When you first start a business, people always tell you that you need to identify your target audiences and create value propositions that are specifically tailored to these segments. However, no one really tells you how that’s done.
It sounds simple enough to figure out until you start digging into the details of each segment. As there are only a small handful of customers at the beginning, it is hard to pinpoint the exact characteristics of each individual and group patterns to form the segments.
To do this takes a lot of attention to detail and requires you to dive deep into why these individuals are purchasing from you and how you can find others like them.
For us, we began this process by looking at the small group of customers who purchased from us and made assumptions of why they brought from us.
We identified that there are three different segments who shop with the store. The first are brand ambassadors who have personal experiences with body and sex negativity and hence resonates with the brand message. Customers within segment one usually starts with recognising that they are ready to challenge their limiting beliefs around body and sex. They search for different brands in the industry that satisfies this need and come across brands like Dove and Soy & Spice. Next, they will evaluate the information collected on product attributes, features and quality. They will then further evaluate through consumer-driven marketing such as website testimonials or Google Reviews. For returning Soy & Spice customers, they might rely on heuristics from their positive previous engagement and decide to purchase again. After the purchase is made, the customer will receive a beautifully packaged red parcel with a personal written thank you note. A post-purchase evaluation is then conducted to determine their level of satisfaction with the purchase experience and whether they will become an active or passive loyalist. Active loyalists will not only stick with the store but will also recommend the store to at least 2 of their close friends. This will then act as a touch point for new leads to get exposure to the store and start the cycle again. Once the customer has received their order, they are asked to submit a testimonial which is often featured on Soy & Spice’s website, allowing new visitors to gather information. In its most recent customer satisfaction survey, over 98% of customers gave a net promoter score of 10/10. This suggests a need to build a word-of-mouth program and focus strategies and spending on this influential consumer-driven marketing touch point.
The second segment is lingerie enthusiasts, who collect lingerie and can act as influencers for the brand. These customers start with recognising that they need a new set of lingerie to add to their collection. They search for information relating to lingerie brands they already know and new lingerie brands, like Soy & Spice through word of mouth and social media. They evaluate the information collected through recommendations and social media influencers and then further evaluate Soy & Spice’s designs and quality by comparing photos to other lingerie brands. They make the decision to purchase based on factors like store interactions and their post purchase decision-making process is similar to segment one.
The third segment is seasonal engaged shoppers who sit low on segment attractiveness and high on ability to compete as this segment tends to have little brand loyalty. They are shopping for a special occasion, such as Christmas and lingerie is one of a thousand options that could solve this problem and therefore, they are considered opportunistic pursuits. Their purchase decision process begins when the customer recognises that a special occasion is coming up and they are looking for a way to celebrate. They search information within a broad spectrum of available products and services, then evaluate the information collected through Google Reviews on the quality and functionality of each product. They then make their purchase decision through company-driven marketing such as advertisements. This segment tends to go for the lower range of products ($55-$60) and uses limited problem-solving buying decisions and often switches between brands. Their determinant preference attribute is to purchase for a special occasion and not to purely purchase lingerie, so they typically don’t turn into loyalists and may experience post-purchase dissonance when they notice certain disadvantages of the purchased items.
Being able to segment our early customers allowed us to have a narrower focus and pinpoint who can target our products and marketing efforts to get the maximum results.
Hopefully this article has given you a brief guide on how we identified our early target markets and provided you with some insights into how you can also find yours.