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One more persona

Lots of product development and marketing processes call for the creation of personas. Personas are fictional characters, based on real user information, that we then use to test our ideas out on.

If we know that our target market is female, university educated, aged 30-39, married with one child, and interested in netball, we might create a character and name her Fiona. We then assign attributes in keeping with our demographic knowledge, and then flesh her out with additional details we make up.

Her favourite magazine is Marie Claire, she still listens to the Cure, she met her husband Chris at RMIT where they both studied journalism. He’s now a web manager and she’s a marketing director. And so on…

And now, with a small handful of personas, we can ‘market test’ product decisions, marketing initiatives, development ideas and more. It’s not as good as real market testing, but it’s fast and cheap.

Right, so personas are good. They help writers write, designers design, developers build and marketers sell.

But maybe there’s one more persona you should add to your toolbox. Your product – be it a company website, a software product, a blog, a shoe or a brand of coffee – probably has a ‘personality’ and a voice. Why not add flesh to this by developing an internal product persona?

This embodiment of your message can then be used by anyone who has anything to do with the product in question. You’re more likely to create consistent experiences for your consumers/users if everyone in your organisation is channeling the same character and characteristics.

This doesn’t mean that everyone pretends to be ‘Jason’ in the call centre, just that product messages, tone, values and approach are consistent.

And – if you get it right – your persaona might even give you ideas for your next successful step…


Date: Friday, 6. November 2009 10:41
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Subject area: Being good, Trends, Web dev
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