It’s imperative that your company thoroughly investigates a product concept before you dive in full force. There are several ways to do this. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the value of using Personas in your product concept investigation.
What Is a Persona?
A Persona is a representation of a group of customers with similar characteristics. Personas help your team make decisions about the product during development. You gather data to create the Personas through primary research and also through Voice-of-the-Customer activities.
Personas can be minimal or fully blown out, giving an elaborate description of behaviors, activities, and motivations. They vary based on whether they are for a business-to-consumer or a business-to-business product or service.
What’s Included in a Persona?
Personas include information such as:
- A fabricated descriptive name and optional photo or caricature
- Demographic information such as age, gender, marital status, location
- Level of education, work, income
- Lifestyle or work factors and goals
- Experience with the product category
- A quote or slogan that captures personality or personal drivers
- Activities that may influence the use of the product, particularly pain points
- Other related products or solutions currently used
- Values, attitudes, and motivators that influence the decision process
- Other collaborators related to reaching goals
- Frequency of activity toward goals
A Buyer Persona hones in on a specific type of buyer targeted by the sales channels. An end user or a purchasing manager is an example. The Buyer Persona informs the development of the components, functionality, and benefits of the value proposition. They can also impact sales messages.
A User Persona represents a specific type of buyer who will have a very specific use for your product or service. A good example is a manager who will set up a computer program for a team. This person is not an end user, but has interests and goals for the product that are different from the end user who is the employee who will actually use the product.
The main goal of developing Personas is to understand typical customers for your product. Personas that achieve the results intended share three characteristics:
- They provide information that gives insight into the customer’s world including their challenges and goals as related to the new product.
- They hone in on the primary buyers, something that is accomplished with only a few Personas.
- Persona development is driven by market research or Voice-of-the-Customer activities. A large enough number of customers are included to be able to spot trends and common tendencies.
Not a License for Creative Writing
It is unfortunately fairly common for a product team to build elaborate Personas out of thin air, with no research to back them up. This is not valid nor is it appropriate for a vital business document. Take the time and make the effort to actually do the background work.