Designing a website without a persona is a driving cross-country with no GPS. The importance of targeting a specific user -- and knowing them better than you know your best friend-- can’t be understated.

What is a Persona and Why is it Important?

What is a persona?

A persona is a model of a real-world customer. Personas humanize the customers that mean the most to your organization, revealing their functional and emotional needs. Personas bring targets and customers to life by conveying their backstory and shining a light on how they view the world around them.

Why are personas important?

Personas are essential for getting crystal clear about who you are targeting and how you can help them. Whether you are a marketer, designer, strategist or all of the above, having a persona in your arsenal is important because it allows you to create more compelling communications, and as a result, better connections with your audience.

What are the benefits of having personas?

Inspire members of the marketing and design team to generate new ideas for reaching or connecting with customers. Whether we are talking about ideas for developing deeper brand connections or understanding channels, content, context, personas guide the team’s strategies and designs. This allows them to create more relevant marketing materials and experiences by using a persona to humanize the user.

Generate empathy or a deeper understanding of the customer, beyond functional needs. Brand connections often rely on connections made through shared values and beliefs. To make deeper emotional connections with users, it’s important that a business connects their values and beliefs to those of the customer.

Create a shared understanding of the customer’s basic needs across a team, department, or company. When individuals have a collective understanding of persona needs and challenges, they can better understand the opportunities the business has to meet those needs. And they can work together to align resources and coordinate plans in a way that serves the customer better. Aside from the benefits within the work, personas are a great way to motivate all team members– no matter what their role — to consider how what they are doing impacts the lives of the customers.

How are personas used?