What is a customer base?

Consumers who repeatedly buy your company’s goods or services make up your Customer Base. They are your business’s main source of revenue. Most marketing professionals see their customer base as their target market, that is, the consumers on whom they focus their sales and marketing campaigns.

This group of people consists of your regular customers, also known as repeat customers.

Wikipedia.com has the following definition of the term:

“The customer base is a group of customers who repeatedly purchase the goods or services of a business. These customers are the main source of revenue for a company.”

“The customer base may be considered a business’s target market, where customer behaviors are well understood through market research or past experience. Relying on a customer base can make growth and innovation difficult.”

Understanding the concept of a customer base is critical for any business aiming to thrive. These consumers are a crucial aspect of your company’s success and long-term growth, also known as sustainable growth.

Components of customer base vary

The customer base is not just a list of randomly selected individuals. It is a well-defined segment of a market that a business has managed to successfully tap into.

The components of a customer base may vary considerably, depending on what type of business you are in.

If you have a small, local company, such as a window-cleaning operation, your regular customers will be local residents.

For larger corporations, they could be spread across the country, continent, and even further afield.

2 images depicting the concept of a customer base, plus a written definition.
Image created by Market Business News.

Understanding customer preferences and behavior

If you want to build and maintain a strong customer base, you have to understand the needs and preferences of these customers.

Your focus is on attracting new customers and retaining current ones. Customer satisfaction plays a pivotal role here. You must ensure that whatever they buy from you meets or exceeds their expectations.

Some of the strategies to maintain a loyal customer base include:

  • Offering loyalty programs.
  • Engaging with customers through feedback.
  • Providing excellent customer service.
  • Personalizing experiences.
  • Guaranteeing consistent quality.
  • Ensuring responsive communication.
  • Creating value with promotions.

International businesses

If you sell abroad, considering the language and cultural nuances of your customer base is important.

Apart from speaking the language of your overseas regular customers, you should be familiar with their approach to business. What may seem straightforward or taken for granted in your country, may not be the case across the border. In some countries, such as Germany and Japan, meeting deadlines matters more than in many other parts of the world.


Your customer base is more than your target market. It is the foundation upon which your business builds its strategy for growth and sustainability.

Understanding what your customers need, who they are, and how best to serve them may give you an edge over the competition.

Two Videos

These two YouTube videos come from our sister channel, Marketing Business Network or MBN. They explain what the terms “Customer Loyalty” and “Customer Service” mean using easy-to-understand language and examples:

  • What is Customer Loyalty?

  • What is Customer Service?