If you're looking for a reason to focus on customer personas for your business, I recommend that you read Everything that's wrong with retail summed up in one question. The article makes a strong case for personas as a means for connecting with profitable customers.
Let me elaborate.
Profitable Persona vs. Bargain-Hunter Persona
The article describes a conflict between focusing on a business' most profitable customers [i.e., those who pay full price] and bargain hunters [i.e., who wait for sales].
Despite a rational response that a business is better off focusing on profitable customers [i.e., an important persona], many focus on bargain hunters [i.e., a minor persona].
As the article states: "... everything that's wrong in retail today. We're willing to ignore the needs and interests of our most profitable customers to cater to people who don't really value what we have to offer and won't buy unless we offer them a discount...."
The end result for customers is schizophrenic and reinforces a focus on bargains. What goes through customers' mind is a variation on:
- This retailer hasn't made an effort to understand customers, especially loyal ones.
- This retailer can't be trusted to be consistent in its product pricing.
- This retailer believes customers are fools and can be taken advantage of.
- Customer says: "I will not be taken advantage of, oh untrustworthy retailer!" and proceeds to bargain hunt all s/he can. After all, when businesses aren't trusted, price becomes the primary decision factor.
The Case for Personas in Business
Image Credit: Sale of Flickr by Gerard Stolk