Who exactly is your customer? It might seem a simple question, but it’s surprising how many businesses try to sell to everyone and anyone, when a clearly targeted approach will generally yield better results. In October's issue, Furniture News asks businesses to discuss the benefits – and the drawbacks – of having a well-defined customer base …

Come one, come all! The notion that everyone is a potential customer is undeniably attractive – but unless you have the vast resources of a search engine or marketplace behind you, it’s unrealistic. Most businesses recognise that it’s impossible to be all things to all people, and choose to focus on identifying and pursuing a defined customer demographic – by age, location, budget, or other. 

Given the cost of acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones, it pays to know your targets’ wants, needs, frustrations, budgets and behaviours, and to tailor your approach accordingly. It might mean excluding certain product segments or price brackets from your offer, and turning down some opportunities – but it will also make your selling, marketing, and your business, more effective. 

In October's issue, Furniture News asks a range of retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and service providers to explain how clearly they define their target customer base, and the pros and cons of doing so. Read their takes here.