Customer Archetype

What is the Customer Archetype?

As a literary device, a customer archetype is a type of character shown as a typical customer. Such a fictional character has a specific age, title, and interests with idiosyncrasies that the writers bless such characters with. He is a person who is either built imaginatively or is loosely based on some other character. Such characters often have shorter roles, or even hero archetypes are sometimes shown in this role.

Customer’s Archetype or Persona

Interestingly, a customer’s persona or a customer archetype is used in marketing as well. Such customer archetypes are also called customer persona built by the professionals to market the products their manufacturing company prepares. Although it does have anything to do with literature, it helps writers build such an archetype to use in their writings and inspire their readers to see how human beings act, react and relate things to other human beings.

Types of Customer Archetype

A customer archetype could be categorized into several types. Some of these archetypes desire one thing, while others something else. Also, it depends on their demography, social status, education level, age, marital status, etc. All of these features make up the persona of the customer archetype. They are categorized according to the category of the products they are going to purchase. However, in literary devices, they occur just as passing customer archetypes and not as central characters.

Character Traits of Customer Archetypes

Customer archetypes collectively demonstrate certain character traits. As they demonstrate commercialization, they also demonstrate their characters through this commercialization, such as they show their demands for certain products. They express their thoughts about other products. They show a permanent obsession with shopping, purchase of a specific product, comparing and contrasting those products of the same brands or different brands, and deciding which products to purchase and which not. Yet, it is up to the writers to bless customer archetypes with certain character traits.

Major Elements of a Customer Archetype

  1. Persona Qualities: It includes not only the age but also the gender of the customers. They demonstrate their career choices, their hobbies, their education, their understanding, and their roles in their families.
  2. Problem Points: Such archetypes have some pain points, which are also called problem points. These archetypes are based on the problems that they face on daily basis and then resolve through their purchasing power.
  3. Purchasing Behavior: As these archetypes are specific, they also demonstrate specific behavior traits based on their shopping habits and desires.
  4. Motivation: Some customer archetypes also demonstrate the motivations that inspire them to purchase certain products.
  5. Influencing Behavior: Through their shopping of specific products, customer archetypes demonstrate what they love and how they love to buy. In this way, writers convey their feelings through customer archetypes to advertise a certain product or show their inclination toward a specific product.

Examples in Literature

 The Customer by Kyle Harbinger

Although it seems that Kyle Harbinger is presenting the persona or a customer archetype, the real reading of the poem does not evince this intention of the poet. The poet turns out to be a lady and the moral lesson is that she does not seem to have any specific personality traits. Yet, this is a good example of a customer archetype.

Manolin in The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway has presented Manolin as a customer archetype character though he has not become a symbol of such an archetype. He displays this side of his personality when he goes to bring some eatables for Santiago whom he declares his mentor.

Brett in The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Brett also shows this side of her character when she is with the narrator in Paris. The narrator clearly sees that when Brett glances at the shops, the products invoke something in her in that her eyes glitter. Besides this, they are sometimes customers at the barber shop or wine shop but their profiles are not specifically for customers. They are just ordinary characters.