How to Identify the Target Market for Your Startup Product

Not all customers are the same. Those who stick around and drive consistent revenue to your business are worth getting to know more deeply. These ideal customers make up your target market. Knowing how to identify the target market for your product vastly improves its chances of success.

If you know who your ideal customers are, you’ll have a much better chance of satisfying them and inspiring them to help your business grow.

Understanding what an ideal customer is

Generally speaking, an ideal customer is someone who contributes more to your business’s well being and survival than they cost to acquire or keep around. This type of customer can keep your business afloat in the early days of its development.

Startups, in particular, benefit most from identifying target markets and appealing to their ideal customers early on. For a startup, the usual business concerns that larger organizations have likely apply to some degree, but risks are higher and their existing customer bases may be scarce. Getting great customers can help get your business on its feet.

The following traits are especially indicative of an ideal customer:

  • They become brand advocates.
  • They provide plenty of feedback.
  • They accept your asking price.
  • They generate recurring revenue through repeated purchases or subscriptions.

Figuring out how to identify your target market, where you can find ideal customers, and how you can keep them is integral to your business’s success, but you’ll need to know your product’s strengths to do so.

Defining your product

Knowing what your product is, what it does, and why anyone should choose it over your competitors’ offerings is the first step toward identifying a target market.

What problem does it solve?

Your product is what it does. Those who are most interested in your product find it useful for some reason. Although you may think you know what that reason is, the specifics could still surprise you.

For instance, a smartphone security app may not only help users protect their mobile data but also help relieve the stress associated with that data being at risk in the first place. These two problems are similar, but they’re not the same. In her book Heart and Sell, sales author Shari Levitin touched on safety being an important factor in the purchasing process—along with numerous other emotion-based issues people to turn to products to solve.

What is its competitive edge?

Your product’s edge is what differentiates it from the competition. Knowing and understanding this characteristic makes it a lot easier to identify those who appreciate it the most.

Anything from enhanced convenience (taking fewer steps to use or otherwise reducing friction) to superlative durability can set your offering apart from the pack. Once identified, your product’s competitive edge can be matched to those who need or want it (i.e., your ideal customers).

Building a digital product?

Identifying target markets through customer profiling

Customer profiles are usually descriptions of your intended audience—those who will actually purchase your product. However, in the case of an ideal customer profile, only the best and most loyal segments of your potential user base should be considered.

Identifying the following characteristics of your ideal customer should help you craft a profile you can tailor your product to.


Knowing where most of your top customers are coming from in a literal sense can help with future marketing efforts and more. Cultural and geographical specifics can play a significant role in dictating how people perceive your product.


Older consumers exhibit fairly different purchasing habits than their younger counterparts. From varying comfort levels with digital technology to vastly differing wellness needs, the interests of the elderly vs. the youthful or even the middle-aged are highly important to consider when crafting an accurate ideal customer profile.


Your customers’ interests make them unique among a growing international body of consumers. By identifying these interests, you can deepen your connection to them and better satisfy their needs.


Although many products can be equally useful to all consumers, you may find one group outpacing the other among your target audience.

Improving your ideal customer profile

Once you’ve developed a profile for your ideal customer, you can begin refining it for future use. There are numerous ways to do this, but the following are the most common.

Measure market behavior

Analytics will always be a go-to strategy for learning more about an organization’s market base, and for good reason. By gathering data on how people use your products, you can quickly derive insights regarding how they can be improved.

Gather and assess customer feedback

Implementing surveys and feedback requests at every opportunity can pay off tremendously in actionable information for your business. You can then apply analytics on the information you’ve gathered to learn what makes your customers tick and what product-related issues are currently on their minds. Carefully assess the details covered above, and your understanding of your product’s target market will grow. With time, this can help you adapt to market interests quickly and satisfy more of your customers in the process.

Besides the above, it helps to have an outside opinion on what your company is doing right—as well as what it may be getting wrong.

Here at VeryCreatives, we partner with startups to design and build the perfect products to win over their ideal customers.

To learn how we can help, reach out today!

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Feri Fekete

Feri Fekete

Co-founder of VeryCreatives

Máté Várkonyi

Máté Várkonyi

Co-founder of VeryCreatives



Digital Product Agency

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