Secrets of Branding: How to Create a Buyer Persona

Personal branding is not just about discovering and promoting your unique talents and promise of value, it is also about researching and understanding your target audience and their specific needs.

Many product brands and larger companies will create a “Buyer Persona” to help them understand their customer and define what issues the brand needs to discuss. Once they have an understanding of this market segment, they can then take that information to better craft their marketing messages.

What is a Buyer Persona?

Buyer personas detail the demographic, psycho-graphic, socio-graphic and other key information about a specific person that buys your services or products. Basically, it is a profile that outlines why a specific segment of your target market wants and/or needs your product and how they go about deciding to buy.

You may find that you have several types of buyer personas for your business. For instance, a party planner may have separate buyer personas to describe:

  • Sweet-16 Stacy who wants the hottest party in town that rivals anything you would see produced by MTV
  • Bride Brenda who wants a dream wedding on a budget
  • Golden Years Gordon and Glenda who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with their family and friends at a prestigious hotel

Brand Marketing with Buyer Personas

Using a buyer persona in your brand marketing messages magnetize your prospects and customers to you because you are demonstrating that you understand them and their specific needs and desires.

There are essentially four basic steps to create a buyer persona:

  1. Identify prime segments within your target market that make up your ideal client.
  2. Research and interview real people within these segments.
  3. Create a profile description of each buyer persona based on the information you have gathered.
  4. Compose your marketing messages and key content pieces (white papers, e-books, training courses, blog posts, etc.) that are specifically directed at each buyer persona

Do not be tempted skip over the second step of creating a buyer persona. Thoroughly researching and interviewing clients and/or prospects that fit in to the market segments you’ve identified is the most important element of truly understanding what makes them tick, and ultimately buy from you.

You can do this type of market research by creating a simple online survey with a service like Ask Your Target Market.

In addition to demographic type questions,  ask a number of open-ended questions to get as much feedback as possible. Your questions do not have to be all related to your product or service, having more questions about their psycho-graphic and socio-graphic nature will help give you insights to where you should place your marketing messages (for example, they read certain blogs or watch certain TV programs that would be ideal places to advertise) as well as a better idea of what is going on in their current home life/lifestyle.

17 Sample Buyer Persona Questions

Below are example questions you can use in your questionnaire, which you should tailor to your unique product or service:

  1. How familiar are you with <insert your industry name/product/service>?
  2. If you have purchased <product/service> in the past, please describe your experience.
  3. Why are you considering purchasing <product/service>?
  4. What sources to you turn to for news and information about <industry/service/product/problem>?
  5. What would stop you from purchasing <product/service>?
  6. If you buy <product/service> and it is not successful, how would that impact you?
  7. What does success look like if you buy <service/product>?
  8. Are you the prime decision maker for purchasing ? Who else will contribute to your decision making process?
  9. What is the greatest challenge you face when it comes to <problem/industry/service/product>?
  10. What do you do for fun?
  11. What are you passionate about?
  12. What is your favorite magazine?
  13. What is your favorite blog?
  14. What is your favorite TV show?
  15. Do you exercise?
  16. Do you belong to a gym?
  17. What is your favorite brand of <insert product/industry>?

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