The importance of buyer personas and customer centricity when creating your brand strategy
December 22, 2022
We call it The Trap of the Brand Echo Chamber. No, it’s not another captivatingly magical Harry Potter movie. It’s when a brand gets stuck in an endless feedback loop – when they’re so focused on their goals, mission and vision that they inadvertently leave customer wants and needs out of the picture. Sure, they take into account the ideas of shareholders, marketing managers and leadership team, but they’re out of touch with the evolving needs of their target customers – meaning waning relevance, decreasing engagement and less impact.
“The number one mistake that brands tend to make is that they get so caught up working on the brand themselves that they assume that they are the target audience. Ego (albeit unintentionally) gets in the way and we forget about the audience and their needs.” says Millie Drysdale, Strategist at T&G.
What is a buyer persona?
Represented by an imaginary character with a name, age and bio, a buyer persona is a design tool that includes a summary of the motivations, desires, frustrations and characteristics of your target customer. Larger organisations often come up with a range of personas, whereas startups tend to focus on one or two. Here’s a recent buyer persona Taylor & Grace created for a client.
What are the benefits of creating buyer personas for your brand?
Being a customer-centric brand is more than just thinking about what your ideal audience might want and creating products and services that aim to meet those needs. Putting your customers at the epicentre of your brand strategy will ensure you:
- Have a clear direction that keeps your business focused on and relevant to what matters most (yep, your customers).
- Craft personalised customer experiences that win their hearts and their loyalty.
- Create consistent messaging that really resonates with your unique audience.
- Keep the user at the forefront of every product and service design decision.
- Segment effectively when it comes to marketing campaign creation.
How to create buyer personas
Accurate buyer persona profiles stop you from falling into that dreaded, echoey chamber where, trust us, there’s not a customer in sight. It’s all about getting into your customers’ heads and figuring out what drives them, what their pain points are, what goals they have and how their needs aren’t currently being met. So how can you include buyer personas in your brand strategy?
Why do so many brands skip the buyer persona step of their brand strategy design? Firstly, it takes time and effort and secondly, most businesses assume their guesswork (and sometimes stereotyping) is accurate enough.
There’s a huge difference between the success of a brand that says their audience is ‘Women, aged 25-35 who like shopping’ and those who do their research and create a buyer persona called Alliyah, who ‘is a 32-year-old GP, earns $198K per year, loves shopping on their mobile device for football gear, consumes educational tutorial videos on TikTok and listens to sporting podcasts’. The more accurate and descriptive you are beyond basic demographics, the more chance you have of creating a brand that resonates with your target audience.
Ideally, your business has built up a collection of data over time that you can analyse, evaluate and use to build solid buyer personas. This can be done by using customer surveys, Google analytics, UTM parameters, social media metrics and information from your current CRM. If you’re a new brand, who are your competitors targeting? Which social channels do they use? How are they positioning themselves and how effective is it?
Ensure your personas evolve
Just like branding, your buyer personas should be revisited whenever something changes in the market or in your business so that you stay relevant and keep customers at the centre of your business as you grow. Maybe have a new CEO, a fresh product line – or maybe it has just been a while.
Treat your customers like people…
Because they are! Including buyer personas in your brand or rebrand strategy can be time-consuming and might seem like a fluffy, optional extra, but it’s essential if you want your brand to make an impact. When you treat your audience like real people, your content will resonate, your business will be more aligned and you can attract high-quality, repeat customers.
Get in touch with Taylor & Grace today and let us help your brand connect on a whole new level with a whole new audience.