I'm working in a company that to date has been selling an educational product to schools. We're now aiming to branch out into selling to private consumers, who want to use the product for their family or some other small group of kids.

What's the best word to describe these non-school customers, that distinguishes them from school customers?

We thought of "consumers", but schools are also consumers. They're not "individuals", since there are multiple users in that group, and they're not necessarily "families" either; they could be a group of friends.

  • 1
    What's wrong with the word "private" you used in the question?
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 6 '17 at 15:39

Business, Commercial, and Industry are often used to describe non-academic enterprises especially within schools. But if you talking about 'end-users' then personal or home users might be a better fit?

  • In the end we decided to go with "Family", but yours is closest so you get credit. Thanks!
    – Shaul Behr
    Sep 7 '17 at 9:37

I'm guessing your new market includes home-schoolers, afterschool programs (such as Kumon), and churches. In that case, perhaps non-institutional would work. Institutional would apply to schools (including private schools) and school districts; non-institutional would be everyone else. According to the Oxford Dictionaries:



  1. Of, in, or like an institution or institutions.
    ‘institutional care’
    ‘an institutional investor’

Hope this helps!

  • I like it, but it's a little wordy. Is there a single word that means the same as "non-institutional"?
    – Shaul Behr
    Sep 7 '17 at 6:44
  • Yes, 'Private'...
    – JeffUK
    Sep 7 '17 at 8:07

You may use consumer or end user

consumer : A person who buys goods or services for their own use

end user : The person or organization that uses something rather than an organization that trades in it

please check Cambridge dictionary for consumer and end user

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