Customer Personas

3 Ways to Build 3-D Personas That Move the Needle

How are you using personas to drive your brand strategy? 

I imagine that many of you are using personas from a product perspective (maybe even an engineering perspective), but they’re often more feature-based. That was how personas began, right? The early days of personas were based on user-centered design, and they were really a tool for people who are building products and services and experiences. 

I grew up in that world, and I ran an experience design team for JP Morgan. There, I learned the power of persona, which I got to blend into all of the marketing leadership and brand leadership that I was doing as well. That history gives me a very unique lens to apply when we’re building the brand strategies for our clients. 

So, I’m here to tell you three ways to craft your personas to make them a great tool for your company and your brand.

1. Talk to Your Customers

You cannot build a persona without talking to your customers! I’ll see a persona, and I’ll say, “where did this come from?” It’s amazing to me how often someone just made it up. You need to do the hard work to get personas that can work for you. That means in-depth customer interviews with current customers, past customers, and prospective customers (if you can get them). Ask them tough questions, get into their motivators, figure out why, and put those insights to paper. 


2. Authenticity is Key

Personas need to be real. They’re not just demographics or your age and where you live. They’re made of psychographics, motivators, emotions, other brands customers are buying, the way customers make purchase decisions, and more. Crafting personas is all about putting that information together with a name and a face, and really bringing them to life. 


3. Personas are for Everyone

Personas are not just for one department. They’re for your entire company – yes, everyone! – to rally around the customer. So share them with every team, and follow up to make sure that your teams are actually using them. And when you’re talking about something for the customer in a meeting, talk in the persona’s voice. It’s not about what you want, it’s about what the persona wants!


The Bottom Line

Be aligned, make them real, and go deep on your customers. The personas you craft will be the gift that keeps on giving.

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