Creating an Ideal Customer Persona
A clear understanding of your ideal customer allows for more targeted marketing, enabling you to tailor your products, services, and communications to meet their specific needs.
Back in 2009, the people at Tropicana decided to rebrand their orange juice with a newly designed carton. They replaced the decades-old image of a straw inserted into an orange with a sleeker, more modern design that included a significant amount of white space. Customers did not respond well to the change, and the company lost $30M in sales.
In this Silver Dollar episode of Stay Paid, we revisit the Tropicana branding debacle to make two points. The first focuses on understanding who your customers are and how they perceive your brand. The second is about creating an ideal customer persona.
Your brand is what your customers say it is
Branding is all about shaping your customers’ perception of who you are, what you do, and what you represent. Large companies spend millions of dollars to create, promote, and protect their brands in an attempt to control the narratives that define them. Tropicana failed when it tried to rebrand in part because it didn’t understand that the design of the carton was fundamental to customers’ emotional connection with its brand.
As a small business owner whose success is sustained by the relationships you have with your customers, your company brand is effectively your personal brand—customers generally equate you with your business. Beyond any logo you have, your personal brand is defined by your value proposition and how you fulfill it through what you say, how you say it, and the quality of the service or product you provide. And you protect it by being consistent in each of these areas.
Know your customer
Missteps in branding can happen when a business doesn’t understand its customers as well as it should. Of course, the best way to get to know your customers and what they think and feel about your business is to speak with them. Large companies will sometimes form focus groups and conduct interviews for this purpose.
Fortunately, as a small business owner, your relationships with your customers give you more direct and authentic opportunities to have personal conversations. If you’re a real estate agent, financial professional, insurance broker, or similar professional who has a contact database, arrange to have discussions with your top customers. They can provide you with valuable information about their needs, satisfaction with your service, and suggestions for how to improve.
Create a customer persona
A customer persona, sometimes called an avatar or buyer persona, is a profile you create to represent your target customer. The more detail you can add to it, the more helpful it will be in determining how you can best market to and serve your core audience. When you listen to the episode, you’ll hear our suggestions for what to include.
Ideally, you’ll want to create your customer persona as part of your initial business plan, but regardless, you may find after speaking with your past and current customers or reviewing what they have in common that you tend to work best with similar types of people. Write down what you discover—it will enable you to create more focused and relevant messages that resonate with your target demographic, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversions.
We hope you enjoy this episode and act on the advice Luke offers at the end. We’d also appreciate it if you took a moment to leave us a 5-star review and comment on Apple Podcasts. (We read them on air!) Thanks for listening!
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