneficial information, like What social networks do they prefer? Where do they consume their news? What challenges do they face? What are their pain points? How do they decide to spend their money? What would make your customers recommend your brand to their friends? and What are the best ways to reach your customer.

Putting together these pieces of information about your customers will help you plan all your actions with the buyer in mind; after all, there is not business without the buyer. You will have to adapt to the market and tweak and make iterations along the way. Have these profiles printed out and visual somewhere on a board. Go back to them often, whenever you introduce a new product, or segment, create a marketing campaign, or a sales presentation. It is a lot of work, but it is certain to improve the accuracy of your marketing decisions going forward.

Culled from: www.apparelentrepreneurship.com

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