Building your Brand's User Persona Types
What is a User Persona?
Before jumping into developing a site or a new app, consider taking a step backward and evaluating who will truly be using your platform.
It's important to understand the audience you're aiming to solve a problem for.
Creating user persona types can help you discover the best means of executing your strategies and final UX (User Experience).
User personas are fictitious, yet realistic characterizations of people who will be purchasing, using, or consuming your products or services.
They exemplify the ideal buyer or user of your products or services.
Later, we will outline a user persona example to shape a better perspective of a prospective customer.
Why are User Personas Important?
So, why are user personas so important? Why invest in developing representations of your audience?
Because developing personas is key to understanding user needs.
Creating diverse types of personas allows you to understand the best approach for concentrating your efforts in a way that's both interesting and personalized for your customers.
Whether it's for the purpose of marketing toward your audience, persuading them to buy your products, or even downloading your app. Building your brand's buyer personas allows for a more meaningful and insightful perspective of the customers you'll be serving.
Your customers are real people, and real people appreciate a sense of personalization when being marketed toward.
And that's exactly what groups of user personas deliver — personalization and understanding.
I say groups of user personas because your audience should be divided into smaller segments from the whole, creating different persona types.
Not all people who will be using your product or service share similar the same interests, behaviors, or attitudes right?
What are the Characteristics of a User Personality?
Just like a person, your user persona groups will be constructed from real-life human traits.
This includes analyzing important features, like demographic and geographical data, from audience background research you've conducted.
With adequate research, you can build your ideal audience personas based on their:
Pain Points or Challenges
Desired use of your Products or Services.
After looking over your audience characteristics and similarities, you can begin to assemble the identical features together to form your persona types.
We'll walk you through the design process of developing personas by forming a name and title to identify the user profile.
For example, let's say we're inventing an innovative new app that keeps track of all your online purchases to ensure you stay on budget for the month.
Well, we're going to need to construct a persona profile for an app user!
Defining User Personas: The Profile
First, start by defining user personas with a name and a brief title description that distinguishes them from the rest of your audience.
Giving your personas a name makes the entire process more tangible, approachable, and personally tailored toward your audience. It's also helpful to give your persona a profile image to bring them to life.
Secondly, you'll also want to identify their age, location, job occupation, annual income, interests, and maybe even what they value first when making purchases.
Maybe we find that we have a customer segment who spend their money on impulse buys.
Let's call this user persona "Isabelle the Impulse Buyer" who may possess the following attributes:
She is 25 years old
She lives in Detroit, Michigan
She is a full-time student pursuing Physical Therapy
She earns ~$40,000/yr. working at a rehabilitation clinic
She enjoys shopping and fitness
Key User Behaviors
These are the main attributes that further bring your user persona to life and define their central tendencies.
"Isabelle the Impulse Buyer" may exhibit the following key behaviors:
Chooses economical, yet healthy food options
Believes shopping to be relaxing and cathartic
Plans and optimizes daily schedule
Participates in rewards programs
Actively monitors disposable income
Highly regular route at work
Persona Challenges & Pain Points
Your business exists to alleviate the everyday burdens and issues your customers experience.
It's important to establish what obstacles and overall frustrations your customers are facing that prevent them from thriving.
Learning their pain points teaches you how to morph dissatisfaction into satisfaction.
Don't let this task be constrained to just the marketing team; try communicating with the sales team or client services representatives who might have direct insight and evidence of your customers' challenges.
The questions client services and sales teams receive can be turned into worthy content to build your persona around.
"Isabelle the Impulse Buyer" may have pain points resembling the following:
Average technical usage
Worried about data privacy
Wary of complex technology
Learning curve with new technology
Manages money well, but struggles to resist a good deal
Pressure of paying bills and still having money to save
Busy lifestyle impacts buying decisions and wellness
Persona Goals and Desires
Here is where you evaluate what your customers' aspirations, desires, and goals are.
Understand which of them can be feasibly satisfied through your business' expertise.
While customer aspirations and desires can absolutely be related to your products or services, it's not mandatory.
This persona layer is focusing more on acclimating yourself with your customer segment than it is on tying in every aspect to your company value.
Just like before, client services and sales teams may have a lot to offer in this field. As they talk with clients on a daily basis, they accumulate a sense of buyer goals and desires.
Communicate with various departments in your business to uncover the information they hear when conversing with prospects and current customers.
Realizing customer goals ahead of time lets you optimize your marketing strategy by crafting a specialized approach with a specific voice, appeal, and articulation.
"Isabelle the Impulse Buyer" may have the following goals and aspirations:
Finish school & become full-time Physical Therapist
Better management of extra money
Find a way to stay on budget
Become a smart shopper with rebates, coupons, weekly deals, etc.
Other Priorities / Orientations
These are different from key behaviors and goals, but still provide relevance for important everyday aspects of their lives.
Included, are special priorities or activities as a part of their daily lives or recreational fun.
"Isabelle the Impulse Buyer" might have the following priorities or orientations:
Health & Fitness
Social Media Downtime
Socialization with Friends
Competitors to Consider
As the saying goes in the business world, always keep an eye on your competition. It's very important to identify your competitors based on your user personas.
Whether it is for convenience, price, or an impulse buy, the chances of your user persona being targeted by your competition cannot be overlooked.
"Isabelle the Impulse Buyer" may attract the following competition:
The Winning Statement
Now that you have identified a user persona and molded your ideal user for that persona, it's time to think deeper.
How can you systematically deliver your product or service to them based on their attributes?
To better resolve the pain points and challenges "Isabelle the Impulse Buyer" faces, a winning statement like the following should be addressed:
"How can we give Isabelle greater insight into the budgeting value of our products and on how adjusting impulsive purchasing habits can be solved through simple solutions?"
Putting the Pieces Together
Combine these persona elements and form a basic prototype for one of your persona groups.
Whenever you're planning on launching a new marketing initiative or creating a custom mobile app it goes without saying that your user personas should be considered in every step.
Here's where you'll make your mark. Capitalize on your audience research by impressing your customers and showing consideration toward their situation, values, and interests.
By creating different persona types, you'll have a deeper understanding of your audience's defining qualities.
And, you can confidently tackle your real customers' pain points and aspirations.
You'll be able to craft the ideal message that acknowledges their challenges and goals.
A blend and balance of your products or services that addresses their needs — delivered with a personalized tone that leaves your audience feeling happily recognized.
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