Small Business Branding: How to Create Your Buyer Persona

building buyer personaBuyer personas play a key role in who you will be targeting. Who really are they, how do they talk, how will you solve their problems and why will they choose you over the alternatives? Developing a buyer persona is more about getting to really know who your buyer is than it is their buying habits. Buying habits do need to be considered and do become a part of the persona but if you are not able to reach them and talk to them in a manner that is “the way they talk” or which they are comfortable with, the evaluation of just their buying habits is almost a mute point.

We all talk in a certain way – we use certain terms, structure sentences in a certain way and when a brand reacts to that and speaks like us, we react. Marketing materials, radio and TV commercials are dependent upon the development of the persona and how they talk and go about their every day life.

What are buyer personas? Buyer personas are a bio of sort of an actual person who wants, needs and whose life would be better with your product/service. This is your target and not your current customers or even prospects. The very large group who is all around you but who has remained unaware and/or unwilling to buy. The persona goes deeper than the demographics (age, location, income, education) and employs more socio-graphics (social behaviors) by understanding who your target is and their lifestyle.

How to Create a Buyer Persona

1. Analyze Current Customer Data. While your current customers are not your target as they have already purchased, they information does provide a base to start with.

2. Ask Questions. Asking questions of current customers is useful but does not necessarily get down to who your target is. Ask key questions of those who are not your customers. They are the larger group whose input is much more valuable.

3. Encourage Feedback. People love to share experiences and information about themselves (spend any time on Facebook or Twitter). Delve into how people are reacting to the alternatives, open up a discussion and let them talk.

4. Learn Lifestyle. This is probably the most important part of the buyer persona. Learn how they speak, get to know their day to day activities and routines to see where you will fit into their life. Yes, you can solve a problem for them and ultimately make life easier but if you are unable to get them stop, listen and react, you have lost them.

5. Become Them. Reinact their lifestyle. Do what they do each day as this will help with how you can market to them. You have to be them to really understand them. This is overlooked time and time again. If your target is a busy mom who in a matter of an hour or so has to get 3 kids up, fed, lunches made, backpacks checked, teeth brushed, dressed and herself ready for work, is so focused on the task at hand, than any attempts of interruption is ignored. Act out the scenario and see where you can get her to listen.

Buyer personas are the first steps of talking to your target and converting them into customers and building relationships and loyalty. Understanding how people get through the daily routine and where you can get their attention is what will get them to hear you.

Thoughts? Who is your target and what have you done to become them? How much did you learn by becoming them?

photo credit: Grzegorz Tobinski

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  • Roger6201

    Hi Suzanne,
    Kherize Five is one of the most informative advertising and marketing sites I’ve come across. You have a very honest and transparent way of communicating your ideas to consumers and small business owners like me.
    Very user oriented!
    Roger Washington

    • Roger

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I do my best to write the articles with the small business owner in mind as I am a small business owner. I also use many of my own consumer experiences and translate them in to articles.

      I very much appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. I will keep the articles coming!