A customer typology is a system for classifying customers. A typological customer class is called a customer type. The external customers can be divided into types according to numerous characteristics:
According to sectors, customers are roughly divided into three types: consumers, companies (business) and public authorities (administration). Philip Kotler distinguishes four types:
Consumers (K-Markt), producers (P-Markt), resellers (W-Markt) and the public sector (Ö-Markt).
Five types of customers can be distinguished according to their loyalty to the company: prospects, first-time buyers, repeat buyers, regular buyers and recommend
According to their willingness to innovate, customers can be divided into five types (adoption, diffusion): innovators (neophiles), early adopters, early majority, late majority and latecomers.
A distinction is made between amateur customers (laypeople) and professional customers (experts) according to their specialist knowledge or technical know-how.
Depending on their decision-making behavior, a distinction is made between weak and strong customers.
A distinction is made between visual, auditory, operational and haptic customer types according to their learning behavior.
Karl Heinz A. Lorenz's customer typology is based on the typology model of the psychologists Fritz Riemann and Christoph Thomann. According to this model, there are four opposing basic orientations with different characteristics for every person: duration and change (time axis) as well as proximity and distance (spatial axis).
Three types of customers can be distinguished according to their purchasing behavior: price-conscious, brand-conscious, and price- and brand-conscious customers (smart shoppers).
A distinction is made between direct and indirect customers according to the respective sales channel. If a manufacturer sells his products directly to end users, he only has direct customers (consumers and / or investors). When a manufacturer sells its products through retail outlets, the retailers it supplies are its direct customers. The consumers who buy the manufacturer's products at retail are its indirect customers (full strategy).
Nach ihrer Rolle im Buying Center werden folgende Kundentypen unterschieden: Verwender, Einkäufer, Entscheider, Beeinflusser und Türöffner.
According to their payment behavior, customers are divided into high-speed payers and low-speed payers.
Current customers and potential customers (prospects) must be differentiated according to their relationship to the company.
Important and unimportant customers are distinguished according to their value for the company (customer rating).
The following customer types can be distinguished according to socio-demographic characteristics: early adopters, market mavens, opinion leaders, multipliers, inducers, snobs (snob effect) and followers (bandwagon effect).
Darüber hinaus gibt es weitere Merkmale, nach denen Kundentypen gebildet werden können. Die Konsumenten können z. B. nach psychografischen Kriterien sowie nach Besitzund Konsummerkmalen unterteilt werden (Market segmentation, Verbrauchertypologien). Durch die Kombination mehrerer Kriterien sind die externen Kunden besser voneinander abzugrenzen.
Disadvantage: As the number of criteria used increases, so does the number of customer types.
Advantage: Customer typologies enable target group-oriented market development and differentiated treatment of individual customers.