When you’re brainstorming content designed to appeal to your target market, it helps to know who they are. For most content creators, a thorough demographic and psychographic breakdown of a brand’s customer base is often enough to get them started. Taking it a step further, a customer avatar supplements that information by painting a picture of your brand’s ideal customer – one that includes the challenges they face, what blogs they read and what their reservations are when buying your product.
Creating a customer avatar is like developing a character for a story. Some characters are there simply to drive the story forward, while others are all the story is about. When it comes to your brand narrative, you’re faced with a similar choice. How deep you need to go depends on the nature of your brand’s relationship with its customer.
There are many different approaches to creating customer avatars. Carl Jung’s approach to psychotherapy centred on the individual’s quest for wholeness, which is the inspiration for this avatar. Very few businesses need to concern themselves with this aspect of their customers’ lives, but for some, it’s absolutely essential.
Magazines, for instance, need to churn out a high volume of content frequently. And every piece must feel like it speaks directly to its reader – or the spell is broken. Online education is another example of an industry that relies heavily on how well they understand their customers’ deeper needs.
At this level, your customers expect almost every communication they receive to be handcrafted especially for them. And to do this, you need to get into their heads.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a psychologist to create a psychological profile of your ideal customer. By borrowing from the character development tools used by Hollywood scriptwriters, like the Jungian approach, you can add another dimension to your customer avatar that will help you generate more content that appeals directly to your ideal customer’s innermost desires.
Where a standard customer avatar like Agency Eric looks at the external factors that influence your customer’s buying decisions, Magazine Meg (we’ll call her that for now) looks at how she approaches her life from the inside out. But it needn’t be either or. In fact, by combining both avatars, you’re creating a super avatar that more closely resembles an actual human being. The result? More targeted content.
Here are 5 points to consider when drawing up a Jungian profile of your customer:
By considering the factors that control your customer’s life, you’re tapping into a wealth of content opportunities. She either welcomes them, in the case of close friends and family – or detests them, often in the shape of a boss or disapproving parent.
Your role, then, is to help her fortify her relationships with the people in her life that make her stronger – or cut out the ones that break her down and prevent her from being happy.
2. Psychological barriers
By looking at the factors that stand in her way of achieving her personal goals, you’re searching for ways you can play a more active role in helping her get there. If you can do that, you become invaluable.
These include whether or not she suffers from low self-esteem, irrational fear of failure and even whether she doubts that she’s allowed to want more from life.
3. Sense of self
You know the old L’Oréal cliché, “because I’m worth it”? Well, who doesn’t want to hear that from time to time? But instead of dishing up whatever compliments come to mind – something that’s often interpreted as being insincere – look for something she’s trying to hide from the world. To take the Jungian approach: her shadow side.
We often hide those desires that we consider to be too indulgent. By showing her that you know what those desires are and that it’s not only OK to have them – but that she’s entitled to fulfilling them – you’re stepping into the role of best friend. If you can garner that kind of trust, you’re more likely to walk a long and fruitful path with your customers.
4. Personal approach to life
How could your customer be more effective at reaching her goals? Is her general mindset standing in her way or is it more specific than that? Does she miss out on opportunities because she’s not proactive enough, for instance, or is she too easily put off by negative reactions to her ideas?
Generational factors also come into play here. To a Millennial, the search for a meaningful career might be more important than for a Generation Xer, who might rather be looking for other ways to reach fulfilment.
5. Dominant archetypes
Delving ever deeper into the principles of character development, you’re trying to establish what role your ideal customer plays in her own story. Is she the heroine, or more of an ally to others? When it comes to influencing those around her, does she take on a mentor role, or is she simply the messenger. How protective is she of her territory? Is she easily threatened? Does she change her personality to suit her environment? Does she use humour to diffuse an awkward situation?
By defining her dominant archetype, you’re one step closer to predicting (with some accuracy), how she will respond to different types of content. In short, you’re ever the ally – helping the heroine on her quest to becoming the best version of herself that she can be.
Want to try this approach to creating your customer avatar? Get in touch and I’ll send you a fillable PDF.