Who are Your People?

14 Octbranding

Part of maintaining a solid brand is knowing who you’re talking to.

Even if you’ve chosen a niche (a certain industry or group to target), you will still need to define or discover your audience, so your messaging can tickle the right ears. This isn’t the voice we talked about last post, it’s finding a sweet spot to appeal to your most likely buyers.

You already have a pretty good idea of what types of people will be attracted to your product or service: millennials, serial travelers, pet owners, yoga colonies. What you’re going to do now is paint a picture of your most likely buyer, so you can start to understand how they might like to be sold to – you’re going to craft a persona or two.

A “Persona” is a fictional representation of an actual user. Developing a persona is vital to the success of a brand because it explores user needs and lifestyle, giving the business a type of buyer to imagine when it makes design or messaging decisions.

When a Persona is defined, it provides a “face” to the buyer and circumvents the need to put one’s own preferences into the product development, developing for the buyer instead.

You’re going to flesh this persona out so well, you’ll feel like you actually know them. (Some people even name their personas.) Your worksheet will guide you a bit by asking, “What type of car does (persona-person) drive? Do they own or rent? Do they take vacations? Where? What do they do for recreation? Hike? Go to the theater? Do they eat out or entertain at home?”

When these traits are imagined, a ‘person’ will emerge, and it will take the guesswork out of how you craft your appeal, position your product, adjust your marketing. Instead of going with your own feelings about your product, you’ll have a persona to consider, taking your personal bias out of the mix.

 

Personas also help you define your ‘touchpoints‘ for marketing to your people. Certain social media tools apply to certain audience age groups. Certain types of messaging appeal to various types of buyers. You wouldn’t put older-senior citizens on an email list or invite them to a Facebook group because many of them don’t use computers. A postcard would be more effective. How should you reach out to your audience, based on the personas you’ve discovered?

Another section on this worksheet gives you space to think about WHAT you would say to these personae in the form of a marketing message (“the perfect orange juice to start your day”) or a target message – something to get them to take action (“bet you can’t eat just one”). These messages may be different for different audiences, or they might be universal – you can decide.

Your brand and who it reaches out to will guide you toward success in your marketing efforts. All part of making strong branding and stronger chances for success.

 

Download the Persona Worksheet

 

photo credits: Dakota Corbin, Evan Wise, Gregory Hay, JD Mason, Justin Aikin, Madison Lavern

Grace Studio designs brands, graphics, and websites for artisan businesses. See her story and other stuff here.