Whooooo are you-who who, who who: Unpacking your Buyer Persona.

People feel valued and validated when their individual needs, wants and desires are met. If someone takes the time to find out what makes you tick, what engages you, about your history and context, what repulses you, makes you laugh and everything in between, you’ll be more likely to take part in a connection.

Brands are no different. If a brand is empty, soulless and lazy and for want of a better example, offers you liquorice when as any sane human knows – it’s disgusting – after a while, the neglect and one-sidedness wears thin and it ends up with fewer genuine connections (and bad liquorice breath).

In knowing someone well, you’ve learnt overtime how to talk to them – the tone to use, what opens up dialogue, what shuts it down, what fosters trust and what creates conflict.

Getting to know someone is a nuanced, subtle art. Apply the same authenticity to outlining your buyer persona and you may have a connection for life. Do it right and you’ll have a pivot point from which to make future decisions.

Here are our top 3 points to unpacking the persona on the receiving end:

UNPACK 1: Be curious about your customer

People like talking about themselves. Listen. If you’ve got an existing customer base to drawn frompick up the phone and let them be the artist that sketches out a profile for you. Remove your ego and expectations from the process and don’t bend the answers to suit what you want to hear. Prepare a questionnaire or just start a conversation – whatever comes naturally.

You can also try summoning a round table with your staff, your business partner or solo if you’re a lone wolf. Make sure you have more-ish biscuits at the ready and set the task to nut out a kind of ‘median’ consumer based on your existing clientele as a whole.

It’s important to flag here that you may have more than one buyer persona(s).

If you don’t have existing customers, another way to gauge your audience is to commandeer the good ship competitor. Look at your competition’s blog and take the time to visit the websites of people commenting. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery and if your contenders are doing it well, learn from their data.

UNPACK 2: Determine the demographics

This list is endless, the more you know, the better – so, to get you going:


  • Age
  • Geographic Location

  • Civil Status

  • Family Formation

  • Education

  • Background

  • Job
  • Annual salary
  • Values
  • Research habits
  • Goals
  • Challenges/pain points
  • Preferred content medium
  • Quotes
  • Objections
  • Role in purchase process
  • Priorities

Make use of the tools available to you:

  • Facebook Profiles
    • Your customer’s own self-summary
    • See what pages they’re liking firsthand
  • Twitter Feeds
    • Like looking at what your customer has dog-eared in their reading
    • Their field of interests – who/what are they following/retweeting
  • LinkedIn Profiles
    • An insight into interest groups and associations
  • Quantcast
    • Free tool giving you an understanding of your competitors traffic
    • Can shed light on demographic info about a site’s visitors
  • Quicksprout
    • Offers illumination around your customer interests
    • Use competitor’s website to get a list of the most shared content on that site. This can give you direction.

UNPACK 3: Bring your audience to life.

Name each buyer persona. You’ll be more likely to get your messaging right if you’re talking to ‘someone’ as opposed to an amorphous mass. Personify them, dress them, fill them out, what’s in their pockets? are they a ‘Bruce’ or a ‘Xavier?’ Make them your screensaver, frame a photo. Have hypothetical lunch with them and start a conversation (Mmmmm, fake sandwiches!).

I know it’s seems like a time vacuum but you’ll waste a lot more time putting your energies in the wrong place.

No one knows your brand better than the people that choose to use it