Imagining Your Customer Through Famous Faces

 

If you’re having trouble imagining who someone might be in relation to your offer, there’s no better place to turn to than entertainment: films, TV shows, novels, and other forms of art. This can work whether you’re struggling to develop a character for a work of fiction, or if you’re simply trying to better understand who your customer is. 

Then again, it can be quite the challenge to pinpoint exactly who might represent such a person specifically, so feel free to mix and match. For instance, your character might be one part Clint Eastwood and two parts Gene Wilder. Maybe your target customer is someone like young Octavian from HBO’s Rome, but living in modern times. Or, the person who might love your product is a mix between Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada and Isla Fischer’s character in Confessions of a Shopaholic. Maybe you’re targeting Kardashians, or on the other end of the spectrum, someone similar to a Jane Austen character, like Elizabeth Bennet. Or, perhaps you’re trying to sell some unique sweaters to David Rose from Schitt’s Creek

The point of this exercise is to understand that, apart from perhaps sociopaths, human beings are relatively complex. They have highs and lows, passions and hatreds, desires and disgusts. Emotions are basically one giant chemistry set of possibilities, and you never know how your offer might inspire an individual to react. So you must work to understand all of these variations, complexities, and pursuits - especially if you’re looking to match their problem with your solution. 

The other reason for doing this exercise is to put a face to the persona. Sure, maybe you can do this with friends, family, or even customers that you already have. “So and so is going to go wild for this, and here’s why…” But, if you’re selling online, chances are you'll probably never come face to face with your customer. They may be nothing more than a series of IP addresses and checkouts to you. However, to make a strong emotional connection that can lead to a lasting relationship, you need to understand that these customers are living, breathing, creative human beings who are extremely unique in their likes and dislikes. (And if you’re a writer, this applies directly to how you create characters that connect with readers.) 

Of course, this game of matching famous faces to prospects doesn’t have to be perfect. You may feel that no one really matches your customer, or that you need to mix five different people to really get a handle on things. That’s fine. There are no right or wrong answers. Maybe you need a Ray Stevenson who’s 30 years younger, or an Anthony Hopkins frozen in time from Westworld. Maybe you could better understand your customer through a comedian like Emma Willmann, or a writer like Roald Dahl. The world is your oyster. Use your imagination and make a goddamn pearl. Then you'll have a face to put on the avatar.