Creating a persona, or psychographic profile, can be an effective way for businesses to get to know their customers. In order to develop a persona, your company has to shift into a different mindset. You have to dig deeper, and consider your customer as more than a source of income. Personas allow you to access an alternative perspective, one where your company can find common ground with customers, tune into their fears and vulnerabilities, and help you critically analyze your website and its content through customer's eyes. Some well-known companies have used personas with great success to connect with their customers.
Personas Encourage Businesses to Find Common Ground with their Customers
When a company takes the time to profile their customers, you begin to understand them. You'll gain insight into how products will be perceived, what services should be introduced (or altered), and how each decision will impact the customer. By building a persona profile your company will have to ask themselves: "would our persona want this product or service," "how much would they be able to pay for it?," "would this particular business move alienate our persona?" It keeps you in touch with your customer base, without having to consult them on every decision.
Personas Tune Companies into the Fears and Vulnerabilities of their Customers
As a part of a complete profile, you should consider and thoroughly discuss the vulnerabilities and fears of your ideal customer. They have anxieties that come up on a daily basis, and if you are aware of them, your products and services can aim to alleviate them. Your company may even realize some concerns that hold your customer back from buying. This helps you meet customer needs and overcome objections before you even hear them from the customer.
Personas Help Businesses Consider their Website and its Content from the Perspective of Customers
Your persona can even be used to turn a critical eye to the company website. Analyzing the website in the mindset of the persona might result in some useful suggestions for improvement. Maybe that e-commerce software the company chose was cheaper for the bottom line, but it's not user friendly. The persona would want that fixed. A critical eye might see that the written content has too much jargon that isn't pleasant for the persona to read. Psychographic profiles can be used to improve customer experience.
Personas are used to Connect Businesses and Customers
Highly successful businesses have been using personas to learn about and connect with their customers. Here are some examples of companies that use personas:
-Lululemon: Lululemon uses personas named Ocean and Duke (2 physically fit professionals in their thirties) to market their products.
-Dove: Dove has the persona of a young woman in her twenties who may struggle with insecurities about her body. She still respects and cares for her body even though she is not the media representation of the "prefect figure."
-Gatorade: Gatorade uses the persona of a physically fit, active, sports enthusiast who gives it their all when working out.
Click here for more examples of companies who do a great job of developing a marketing persona.
Personas, when used effectively, can be a powerful tool in attracting and maintain customers for your business. This is because personas assist with building a rapport between seemingly "faceless" companies and the people who buy their products.