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How do you define an avatar..wait, what IS an avatar? If you heard the word “avatar”, what would you think of? 
  1. That blue creature from the movie a few years ago
  2. An icon or figure representing a particular person in video games, Internet forums, etc.
  3. Your business’s perfect customer
Although all three definitions of the word “avatar” are correct, when we are thinking business, we need to think about Definition C! Have you heard of this type of avatar before? Have you ever considered thinking of how a customer could be perfect for your business, rather then how your business could be perfect for every single customer? Let’s take a look at how defining your avatar will help your business narrow the focus of your product or service, define your marketing strategy, and save you time and money. 

Meet and Define An Avatar

Creating products or content without an idea of who we are creating them for is a waste of time and money! But just how do we figure out who we are catering to? Here are some things to consider when defining an avatar for your business:
  • Age
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Education level 
  • Family
  • Location 
  • Interests
  • Occupation
  • Values
  • Employment status
  • Goals
  • Challenges/problems 
  • Needs/wants 
Each of these bullet points represents something different about your avatar that may make them utilize your product or service- but why? We can group each of these points into three categories in order to better understand how your avatar might come to use your good or service. 

Personal Life and Finances 

Consider the age, family structure, socioeconomic status, location, employment status and education level of the person who would be your ideal customer. A single, 50-year-old man probably wouldn’t be in the market for a stroller. A mom of 4 who works part-time and lives in a rural area probably wouldn’t even consider buying accessories for a sports car. A product that makes a subway commute easier wouldn’t appeal to a retired man in the suburbs. Like branding, you’ll need to determine if your product or service is exclusive or accessible in order to figure out who is going to be purchasing it. 

Brain Games

What’s going on in your avatar’s brain? How do their interests, educational background, and occupation affect what they want to buy? Does your product appeal to someone with a particular hobby? How about a specific industry? Or a college affiliation? Is this something they are purchasing for work or for personal use? Think about the things your avatar thinks about in order to get a good fit. 

Overcoming Obstacles

Finally, the biggest factors in determining your avatar are the problems and challenges they experience, what they want, what they need (or think they need!), and what values they have. They have a problem. They want you to solve it. What kinds of problems might they have? Think about the types of problems the following people might want to solve:
  • A part-time female graduate student in engineering who is in her late 20’s, who works 30 hours per week, and who is getting married next year
  • A 65-year-old male sales representative who logs hundreds of miles per week in his car
  • An 18-year-old recent high school graduate who is moving 1000 miles away to attend college 
  • A Scout leader who want to take a troop of Scouts on a week-long backpacking trip 
All of these avatars could face a lot of problems and have a lot of wants or needs. For example, the sales representative may experience back pain from sitting in the car. He would need a fuel-efficient car and a good way to track mileage. He would also need a good GPS and bluetooth system, as well as storage options for products in his vehicle. Finally, he might need a way to keep food cool or options for healthy handheld food while he is driving from place to place.  There are so many different avatars out there, all with different problems to solve and things that they want or need! Take some time this week to define an avatar, so that next week we can begin looking at ways to use your avatar to narrow the focus of your marketing!