Monday, 22 october 2018 | Brenda Rodríguez López
Customers shape the spirit of brands. Without a target audience which is narrowed down, they will advance like a ship without fixed course. They will hardly succeed. In the design of any strategic plan, either as part of a campaign or at the birth of the firm, brands need to define who their ideal clients are. The creation of the figure of the buyer persona is a useful and ingrained technique which helps to complete the segmentation of a target. How can this character be built? Why is it so important in the design of brands' strategies?
When shipwrecked survivors throw a bottle into the sea, they are exposed to many possible scenarios such as someone getting the message or the bottle being lost in the infinite blue. As well as that, will the person who finds the container be a good person? Or will he or she rather act motivated by interest? Will they just consider the flask a joke, trust the message, understand the language or make some time to look for an interpreter? The protagonists of this kind of unfortunate adventures, who normally only count on a small piece of paper and a single glass bottle, will be forced to design in detail the best strategy to reach their ideal recipients. They have a lot of time and little hope. However, when they put more effort into the task, the “impossible mission” is more likely to end up successfully.
The likelihood of brands being successful when they do not want to close doors or rely excessively on the good acceptance of their products or services without reflecting is little. Just like the likelihood that shipwrecked survivors have if they do not include notions in their notes about where is the island in which they survive lonely. Lack of experience and overconfidence lead to wrongly thinking that when the message is received by more people, it is more effective. However, this is one of the most frequent mistakes in the design of a brand strategy.
Less is more: segmenting to reach
Brands that do not devote the necessary attention to the definition of their clients' profile are boycotting their chances of succeeding. The premise of "more is more" does not always work, but rather the one that says "don’t bite off more than you can chew". For the message to be effective, brands must know who the ideal recipient of their messages is. Then, it will be necessary to make a good segmentation of their target audience, that is, delimiting where the potential customers who are most interested in their services or products are located; the less defined the target is, the harder it will be to win it over.
Audiences are segmented according to a wide number of criteria: demographic, social, geographic, socioeconomic, idiomatic, lifestyle, consumer habits, whether it is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumers (B2C), ... Thanks to this work of analysis, brands are able to enhance their market opportunities, better understand what the recipients of their messages need and focus the effort on a single group. Of course, when a firm has a high budget, it can define several targets, but that does not guarantee better results. Segmentation must respond to a clear strategic plan coherently and logically.
One of the most useful tools when defining the ideal consumer is resorting to the creation of a buyer persona. It is about building a semi-fictional and detailed profile of the ideal consumer of a brand. This representation of a final client will help firms to come much closer to the needs and priorities of their target audiences. The humanization of this character helps to look at brands from a different angle and also serves as a compass to set the course to which they should take if they do not want to fail.