At the end of it all, designers and brand communicators have the task of expressing a will, an identity or a desire that most of the time isn’t entirely their own. The slogans, logos, colour schemes and everything else we creatives developed stems from an in-depth knowledge of the people whom we are creating those fore-mentioned things for. Nothing serves that purpose better than client profiling.
A client or customer profile is a documentation of the customers that a brand or business is trying to communicate to. This is done in order to lay the adequate foundation for concepts, findings and key insights. You, of course, can’t document anything about the customer unless you have meant and engaged with the brand and perhaps even the customers personally. As a communicator, you need to know who the brand is, what they are about and why what they do matters to both them and their customers.
However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Firstly, how do we even profile a customer? And secondly, what kind of information are we even looking to capture? Miles Fryer is a co-founder of the branding resource website http://www.howtobuildabrand.org and in one of the articles, he states that a client profile is a way of personifying the characteristics of someone that would potentially be interested in the brand.
Demographics, psychographics and buyer behaviours, among a few other things, are determining factors in the client analysis. Jennifer Bourn, from the site http://www.bourncreative.com, also enlists backstories, “day-in-the-life” examples and future stories as additionally crucial parts of a client profile. This all leads to identifying the features and benefits of the product and/or service of the brand. The features are of course the actual components of the brand’s offering, and the benefits are positive effects of those components on the lives of the consumers.
The end-goal of a client profile is to make the job of mediating between the brand and its consumers much easier. As the communicator gains a greater understanding of both parties, findings become more apparent, the key insight is becoming easier to identify and the concept is on its steady way to being developed.
Here’s a slideshow of some client profiles I’ve made myself: