What if you had a way to understand your customers like never before?
A customer avatar offers an unprecedented way to find and attract your ideal customers. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t understand how and why to create a customer avatar.
Are you ready to increase your customers and boost your profits? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about customer avatars!
What Is a Customer Avatar?
We’ve put together a complete guide to using customer avatars as part of your business. Before we delve any further, though, it’s important to define what these avatars actually are.
A customer avatar is a way to put a face on your ideal customers. Basically, you combine important demographic and psychographic info along with a customer narrative and image.
Not every company uses the term “customer avatar.” Some companies prefer other terms, including “buyer persona” or “target market.”
Regardless of the name, however, an avatar is a way to better help you and your employees understand your customers. And this is the key to improving everything from your sales to your customer service as you improve the overall customer journey.
More Than Just Numbers
To create customer avatars, you must utilize a wide variety of analytic data. However, this begs the question: why create avatars at all if you already have access to all of this important customer info?
There are multiple reasons for this. The first is that raw stats may be very abstract to many of your employees. And it can be difficult to look at disconnected sets of statistics and reconcile this with actual customer hopes and desires.
Additionally, statistics by themselves can only provide so much information. With avatars, you can add narratives that bring these customers to life beyond the numbers. This will help you discover new customer needs and new products and services that you can offer to your core demographics.
Demographics and Psychographics
Earlier, we touched on the fact that customer avatars are creating using analytic data. But what data do you need to use?
Strictly speaking, there is no limit to the amount of data you can use. But at the bare minimum, you need to include customer demographic and psychographic info.
It’s relatively easy to collect demographic data about who is buying what. Psychographic data, however, is a bit more complex because it dives into the core motives and desires that are driving these purchases.
Putting these two sets of data together gives you both sides of the equation: who is buying which goods and what their specific motivations are. While a good avatar still needs visual information and a narrative, this combined data goes a long way towards breathing life into the avatar.
Making It Real
Obviously, customer avatars come from the need for data visualization. And you cannot fully visualize an avatar without giving it a face!
It may sound silly, but many employees can’t really engage with an avatar until they know what it looks like. Conversely, once you can visualize what an avatar looks like, it’s easier to visualize the problems they face and how your company can solve these problems.
There are a few approaches to finding a face for your avatar. It’s possible to find suitable pictures from stock photos and use those. Alternatively, you can use one of the many online programs that use algorithms to create fresh faces from scratch.
It’s important to find an approach that works best for you. That’s because you may end up creating multiple avatars over time, and you’ll get the best results if these avatars have a consistent visual style.
So, you now have analytic data and a face. What else does your avatar need? A dossier.
In many ways, this is the “hard part” of creating an avatar. Chances are that your demographic and psychographic data amounts to pages and pages of complex information. Now, you must find a way to condense the most important information into a one-page dossier for the avatar.
Keep in mind that the dossier doesn’t have to include every bit of relevant data. Instead, it needs to be enough information to help visualize your customers and to help you brainstorm dynamic approaches to products and services.
If it helps, think of a good dossier as the “elevator pitch” for your ideal customer. How would you describe your core customers in a 60-second elevator ride? When you can answer that, you can create the perfect dossier.
Create Their Story
Every good avatar needs a narrative. To really get into the headspace of your customers, you should write a story as if you were actually the avatar.
For example, demographic data may tell you that your core audience is professional women between 25 and 40. Your story might include her struggle to find a work/life balance, especially as she juggles making her family happy and finding her own fulfillment.
It may sound like an odd exercise, especially if you’re not a writer. But doing this helps you to virtually walk a mile in your customers’ shoes. You may be surprised at the insights you find, and those insights are the pillars of innovation.
Using Negative Avatars
So far, we’ve focused on standard customer avatars. However, you may also wish to create a “negative avatar.”
A negative avatar is exactly what it sounds like: a way of visualizing who you don’t want as a customer. For example, a company whose primary audience is made of millennials might create a “zoomer” negative avatar.
Negative avatars are an important way of learning more about your key audience. In our example, employees who don’t understand key differences between millennials and zoomers can learn from the negative avatar.
And when the smoke clears, they will have a very clear idea of who their customers are and who their customers are not.
Now you know what a customer avatar is and why it’s so important. But do you know who can help you create the most accurate avatars?
We specialize in branding, customer journey mapping, and much more. To see how we can help you create perfect customer avatars, contact us today!