Who do you ask?

Now that you have developed a list of questions, who do you interview?  Of course the design team needs to interview people in the target market! But there are other players in the buying process.

The Buyer Type Model

  1. Buyer – Writes the checks or provides the cash
  2. User – Uses the product
  3. Influencer  – influences the decision
  4. Decider – Makes the decision to buy

Example: Purchase of the Family car

  1. Buyer – Parents usually provide the money or are responsible for the loan.
  2. User – The stay-at-home parent may be the primary user.
  3. Influencer – Many people may influence the purchase of the family car.  Research has shown that the children greatly influence their parents purchasing decisions.  Friends and neighbors may also have influence.  Finally, do not forget the salespeople.  They have a tremendous influence when customers are comparing products!
  4. Decider – Many car salesmen believe that the wife usually is the decider when it comes to the purchase of a car to transport children.

In this case a clever design team would not only interview parents but also their children and the salespeople!  These people can give great insights into the benefits that customers are seeking to make their lives easier and more fulfilling.  Please note that the team’s list of questions may need to be customized for different groups in the buyer type model.  In fact some questions may be better answered with a literature search.

For more comprehensive description of the buyer type model please click here.




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