Personas help you to create reliable and realistic representations of your key customer segments. In this guide we cover:
- #1: Create need-based personas
- #2: Include ‘extreme’ personas in your mix
- #3: Consolidate the number of personas
#1 Create need-based personas
While you can add demographics or any other type of data to your personas, TheyDo focuses first and foremost on personas based on people’s needs, jobs, and motivations. In comparison to demographics, needs often do a much better job of explaining what people expect from your services or products. Plus, they’re also more inspiring when it comes to design.
As an example of why need-based personas are important, let’s consider two people; both are born in 1948, raised in the UK, live in a castle, and are wealthy and famous. Now, what if we told you that one is the Prince of Wales, and the other is Ozzy Osbourne? Demographically they are identical. But their needs are vastly different, and so are their expectations of the products and services they use. Focusing on needs helps you to differentiate your offering to these needs.
#2 Include ‘extreme’ personas in your mix
If you only create personas based on average users, you might not actually cover all the needs of your users. That’s because:
- Defining the ‘average user’ is tough, especially when a product has many different types of users.
- ‘Regular’ personas are not as inspiring as extreme ones.
- When you only focus on the average, you risk leaving out a lot of other use cases that are not exactly average, but important nonetheless.
Therefore, consider creating extreme personas. These cover people with ‘extreme’ needs.
For example, if you’re a telco, your average user might use a phone between 1-3 hours a day. However, there can also be customers that don’t use a phone at all, or some that are constantly glued to their phone 24/7. These could be your extreme personas.
Extreme personas help to target the full range of needs your customers have. In doing so you often also help serve regular customers better, since extreme users often have ‘amplified’ needs of regular customers. As long as you make sure you pick personas on each end of the spectrum, you’ll still ensure that the needs of the ‘regular’ customers in the middle are met as well. Or, you can define a few ‘regular’ persona, and several ‘extreme’ personas around it to cover the full spectrum of perspectives. To create extreme personas, start by defining a dimension that you want to understand more about and identify who’s on the opposite ends of that dimension.
#3 Consolidate the number of personas
Try to aim for a maximum of six personas that can be applied throughout your customer lifecycle. When you start working with TheyDo, you’ll often find that there are many personas floating around in your organization. Merging personas ensures that the number stays manageable. This helps to create a single source of truth about who your customers are that multiple teams and departments can agree on.