5 min read

Personas: how this tool can help with consumer analysis

Did you know that you can get to know your customer very well and still not get the deal? When there is no alignment, the lack of common ground causes conflict in decision making. That’s where personas come in as an alignment tool. Find out how personas can help you have a clear image of your users!

Personas are a great guide to understand what your customers think. And that is fundamental for the success of your business.

It seems obvious, we know. But the big question here is: how to understand the customer?

In the era of consumer obsession, companies are increasingly turning to personas to deeply understand customer consumption habits and offer the right solutions.

There are many techniques used to find answers – often not explicit – about consumption habits. But the effectiveness of each of them varies according to the business objective.

In this article, we’ll focus on Personas. They have been used for a long time in corporations that need to analyze their consumers’ behavior.

In our new normal, personas continue to be efficient enough to help companies get to know their customers deeply – and get the best out of it.

We will leave the first step here for you: stop trying to guess. Truly understand your customer’s consumption motivations using this approach correctly. 

Personas: a tool for empathy and knowledge alignment

Personas are fictional and general representations of a target audience with similar attitudes, objectives, needs, and behaviors related to the product, service, or process in focus.

The personas have relevant and significant similarities with the actual users of the product in question. Its construction is based on research. And after this construction, the personas are clustered into groups according to their characteristics. 

Dive into your consumer’s universe! 

Example of building buyer personas 

Important! You can get to know your client very well – even by working with the same profile for many years. This can give you a false feeling that you don’t need to conduct research. 

However, look at the other side of the coin: in these situations, it is also beneficial to think about personas and present them as an alignment tool (instead of a research product). 

The most significant benefit of mapping personas is having a clear picture of specific users that everyone can focus on and align with. Having specific representations of the user keeps us from designing for ourselves and disagreeing about what “the user” wants.

Eight personas results

  1. Generates empathy in ideation sessions 
  2. Helps design communication and relationship strategies 
  3. Encourages (Re) Designing services/experiences focused on the user 
  4. Customizes product offerings
  5. Represents customer groups
  6. Creates common customer knowledge within the organization 
  7. Ensures deeper, less hypothetical user-focused discussions (avoids creating solutions for ourselves) 
  8. It empathetically and tangibly represents segments of the customer base 

It is important to know that personas are not ‘One size fits all’ – each persona is linked to a type of product or service. In other words, the persona of one project will not fit another. 

Personas in practice: 2 successful MJV cases

  1. Data-driven personas reposition customer service for consumer goods mega-company
  • Design Thinking process allowed to develop a solution based on crossing strategic information.

To adapt to the new times, the customer relationship center of a global FMCG needed to remodel its strategic positioning based on strategic information.

In this project, MJV desired to refine the relationship between the brand and consumers, proposing a more personalized customer service. 

The main challenge was to define the personas, based on the analysis of relationship data, offering support to new services in the sector, with approaches closer to the reality of consumers.

MJV Solutions:

  • Analysis of customer communication practices
  • Blueprint of processes involving the brand-consumer relationship
  • Definition of buyer personas
  • Conceptual design of new services by persona
  • Methods for capturing and evaluating new data
  • Next steps for innovation strategy, based on personas
  • Check out the complete case here!

2.Buyer Personas increase bank profitability by 20%

  • New banking experience democratized low-income customers’ access to financial services

80% of its customers of one of the largest banks in Latin America have an average monthly income of $400USD, a profile with little liquidity to invest. Having this in mind, the question was: how can we offer profitable financial products to our low-income customers?

MJV Solutions:

  • Value proposition for low-income customers
  • Sustainable open-door policy
  • Relationship to empower the customer
  • Humanization of communication between customer and bank
  • Extended prototyping

The solution developed by MJV, in partnership with the bank, brought a series of benefits. The most valuable was providing access to banking services to customers who previously were not able to. The result? 20% increase in the profitability,

  • Check out the complete case here!

The customer is the lifeblood of the business – and there’s nothing new about it.

There is nothing new about saying that the customer is the business’s lifeblood and that it needs to be at the center of the strategy. 

In this race, many times in the eagerness to know their consumers, companies equip themselves with so many things. Such as analyzes, tools, data, information, platforms, and the construction of personas and segmentation of bases… and they end up in this constant search for more assertive responses, complicating the process.

Therefore, it is important to know how to analyze techniques, what they are for when to use them, and what to do – and not do – to work in the best possible way. 

As we said, the importance of the consumer is already common sense. Even more common in the middle of 2020, the year when everything changed – especially the form of consumption. If customers were already demanding and aware of their choices, this increased exponentially. 

The truth is that today, the consumer thinks and evaluates much more the offers, the products, the services, and the company as a whole before handing over their hearts – and their money, of course! 

Why know your consumer? 

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, says that customers are always wonderfully dissatisfied. This constant dissatisfaction directly addresses the importance of making a more in-depth Consumer Analysis. 

Through this obsessive search for customers’ understanding, it will be possible to overcome what the users are simply saying, the most apparent assumptions of their needs and motivations, and immerse themselves in a more in-depth investigation to realize real needs. 

There are many questions and also many answers that involve this search to know your customer truly. However, the main question you should keep in mind is:

Why is it important to know that?

Differentiation strategies are different in the current market. However, a fundamental step for all companies is to gain insights from their consumers. This is the first foundation of a company focused on consumer obsession. 

All companies that want to differentiate, grow, and impact have to know and understand in-depth who their consumers are. How to get to know them? That’s where consumer analysis comes in. 

Consumer Analysis is nothing more than a way to maintain understanding about the consumer and his needs so that the company continues to evolve products, services, projects, and processes focusing on what is best for the customer.

Mapping personas: mixed approach, the complete overview

Here at MJV, we use a mixed approach: we triangulate the types of analysis to have cross-information. Why?

Simple! One approach works and brings important results. However, it will hardly get a complete picture – especially when we are talking about Consumer Analysis. The more combined approaches, the better the results.

Who is your client?

Here we are talking about customers in general. Any and every customer. In this sense, your collaborator can also be your customer, your user. 

You can use any tools – including personas – to improve internal processes within your company. And this process is fundamental in terms of results, just as important as knowing your end user. 

With this, it is possible to make your employees more productive, bring more results, and become more engaged – which is fundamental in our new normal. 

Shall we start to map the buyer personas of your business?

We leave here an exercise for you to start turning the key to transform your company. 

Answer sincerely: 

  • As a consumer, what do you see of more value in the context of the new normal we are experiencing? 
  • Where do you see the most value among the things that were made possible and enhanced by this remote context? 

This answer can be quite a tip if you want to know the personas of your business. The golden tip here is: start thinking about insights that generate improvements in your service or product from your answer. If you need help, remember that the moment calls for collaboration. 

Ask for help, talk to experts, and find out how mapping personas creates value for your company.