Brand personas aren’t anything new when it comes to marketing and branding. In fact, some may think of personas as being passe, but I’d be the first to tell you that personas are a key step when creating a branding profile for a new client or company. I use brand personas all the time in my work with clients because of how much they help define for both of us. Here’s why I use brand personas and why you might want to consider using them, too.
What are brand personas?
Brand personas are called a few different names: brand personality, brand positioning, brand personality examples, but they all mean the same thing. A brand persona or brand personality is a fictional person you create for your client that represents a real customer that your client serves. You will likely create more than one persona as clients tend to serve more than one type of customer. The average number of brand personas is 3.
Why are brand personas important?
When creating a brand personality for a client, you are including everything about that customer, from age, race, education, and income to hobbies, lifestyle, where they live, and more. It’s a 3D, fully fleshed-out person so that your client can see who truly aligns with their brand. This is important because it helps your client figure out the “who” of their brand, as well as solve problems that may have been coming up for that client’s customers.
How do you build a brand persona?
I like to break down my brand persona building process into four steps:
- Think of your client’s target audience - Your client’s target audience is not all the same, single person. Ask yourself these kinds of questions: how many times have you interacted with the different people in your client’s audience? What did you learn from the interactions? Write it all down. It doesn’t have to be organized just yet, you’re just getting together the ingredients to create a few fictional, but believable, users of your project.
- Look for patterns in the types of people you’ve thought of - Begin to group together the traits of that audience that make sense. For example, if you have a single mother, a person who has 2 jobs, and someone who loves to coupon, it may make sense to group those people together as they likely want to save money. This is where you begin to organize the traits of your client’s audience and create personalities.
- Flesh out the personalities in your client’s audience and compare them side-by-side - once you have a few groups of traits together, it’s time to get granular and compare them to find the differences. Look for specifics like age, occupation, family, hobbies, etc. Once all of that information has been assigned, give them a backstory. How did they get to the point they are currently in? What are their dreams and aspirations? Where does your client’s brand fit into their needs? How can your client’s brand exceed their needs?
- Put it all down - once you’ve got everything fleshed out, make sure to have it all down so that you and your client can see it clearly. Design a document, put it in an Excel or Google sheet, or create something in Word. Just make sure it’s clear and concise.
Brand personas are a great tool to help flesh out a new brand or refresh an old one. Have questions about how I do this? Don’t hesitate to reach out.