When it comes to designing a product it’s not always easy to know where to start. You’ve gotten some ideas down on paper or pinned onto your mood boards but now what? An important next step you absolutely must not skip is to identify your customer.
When you define your client it will help all the rest to fall into place: price range, quality, distribution and selling points for your line.
How do you identify your customer?
Examine your motivation for designing, thoroughly.
Why are you creating your line? Are you trying to solve a problem within the market? Think about how you differ from other companies in your industry and what makes you stand out. Broadly think about who might be interested and who may benefit from having access to what you have offer. Figuring out your selling point is the first step in identifying your ideal target audience.
Develop a customer profile.
When creating a customer profile, be as specific as possible. You might even want to go so far as to select a few Twitter handles and Instagram accounts to be able to research their social patterns and values. Here are some attributes you should consider:
Demographics: this includes age, gender, ethnic background, marital status, income, height, and body size.
Psychographics: this type of information goes beyond the external and identifies more about a customer’s psychology, personality type, preferences, interests, and values.
Behavior: this takes into account your customer’s hobbies, lifestyle, sports, social media platforms, and similar likes and dislikes.
Location: this is more specific to where your customer hangs out, both online and offline.
The quality level of your product can also help match your brand with other service providers, such as sample-makers, pattern-makers and textile jobbers (e.g. are you looking for a sample-maker that creates luxury products?). Additionally, you’ll have a clearer sense of where you are going, allowing for a consistent message and brand.
A special thanks to Laura Bullinger of Sample Sewing Company for her help in contributing to this blog post.