Customer Consumer Cohort

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Customer Consumer Cohort

Most people understand the basics of demographics: segmenting groups of people according to broadly shared characteristics such as age or gender. While not every individual within each demographic category will have the same shopping habits or personal preferences, there are certain qualities or needs many within each demographic have in common.

Therefore, understanding the customer cohort demographics that frequent your business (and those that don’t) can help you develop more targeted marketing, featuring products and services that appeal to many members of the group. Appropriate marketing addresses the needs of each cohort and initiates the process of building trust between you and your customers. When people feel seen and understood, they are more likely to want to engage with that business, product, or person.

Developing these cohort files also helps small business owners better develop the individual consumer persona, another key element of smart marketing and business development.

Defining the Consumer Cohort

The “cohort” is each demographic group. Therefore, customer cohorts are the categories of customer populations that relate to the purpose of your business. While the target cohort and consumer persona for each business will vary, we’ll use a locally owned women’s clothing and gifts boutique (Lacey’s Closet) as our real-world example in this discussion.

Why is Cohort Important?

There are two reasons to understand the consumer cohort. The first is to define groups of consumers to create marketing that “speaks their language” By creating appealing website content, videos, and targeted advertising you increase your chances of evoking a response from potential customers. As your cohort grows, it is important to study the consumer cohort in order to gain an understanding of who your website users and regular customers in a store are. While understanding your cohort when you start your business is a necessity for success, it is equally important to remember that studying your cohort should be an ongoing process as your business grows. 

For example, the owner of Lacey’s Closet may quickly realize that women of a certain age and income level shop regularly at her store, and these women also tend to visit her website, watch her videos and read her blog. However, further analysis may show that men of a certain age and income level may be secondary customers for her store, suggesting that they may be purchasing gifts, and therefore may be more responsive to a different kind of advertising or heavier marketing during popular gift-giving seasons, such as Christmas or Mother’s Day.

Customer Cohort Demographics and Their Characteristics

Current and potential consumers can be grouped into dozens of different categories, and often into sub-categories, that include several demographic characteristics. For example, broad categories may simply be age groups, gender, and income level. However, you can then group these individuals into cohorts that share several conditions, such as women between the ages of 25 and 50, with high school education, income levels between $30,000 and $60,000 per year, and who live in the community. This particular cohort will be more likely to frequent Lacey’s Closet than, say, teenage boys who like playing video games.

Other ways to develop and define a consumer cohort include their hobbies and how they spend discretionary income. For the owner of Lacey’s Closet, identifying women who like fashion and people who prefer to shop locally (as opposed to big-box stores) is just as important as finding women who fall into the initial cohort.

Understanding the importance of each major demographic category helps businesses choose which products to laun

Let's Explore the Importance of Each Major Segment

Age

Different age brackets have different needs. In general, younger people may spend more on fashion and entertainment, while older people, with an eye on retirement, may choose to save or invest their extra income. One demographic may find Lacey’s Closet more appealing than a mutual funds broker, for example.

Common Age Categories:

12 – 17

18 – 24

25 – 34

35 – 44

45 – 54

55 – 64

65+

Gender

The preferences of men versus women are different, and for many consumer goods, there’s a noticeable difference in who is purchasing what. More women may be shopping at Lacey’s Closet than men, while more men may be shopping at Men’s Warehouse than women. 

Income

What is your target consumer capable of purchasing? While people with middle-class incomes may spend money on nice clothing, dinners out, or travel, they do so with a mind towards their budget. For women in this category, clothes from Lacey’s Closet may be a splurge or may be a gift for a special occasion. However, ladies with higher income levels may have more discretionary income for shopping, in which case, Lacey’s Closet may be a regular haunt. Improving awareness for the latter group may include sneak peeks of new arrivals or the exclusivity of a small boutique.

Education

Generally speaking, buyers with higher education levels may be more skeptical of overt marketing and may take their time before making major buying decisions. The owner of Lacey’s Closet can target these individuals by emphasizing the quality of the materials and construction of the clothing, presenting the clothing as an investment as pieces that will last many seasons.

Marital Status

Married couples have different budgets than single individuals, and may have different needs when purchasing. A single woman may wish to have a larger wardrobe than a married woman, and Lacey’s Closet can create marketing that appeals to both personas.

Employment

The type of employment people have can determine a lot of the items they purchase. Women who have white-collar jobs may purchase a lot of their business attire from Lacey’s Closet, while men who work in the trade may spend more money on tools and equipment from a hardware store. If you were the owner of Lacey’s Closet then, it would be beneficial to build awareness in areas white collar women will see your brand. 

Common Employment Categories:

Unemployed

1099

Part-Time W2

Full-Time W2

Business Owner

Retired

Home Ownership

People who own homes tend to purchase things to maintain and improve their homes. While both renters and homeowners may both purchase vacuums, homeowners are more likely to purchase landscape equipment and more tools for repairs around the house, as most property management companies take care of such things for the renters.

Geographical Location

What people buy depends largely on their needs as the weather changes. Lacey’s Closet in Wisconsin will likely have a large selection of boots and winter coats, while Lacey’s Closet in Dallas may stock light-weight dresses year-round. Snowblowers, for another example, may be popular purchases in Wisconsin, but not in Dallas.

Race and Ethnicity

Different cultures have different trends and fashions, which can affect buying behavior, from cars to clothes to groceries. Researching the cultures and trends of ethic groups in your area can help inform how your product could appeal to people of different races and ethnicities. 

Making it Work For Your Business

Now that we’ve explored the consumer cohort and how it affects buying decisions, you may be wondering, “What does this mean for my business?”

Understanding the broader demographics of your customers allows you to create marketing that appeals to each demographic, or to focus on certain cohorts that want to buy what you’re selling. The owner of Lacey’s Closet, after analyzing which types of consumers shop in the store, may opt for two different kinds of marketing approaches or may discover the consumer composition includes a previously untapped cohort.

Let’s say the owner of Lacey’s Closet notes that men make up 15% of the buyers, and these men tend to purchase “safe” items for gifts, such as scarves, sweaters, and scented candles. Lacey may then create a blog post about popular gifts “for the women on your list”, targeting a male cohort. Understanding who their consumers are helps small businesses develop new products, appeal to their consumers in a relatable manner, and further cultivate an authentic brand personality that resonates with buyers.

Cohorts to Tribes

Having a full understanding of your target market cohort is just the first step to truly understanding your consumer. Cohorts focus on statistical information. In reality, people are far more complex than their demographics. They have differing beliefs, values, interests, etc. Fully encapsulating your consumer means understanding these other aspects about your target market. When are you able to determine this more subjective level of qualities for your consumer, then you are determining your Tribe. Your consumer Tribe will consist of the people who meet the demographics of your cohort and the subjective qualities that apply to your target market.

Follow

settings
Understanding your business demographics can really help scale your business.

Platform

Go to

Chapter 1: Getting started

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Chapter 2: Coronavirus Cyberattack Statistics

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Chapter 3: General Cybersecurity Statistics

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Chapter 4: Phishing & Email Attack Statistics

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Chapter 5: Industry Cybersecurity Statistics

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Chapter 6: Privacy Statistics

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Chapter 7: Privacy Statistics

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Chapter 8: Privacy Statistics

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Related

Capital Strategy

10 min read

Target Market

10 min read

Awareness

15 min read

Business Strategy

10 min read