The quick guide to developing consumer profiles

How often do you look at your consumer profile?

Are you still referring to a consumer profile from five years ago?

Have you even developed consumer profiles?

If you answered sometimes, maybe or kind of, your brand is missing out on an opportunity.

A consumer profile goes beyond answering the usual age, gender, income and location. It is a story, one that puts a face to the discussion, and it helps you “see” an individual instead of a blanketed group. Creating consumer profiles will help you not only better identify opportunities but also create stronger relationships. Strong relationships are key to success as trends shift to “me” marketing. By creating these strong relationships, marketers are better able to place a brand in the life of of the consumer rather than push the consumer into the life of the brand.

Key items for your consumer profile:

Listen to your audience.

No, really, step outside of the office and listen. Pay attention to how they are talking and what they are talking about, and take notes. Determine what sets them apart from other individuals around them.

Look at your audience.

What are they wearing? How is their hair styled? How do they carry themselves? Look at the colors they choose, the style they represent and how they are put together. Take time to understand why your target audience makes these decisions.

Watch your audience.

Where are they hanging out, and what are they doing? What are their behaviors, likes and dislikes? What does their typical day look like? Are there any common trends?

Connect with your audience.

Analyze their conversations to determine their needs and wants. Consider their latest purchases. How did they research? What drove the purchase decision? What stands out?

With these insights, you now have a strong visual of your audience; you also have a story to tell. Now write it. For each of your target segments, create personas, name them and outline their characters; include the key trends you identified in your research. Pair each persona with an image that aligns with what you saw in the field. Bring your audience into your office, and quit referring them as a target audience; start referring them by their names: “Sally” and “Max”.

The work doesn’t stop at just creating the personas. Keep them up to date. As your brand evolves, so will “Sally” and “Max”. If you maintain their status, you are sure to maintain a strong relationship with every “Sally” and “Max” in your target market. This maintenance will also lead to better strategic business decisions, decisions that will align your brand with their daily lives.

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