Get to Know Your Customer On A Deeper Level

Before you can begin designing a collection you must first determine for whom you are designing. Without a definite and well-researched target customer, your collection can lack focus, or miss the mark of their wants and needs.

The best way to begin determining your target customer is by using the basic breakdown:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Socioeconomic breakdown
  • Location

Get to know your customer on a deeper level

This is where many designers mistakenly end when considering their target customer. Go further! To truly learn their wants and needs, you must know exactly who he or she is. Do they prefer tea or coffee? Morning news or morning yoga? Do they take the subway or Uber Pool to get to work? Create a day-in-the-life breakdown in order to know them inside and out and be able to anticipate the garments they want and are missing in the current marketplace.

Let’s say you’re designing a line of athletic wear for women. If you stop at the basic breakdown, you can determine that your customer is: female, 25-35, living in New York City, in the top tax bracket. Consider this: in this under researched and broad analysis, you have just included: a 27 year-old NYU grad student who is dependent on her parents, lives in Brooklyn, attends Yoga twice a week, parties on the weekends and is single; a 32 year-old woman living in an Upper East Side town house, is married to a much older man who pays for her Equinox membership where she works out with a personal trainer five days a week before she attends lunch with her friends; and a 30 year-old single mother of one who recently moved to the to Tribeca, works for a hedge fund, and attends Soul Cycle every morning at 7am. We have a problem here.



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The needs, style, and lives of these three women are entirely different, however by not breaking down your customer to the fullest extent, you are grouping them all as your target. Learning fully about your customer will make decisions about fit, color, fabrics, price and more much easier to determine. Because you know them as well as you would know your best friends, you will know their needs and wants from your collection.

So how do you learn everything about your target customer if your not designing for someone like yourself? Simple! Get out there and meet your customer! Going back to our prior example of designing female athletic wear, attend classes she might take, visit the local smoothie shops where she might revive herself post-workout, visit stores that offer similar products to what you will be designing to determine best-sellers, look at the colors they wear, the fit of their clothing, where they might be coming from prior to class, or going to after class.

The more you learn about your customer the better. After completing your research and determining your precise customer for whom to design, your line will definitely impress them and be sure to sell!

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