Creating Customer Personae

with Julie Hamwood

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Not every customer is the same

Julie Hamwood

Strategist, Project Manager, User Experience Expert

Lessons Learned

Your product could be solving different needs for different customer groups.

Do not lump all of your potential customers together. You cannot be all things to all people.

Ask: How do your customers want to start a relationship with you?


Lesson: Creating Customer Personas with Julie Hamwood

Step #4 Needs: Not every customer is the same

You're offering a product. That product could satisfy one type of need for one particular customer group and then actually a very different need for another customer group. And that's completely fine. They're both buying your product, and you want to sell to both of those customer groups. But they are very different people. Different needs, different concerns, possibly different channels through which you communicate with them, build relationship and sell to them. So you would definitely need a different profile for those two people.

Similarly, you could have people who have exactly the same need, but the very way that they use your product. I mean, everybody is hungry, but the way a person uses a tomato could be cutting it up in a salad or making a pasta sauce. These are different needs, different contexts. A raw tomato, part of a picnic, very different context to cooking that night at home.

So, you'll also want to look at your different customer types not only based on do they have different needs, but do they have materially different ways in which they use your product. So, those will be two of the different questions that would determine whether or not you need to develop different profiles.

The final thing that I would use around developing different profiles would be how do they want to learn about and build a relationship with you, with your business, around the product? Because again, your strategies around communicating and building that relationship will differ based on what channels they're comfortable with.

So, based on those sorts of questions, you'll develop different types of profiles, and that's essential. If you try to cram it all into one, you're going to have such conflicting information all jumbled up. You'll be trying to be all things to all people simultaneously. You'll waste a ton of resources. You'll speak to nobody clearly, and you'll undermine your ability to actually deliver.

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