The first step to sell online is to know your target audience. But identifying that audience is not always clear. While you should have an idea of who would want your products, it’s not uncommon to find that your understanding of groups of people, along with their shopping habits and expectations, is off. Sometimes way off. And that’s okay.

The idea that we must know exactly who to target so we can perfectly pitch our products and services isn’t always so logical.

Consider play dough (the product before it was branded). Invented in the 1930s, it was initially designed and marketed as a wallpaper cleaner. Only much later did the company realize the putty-like dough was being used for arts and crafts projects. In 1956, the brand Play-Doh was launched. Sales skyrocketed. It’s a good example of missing a target audience because it has yet to teach us what it wants.

Include Everyone

Writing for both the intended and unexpected customer is fundamental to real growth. The key to writing for everyone is to be descriptive enough that you answer the broadest range of questions, using simple words and graphics that don’t make people — even experts — feel like idiots.

Sugru’s website, shown below, nails this concept. This “mouldable glue” was designed to fix common things rather than replace them.

Sugru's simple technical properties chart
Sugru’s simple technical-properties chart provides key details that are easy to understand.

Sugru’s simple approach to educating everyone about its product line answers questions using simple icons and text. We can quickly see that the product is safe for electronics and will work in both cold and warm climates.

When forming product descriptions for everyone, be sure to:

  • Explain both generically and specifically how the product solves pain points. Speak to those who are familiar with the product and those who are learning about it.
Screenshot of an air fryer description that explains...