Practical Application: Understanding Customer Needs & Differentiation

Instructor: Amanda Robb
These scenarios will help you practice analyzing customer needs. Throughout the scenario, we'll examine what the customer may want or need based on various factors such as gender, age, lifestyle, and socioeconomic status.

Why Know Your Customer?

Imagine planning a Christmas party for your cafe, only to find out the neighborhood you set up shop in is mostly Muslim. It's important to know your audience, especially if you're trying to sell something or promote a product. As you read in the article, Customer Needs: Types & Differentiation by Customer Group getting to know your customer and what they want or need from a product can be a huge help for business success. Although it's important to get to know your customers on a personal level, there are several categories that can help guide you in knowing your customer:

  • Gender
  • Socioeconomic level
  • Age
  • Lifestyle
  • Location

In the following scenario, we'll be working with Chad, who is a real-estate agent. He's trying to find the perfect home for a new couple, Linda and Jasmine. Chad needs to get to know Linda and Jasmine and figure out how they fit into the categories above so he can find them the perfect home.

Linda and Jasmine's Dream Home

Who is your customer?

Linda and Jasmine have been together for ten years and are finally buying their first home together. Linda was in a car accident as a child, however, and has mobility issues that require her to use a cane. They want to keep this in mind as they search for a house. Linda and Jasmine are both in their 30's and are looking for a home they can grow into as a family as they plan to have children in the next few years. They're hoping for at least one extra bedroom and room for their children to play.

What are their needs?

What should Chad learn from this initial chat with Linda and Jasmine? First, he should be aware of Linda's mobility issues. Even though she can walk, they most likely want a house with limited stairs. Chad crosses off some multi-floor homes and starts to look for large, ranch-style houses.

Chad also heard that they want to have a family. This means they probably also want a yard and possibly a playroom for the children. He adds this to the list.

He considers that as two females they probably want a safe, well-lit neighborhood that has other children living there for their future family. He is picturing a home in an up and coming neighborhood on the south side of town that would work perfectly! Jasmine works on the south side of the city, so having a home in that neighborhood would make her commute much better as well.

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