Your Customer Has a Name

January 30, 2007

Posted in Small Business.

Tonight I saw a commercial for some drug called Plavix. It seemed like a typical drug commercial with a guy that could have a heart attack at any time. But something caught my attention. There was a name.
The commercial featured a guy named Ron. He is a businessman, always busy with work, not necessarily taking care of himself. But his name was Ron. And it turned him into a person.

Among the tomes of advice you’ll find when starting a business is to create a profile for your customer. And not just a profile – a detailed description of your prototypical customer. For my web development company, my customer is a male, 48-year-old, family-oriented small business owner with an itch to do something unique. This doesn’t mean I don’t work with anyone else. In fact, most of my customers don’t fit this description perfectly. But if you averaged all of them, I suspect you’d get this profile.

The company behind Plavix thinks about their customer, too. They think about who that customer is, what he or she does, and how they can related to him. And if they have a name (and face) to go with that customer, they can consider how to approach him. By giving him a name in their ad, they’ve given us a chance to relate.