Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is a local, family owned boutique and surf retail store with two locations at the South Jersey Shore! The first and original Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is located in Stone Harbor, New Jersey while the second location is just about 30 minutes south at the most southern peak in the state, Cape May, New Jersey.
Both of these locations have customers ranging from a vacationer, to a beach lover, to an extreme sports enthusiast who spends his or her summer surfing the Atlantic Coast!
Since Pete Smith’s does have a large variety of customers, it does its best to accommodate everyones needs regardless of gender, age, or activity level within the sport of surfing. This means that both Pete Smith’s locations carry everything from sunblock to Rayban sunglasses, to clothing, to surfboards, to surf accessories, such as board wax or fins.
Though Pete Smith’s does a great job at providing so many different products, it really feels as if its most common customer is usually around the age of 10-15, either male or female, and is normally looking to purchase a surf related product. Typically, the individual has taken a few surf lessons in the past and seasonally participates in the sport as a summertime hobby. In saying this, the customer needs a reliable board that he or she can excel through the waves with, but at the same time does not need the best type of competition board out there – even though if that were what the customer were looking for Pete Smith’s could accommodate for that demand as well!
Both Pete Smith’s locations usually see the same, loyal customers year after year while they are in town for a nice family vacation. Each year the children of these families grow in both age and size and see the new surf trends of that summer on the local beaches that they will only get to take advantage of while on vacation!
To account for this type of “average” (but awesome!) customer, a hypothetical customer profile has been created to highlight some of the important characteristics of the buyer.
Let me introduce you to Sally Weston.
Sally is a middle school student who vacations with her family every year in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. She is just 12 years old but has been coming to the Jersey shore every year since she can remember, and has been surfing since age 8. Sally is a pretty good surfer and really enjoys the sport because it allows her to hangout on the beach with some of her fellow vacation friends!
Sally likes to have her own surfboard and accessories so that she doesn’t have to worry about rentals or anything that could potentially inconvenience her. Sally also likes to have surfboards and products that are similar to what her friends have or what she has seen in advertisements on social media, because it makes her feel like she “fits in” with the surf crowd!
When picking a product, Sally usually tries to pursue her parents to buy her whatever she feels has a “cool” and “trendy” vibe.
This is the part where Mary Weston, Sally’s mother, steps into play.
Though Sally is the end-buyer as she is the individual using the product, Mary is the economic buyer as she is the individual supplying the funds.
Mary Weston is a well known lawyer who has her own law firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Due to her successes in life, Mary makes well over the average income that is anticipated for an individual within the United States.
Mary herself does not surf, but likes to sit on the beach and watch Sally surf and enjoy herself with her other surfing friends. This means that Sally’s happiness is very important to Mary, especially while on vacation, but she doesn’t know much about the technical side of surfboards or gear.
Mary often times tells Sally to pick out a few boards that she likes and then consults Google reviews in order to find out more information about the products. Whichever products have the best safety reviews are the products that Mary likes! Safety is Mary’s main priority!
After eliminating a few choices based on poor reviews and then recommending the safest and most reliable boards to Sally, the two then consult one last individual within the buying process, Mark Stanz.
Mark Stanz is a 32 year old surf instructor in Stone Harbor that has been in the industry for 10 years and even taught Sally how to ride!
Mark himself has been in many surf competitions and has guided others who have also participated in similar competitions. Mark knows a lot about surfing and what to buy!
Sally and Mary usually go to Mark with their surfboard or surf gear questions, and he helps them out from the technical standpoint as he is a technical buyer in this scenario!
Mark will tell Sally and Mary which boards amongst the pre-selected options have the best ratings and what each board is specifically used for. Mark explains the differences between board heights, widths, and weights so that Sally can not only chose the trendiest and safest board, but the most practical board that will fit her needs as a young, recreational surfer as well.
Trendiness, safety, and practicality are all very important features that need to be understood and achieved when buying a surf related product, especially a surfboard, for someone like Sally Weston. Sally is looking for something that not only looks cool, but something that is safe to use, while also allowing her to practice and expand on her surf skills in the best way possible!
However, these three features really couldn’t have been achieved in the best way possible without first consulting and understanding the lifestyles and demographics for each individual involved within the scenario… Sally Weston, the end buyer, Mary Weston, the financial buyer, and Mark Stanz, the technical buyer!
As one can tell a lot of thought goes into making a purchase, so one can only imagine the amount of thought that goes into the retail end of selecting a product and then advertising and marketing it for others to see, most commonly on social media. Hopefully with this example you not only better understanding of the mind of a consumer, but also a better understanding about Pete Smith’s Surf Shop as a brand and its consumer audience!