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Today and in subsequent days, you’ll fill in the individual fields of the Extended Canvas step-by-step. Today, you’ll start with your “target group.” Keep in mind that the customers who’ll buy your product (“buyers”) are not always the ones who use it (“users”). However, both are equally relevant for developing a successful offer. Customers and users can be the same person, especially in the consumer space, but they don’t have to be, especially if you want to do business with companies or institutions.

And here comes your task:

Think – preferably with your sparring partner – who exactly are your future customers and users:

  • Are they more women (e.g., yoga studio) or more men (e.g., sports bar)?
  • Which age group is most interested in your offer?
  • What unique characteristics does your target group have (e.g., interested in sports, health-conscious, wealthy, low income, little time, etc.)?
  • In which price segment do your customers move (e.g., very cost-conscious or willing to pay premium prices for premium offers)?

Write each distinct customer segment on a Post-it without evaluation or discussion.

Once you can’t think of any more customer segments, sort the customers according to their importance for your idea, possibly combine groups or divide them into subgroups. Finally, select the most important two to four customer segments and stick them in descending order of importance in the “target group” box.

It is essential for all further steps that you know your target group. If you haven’t yet clearly defined and assessed your customers’ needs and expectations, you won’t be able to address them in a targeted manner to sell them something successfully.

Maybe you’re excited that, in theory, everyone is a potential customer because you think you have a better chance of success. Unfortunately, it’s the other way around: If everyone is your customer, no one is your customer. Focusing on a clearly defined niche increases the probability that your business idea will be noticed. So, instead of addressing “all mothers,” it’s better to focus on “working mothers with toddlers” and create a special and unique offer for them.

Second part of the task:

Try to estimate sensibly how many potential customers your target groups contain. Write your estimate [from … to … customers] on the respective Post-its.

Finally, take a look at your results from today. What does it look like? How does it feel? Now we have to sleep on it…

Note: If possible, it’s best to make an appointment with your sparring partner again tomorrow.