Taking a stroll with my customer avatar

Taking a stroll with my customer avatar

26. September 2022

By Stephan Breitfeld 

Whoever has been dealing with storytelling in the context of strategic communication, has probably been introduced to the customer avatar. The ideal customer, the one person that represents the mass of people you want and need to talk to. Whatever need it is you’re addressing, it can be the ideal candidate, the perfect visitor to your store, the one person that really needs your product, the avatar is that in one person.

It may seem a bit odd to assimilate a vast number of people in one Steven, Christian or Beth to the address, but it also has something of a calming notion that so many people have the exact same problem, need, feeling and desire.

The problems we share

In the executive search industry, the problems of potential customers can differ a lot in detail, but they also have a lot in common when it comes to the root of the problems. The customer avatar has difficulties with demands and reality of today’s candidate market. Difficulties finding the right executive candidates, a fear of leaving positions unfilled, excessive pressure on the existing team, products not entering the market, quality management not living up, global distribution being stalled, etc.

The customer avatar has a lot of difficult conversations with colleagues and superiors, why it’s not working, why the candidates don’t fit. There is a lack of understanding why the tools don’t work, why the salary expectations differ so much from what the company can offer. The generation “Work Life Balance” meets the demographic decline of the baby boomers. There you go.

We get each other

That’s not a specific problem of the industry, it’s a problem literally EVERYBODY has. While that may be a bit comforting, that we essentially are not alone with our problems, it still doesn’t solve them. Building up recruiting inhouse often lacks specialized and experiences approached that are even more necessary in a touch market. Candidates don’t work or look the same anymore. The dream job might no longer be engineer at Porsche but influencer at You Tube. And: yeah, job ads, forget it!

I feel for my customer avatar. These are no easy issues. Important people quit or go into retirement, on top the company needs to “transform” towards new products and services to meet current needs. It becomes overbearing. No people anywhere in sight. And also: no quick fix.

Stay strong and stick it out

But there is hope for the customer avatar. It goes through vision, ideas and long-term solutions. Approaches need to be re-evaluated and an external eye is almost always helpful. Letting go of the problem and handing it over can be very rewarding. There are people with more experience, more knowledge and know-how and the tools to find the missing pieces. Long-lasting relationships with experts can be just what the customer avatar needs. To focus on the company and the ability to innovate and develop for the future.


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