Who are your peeps?

Defining who your people are is the key to engagement in any industry and it isn’t something just for designers to considering when creating a brand or ad campaign, but something that business owners should do too to help them connect to their people at every level of the business.

In this article we are going to dive deep into identifying customers and set a practice for identifying who your audience is.

You might say you already know who your audience is, and I’m sure you do. This exercise though, helps to draw out specifics that will help you engage and communicate in a way that the customer feels like you are taking directly to them.

For example: If you say that your customer is young women that’s a great start. But it’s still entirely too vague. Young women covers everyone from a 13 year old Taylor Swift fan to a 26 year old who plays in a heavy metal band. If you are trying to talk to these people in a way that appeals to booth, you are likely to appeal to neither.

Being specific is they key: that’s where the gold is.

That’s where your customer gets that “They are talking directly to me” feeling that brings out those feelings of loyalty that everyone is after.

To do this we are going to craft something called a persona. 

Making personas is a common practice for web designers when they are looking at who will be using the web site and i will cover making user persons for the web in another article. They can be incredibly useful for looking at who you are talking to as a brand or company as well.

Personas are imaginary people who represent your customer. They have jobs, passions, interests, hopes, dreams frustrations, just like real people do. By creating as complete a picture as we can of our personas we start to develop someone we can actually talk to,instead of just a general idea of young women. One company who is well known for doing this is Lululemon. You can read about their persona’s here.

You might make one master persona for your brand, or you may want 10. It’s totally up to you.

Below is an example of a brand persona.

You may want to change some of the categories and dive into even more detail (When I was working with a fashion company we got into favourite TV and music as well for example)
Some common things you might want to include are:

  1. A picture: This just helps make it feel a little more real
  2. Demographics: Age, income, gender, location, profession
  3. Personality scale: Knowing these will help you look at how this person makes decisions
  4. Descriptive words: 3-5 words that describe this person
  5. A short Bio: Now we really start to tell a story
  6. References/Influences: This can often be extended into their world. Music movies etc. The idea is to get a glimpse of what else in the world they engage and interact with.
  7. Goals, Frustrations, Motivations: This is where we bring in you. How does the persona feel in regards to these categories in a way that relates to you. What goals can you help them reach? or what frustrations can you alleviate?
  8. Technology: Even at the brand level this is good to know to understand how to communicate with them.

You can add anything you want. Dive deep. Specific is good. And as you likely have more than one ideal customer, you will likely want to have more than one persona.

Try it yourself for your own brand. If you are a computer person you may want to practice making your persona’s with an online tool like Xtensio.

But of you are a better pen to paper thinker, I’ve included a Persona template for you to fill in yourself here.