Many companies may have an idea of the type of customers they want to attract, but they don’t that much about them. And because most companies make generalized assumptions about their target market, they waste precious marketing efforts on platforms and strategies where they are least efficient.

Creating a customer persona helps companies solve the tangible need of their clients. Let’s stop making over-arching assumptions and start using the cold, hard data to find out who wants to buy your product or service.

What is a Customer Archetype?

A customer archetype (or buyer persona) is a fictional representation of a real person, who embodies primary attributes and sentiments of a broad segment of a company’s audience. The traits of this person are based on data collected from web analytics and user research. It would be your most “ideal” buyer.

Often, the terms, “customer archetype,” “buyer persona,” or “target customer” can be used interchangeably.

Here’s an example:

ideal client profile

Why is it Important to know your Customer Archetype?

By building a customer persona profile, marketers, product designers, and salespeople can develop their product, content, messaging, and services to be tailored directly to that customer. It provides valuable insight into the psyche of the customer and allows companies to narrow their target to a very specific type of individual. You will be better equipped to serve your customers, meet their needs, and communicate the value you provide.

How do you make a Customer Archetype?

Ask the right questions and find tangible data to support your answers. Data should not be pure guesses, but information from and primary & secondary research. Below are 3 sections that will help you get into the mindset of your customer archetype.

The Who

Ask questions involving a customer’s background, demographics, and finances. Find out what a “day in the life” would look like. These should be as specific as possible. In fact, one of the best ways to start is with someone you already know who is your best client. Picking a real human being, who you know and enjoy working with, makes answering the questions, understanding their motivations, and connecting with them so much easier.

The What

What are their hopes and dreams? What are their ultimate goals? Alternatively, what do they worry about and fear? What challenges do they face every day? These are questions that will help you market yourself as the solution to their problems.

The Why

This is probably the trickiest, but most crucial section. These are questions that help you determine the psychographics of your customers. By understanding why a person does what they do, you will be closer to answering why they need your product or service. Ask questions like what drives them? What do they value more, time or money? What are their preferences and why do they like those things?

target customer persona

Like most scientific study endeavors, start with a hypothesis. Put some stakes in the ground to state what you really believe your ideal customer would like or dislike, how they feel, who they are. While these are your own assumptions, they should be backed up from your personal experience and industry knowledge.

Once you’ve answered all the questions and sections to the best of your knowledge, it’s time to start validating your assumptions with data and research. This can be done through primary and secondary research. Talking with your pre-existing customers through interviews and surveys is one of the best ways to find out why they bought your product or service. Often, your local library will have great online resources (librarians usually have a wealth of untapped knowledge), but Google will also lead you to many great articles and resources. Of course, always check to make sure the authors and sources are accurate.

Finally, go back to your original assumptions with your new-found data. Make adjustments where necessary and formulize your final opinions of your target customer persona.

What’s next?

Now that you know your ideal buyer, you’re ready to start marketing directly to this customer. Whenever you are about to create new content or begin a new strategy, think about how your customer persona will buy your product or contract your services and ultimately receive value from you.

Go find your customer, you prodigy you.


Reading Recommendation: Storybranding by Donald Miller

Donald Miller’s StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses. This revolutionary method for connecting with customers provides readers with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret for helping their customers understand the compelling benefits of using their products, ideas, or services. Whether you are the marketing director of a multibillion-dollar company, the owner of a small business, a politician running for office, or the lead singer of a rock band, Building a StoryBrand will forever transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.

Get our Prodigy & Co Customer Persona resources here!
Our free download includes customer persona diagrams and questions to clarify your target customer.