When developing and marketing products or services, the important question quickly arises as to who represents the actual target group for the planned measures. Who are we developing our product for? What are our customers’ living conditions like and how can we support them in their needs? What appeals to them and how can we reach them?
Creating personas can assist in answering these and similar questions.
What are personas?
Personas are usually described based on certain characteristics, such as demographic information, values and attitudes, life goals, product-related needs and expectations, product ownership and usage, among others, and presented in the form of a graphically designed profiles. Such descriptions are ideally rounded out with photo documentation and a picture of the actual people who are described.
“Bringing to life” this theoretical target group of representatives supports understanding and raises empathy and even creates a feeling of walking in the shoes of these addressees. This description and design of personas is an important component for a user-focused development and strengthens empathy for the user.
Personas can be created based on qualitative data, quantitative data, or a combination of both. Ideally, ethnographic interviews or home visits provide a benchmark in terms of quality. In the best case, the quantitative data are based on segmentation.
It is not uncommon for the analysis of the underlying data to identify multiple, yet different personas based on a central characteristic such as their use of the product. The differences in this characteristic lead to the description of various user groups. The identification of such groups can be done inductively (identifying the number during the analysis) or deductively (setting a number in the run-up to the analysis).
When using personas, we distinguish between three types:
- Primary personas: Representatives of the main target group(s)
- Secondary personas: Mostly smaller, more specific target groups (e.g., partial use of a product, modified use, etc.)
- Negative personas: Group of people who do not explicitly represent the target group of the activities that are not designed (e.g., exclusion of certain features when developing technical devices)
Use of personas
Creating personas is a sound method to apply in the area of product development and whenever one or more target groups should be addressed in particular. Based on the created personas, engineers and creative minds can set the objectives of their activities and customize them to match the relevant target groups.
As we are able to interact with the target customers on a level playing field, we assist you in designing the personas with meaningful collages, vivid posters in large formats, or even life-sized figures: We present the personas in particularly lively and vivid film productions: This enables you to always keep your users in mind and know who you are developing your product for.