No Shortcuts - WHO is Your WHO?

Getting your business off the ground involves finding consumers that will pay money for your service/product.  Lots of consumers = success.  No consumers = failure.  I am going to do a mini-series on the path to find consumers and get as many people as possible interested in your product/service. 

Much of this will sound simple.  When you get into the is not.  Some of these details are the difference between success and failure.  This blog will cover the first step:  WHO is your WHO?

The name of the game in business is to solve a consumer problem.  When you do that a consumer is willing to pay you to make their life easier/better.  This applies to EVERYTHING.  A better tasting ice cream.  A healthier ice cream.  A safer car.  A more fuel friendly car.  A higher quality lawn care service.  A cheaper lawn care service.  

Consumers want different things.  I made that list because it's not like EVERYONE wants healthy ice cream.  Many people are totally fine with the high calorie stuff if it tastes amazing.  The key thing is understanding your consumer like no one else.  

What I always find most helpful is creating a muse.  It's also called an archetype.  It's a fictional person based on what you know of your consumer.  You create this person and it allows you to understand the different aspects of their life, motivations, stresses, pressures, feelings, etc, which then lead to insights.  

I have a multi page description of our Sloane Man (below).  You can see the detail we go into on this.  It's critical.  The deeper you go the better because that means you really understand your consumer.  

What this does for you is give you insight into things like....what websites is he on?  What kind of thing does he need to see in an ad to get him excited?  Is it about cost or more about looking his best?  Who is he trying to impress?  Co-workers?  Women?  Family? 

All of this impacts your product development, advertising, retail strategy, pricing, size of prize and overall strategy.  


Name:  Steve

Age:  27

Residence: Chicago, IL – River North

Hometown:  Outside Baltimore, MD.  Primarily white town, but had friends of all races

Family:  Parents are still together after 30 years of marriage and he has an older sister (30) who lives in NYC

Relationship Status:  Girlfriend of 1 year, Sierra.

Race: Mixed Race (Mom: Half White, Half Latina Dad:  Black)

Education:  Degree in Business from Georgetown; 3.7 GPA; Varsity baseball team ; no frat affiliation  

Profession:  Finance – Banker for JP Morgan; Currently applying to business school with the goal of starting his own company post graduation   

Hobbies:  Pickup basketball twice a week, Softball league, casual golfer (14 handicap), works out 4 days a week, reads books mainly in history, likes to visit a new country every year, volunteers with the Big Brother program

Style:  Likes to dress well.  Pays attention to his style and prides himself on being well dressed.  He recognizes that he could probably do a better job with the nuances of this clothing, but is satisfied with how he looks.  He dresses pretty formal at work with a suit and tie and goes with a cool/casual look on the weekends.

Humor:  Steve has a serious job, but also likes to have a good time.  He has a big group of friends who he’s made throughout the years in Chicago.  They are similar to him…..young, successful and fun.  They don’t take themselves too seriously.  Their conversations revolve around sports, women, cars, trips and partying.  They don’t philosophize much about solar systems or art.  They think that’s lame and keep things light.

Favorite Clothing Brands:  IndoChino for suits.  Cole Haan for shoes.  Thomas Pink for work shirts.  Glasses are Warby Parker.  Weekend wear is J Crew, Bonobos, Lacoste, Polo and Nike.  He likes to look good, but not obnoxious.  He stays away from super fashion forward brands like Gucci, Prada, Zegna, etc.  His friends would make fun of him for going out in something too out there.   

Where He Shops:  He’s big into online shopping.  He loves Amazon Prime.  He enjoys the convenience of online shopping.  No hassle in the stores.  Quick delivery.  Easy returns.  Almost TOO easy.  He is a member of Dollar Shave club and gets a few trunks from Trunk Club every year.  If he does go in store he really enjoys Nordstrom.  Macy’s is below him.  Too busy and cluttered with so so clothing.  He’ll go into cool boutiques (and find boutique type stores online) every now and then looking for stuff that’s not available to the masses.  He likes the exclusivity of having a few pieces that no one has.  He just got a Travis Matthews (niche golf wear provider our of Southern California) hat online.

Favorite Content Sites Online:  ESPN (by far!!), Fast Company, Buzzfeed, Mashable, CNN, Bleacher Report, GQ,

Favorite Apps:  Facebook (likes to see what’s up with friends….doesn’t post much), Twitter (follows for latest news), Instagram (posts a cool picture every now and then), Pinterest (new app for him and really likes following), Pandora (loves many types of music from Drake to Phoenix to Miles Davis).

Perfect Day:  Get up on a nice warm day and head to the basketball courts to play pickup with friends.  Grab a smoothie and water afterwards and chill for a bit.  Get showered and changed and head to a local street festival with his girlfriend and friends.  Drink and hangout there for awhile and then head to dinner with his girlfriend and a few friends.  He’s kind of buzzed and having a blast.  He’s laughing and joking the entire day.  They head to a “cool” restaurant that’s pretty relaxed.  They are fine wearing what they wore to the festival.  They hangout at the restaurant continuing to drink and have a good time.  They leave and head to fun bar down the street.  It’s crowded with younger professionals all out drinking and dancing.  Him and his friends keep drinking and go back and forth from the dance floor to bar the rest of the night. 

Favorite Overall Brands:  Red Bull (loves how they push the boundaries), Nike (loves their mix of cool style, message of pushing your athletic limits and high quality), Tesla (loves their innovation and how they stand out from the “normal” cars), Shinola (one of the boutique brands that he likes because it’s pure man….well crafted and different than anything else anyone has….authentic), GQ (represents cool style that isn’t too pretentious)      

Words He Lives By:  Work Hard, Play Hard (it’s cliché, but he really works hard at this job and really tries to have fun outside of it)