User Personas Explained

Marketers, designers and engineers use Personas to build great products that people will use by empathizing with who they are. 

I've found that developing personas can be an extremely valuable exercise and they can help you better communicate with and market to your ideal customers. 

What Are Personas?

A persona is a representation or profile of a user and they help give you context about your target audience and ideal customer. Personas use demographics, psychographics, motivations and intentions and they help you connect with your users as people. 

When you have clearly defined personas, you can find the people that you want to align your brand with. It will inform every decision you make -- from product to design to marketing. Everything you do should be in service of supporting your personas.

Personas give you context about who is using your product. 

As a fictional representation of your audience, a persona shouldn’t be based on one person; rather it should be an objective, generalized profile of your customers and prospects and their common traits. 

This doesn’t mean you should make assumptions about who your audience and ideal customer are. You need to conduct research and dig into who is actually using your product. Survey and interviews are commonly used to learn more about the goals and challenges of your product users. 

How I Create Personas

How you go about creating and developing your personas is entirely up to you, your product and and your strategy. There are more than enough resources to help you with persona creation. Still, I’d like to share my framework for developing personas.

I like to start by analyzing my target audience, including;

  • General demographics,
  • Common traits,
  • Problem statement,
  • Value proposition.

Based on who my target audience is, I create user personas that look at; 

  • Personal demographic,
  • Background and behaviours,
  • Psychographics (behaviours),
  • Pain points and common objections.

Brands are experienced by so many different types of customers -- each of which they need to attempt to serve as effectively as possible.

Using Personas is key to understanding your audience and how to best communicate with them. They will guide everything you do with a design, product or marketing campaign.