Whether you are a new Interior Designer or an accomplished Interior Designer of repute and long standing there is always a need to know who your target customers are. In fact, if you don’t really know your target customers then, unless you are lucky, you will not stay in business long.
Times change. Remember what was a great target market in the boom times might not be if things get tough, you should look at your target markets annually.
There are broadly two types of customer; residential, and commercial. The former would be characterised by an individual or household decision making unit whereas the latter would be characterised as an organisation, potentially an organisation can be very difficult to deal with as it can be more complex with decision makers, buyers, specifiers, influencers and many people involved in the decision making processes.
A potential, residential customer could be a friend, relation, someone down the road, a referral. Essentially someone who wants to ‘do’ their living space.
A potential commercial customer could be a hotel chain, your local restaurant, the office where someone you know works; often it will be a ‘workplace’ of some sorts but it could also include a large property developer/builder building an apartment block or a private aircraft or yacht manufacturer/designer.
What is NOT a target market. Green design is NOT a target market. Kitchen design is NOT a target market. You must always phrase the target market in terms of the customer. So the preceding examples become: People who are environmentally conscious in their interiors purchasing decisions; and People who are replacing their kitchen.
Do not fall into the trap of saying that your target market is “People who buy my type of service”. That won’t really help you! despite it being obviously true.
- Hospitality & Leisure
- Income level
- Education level
- Marital or family status
- Ethnic background
- Buy to let
- New builders
- Tech savvy
- Time poor family
- Networks/ past client networks
If the target user of your service is someone you might not directly contact and you have to go through someone else (usually an organisation). then that organisation becomes your channel to market.
Examples here include;
- Building firms
- Real Estate Agents
- Larger Interiors Practice
If you have any additions to suggest please add them via a comment below. I will put them into this list.