Spotlight: Developing Personas

From time to time we like to share some of what we’ve been up to, including how our research engagements have helped clients achieve their business objectives. This case study highlights W5’s approach and the resulting deliverables for developing Personas for a consumer-facing brand.

Personas are an interesting combination of approaches, existing research, and creative inspiration. The idea is to build seemingly real people to bring the customer to life inside the walls of a client office. Often both the discovery process and the results are surprising as the Personas developed may offer new viewpoints not often currently championed. It’s a powerful approach that helps in the design and implementation of branding, communications, products, and line extensions. This case study highlights how a seemingly straightforward category can contain high levels of complexity and nuance in terms of audiences and how they engage the category.

Crafting Communication Strategy with Personas

A leading convenience foods company was interested in redesigning their communication strategy for a popular morning food brand. Ultimately, the client sought to realign their advertising and brand positioning to include a broader family audience, shifting their focus from moms and teens exclusively.

W5 recommended developing lifestyle and behavior-motivated Personas to guide the client’s understanding of a broader core consumer audience. W5 consultants conducted in-depth in-home interviews and shop-alongs with a diverse representation of select family members. Conversations focused on emotional and rational connections to the food brand and their lifestyle approach, including attitudes toward time management, food decisions, and emotional outlook. Participants were asked to keep diaries of their daily eating habits to help stimulate category engagement and uncover underlying attachments to the brand.

Based on this extensive, in-context research, W5 developed and presented a set of core Personas and a set of secondary Personas representing a wide range of family roles (father, mother, brother, sister, etc.) and ages. The Personas represented consumer archetypes defined by emotional connections to the brand and a general approach to life and happiness. These Personas served as a long-lasting, memorable, and accessible tool the company could refer to when developing communication strategy.

Spotlight is a special feature of the W5 Blog showcasing W5 consultants’ approach to designing marketing research studies, creating engaging deliverables, and informing strategy. For more information on W5’s approach to qualitative or quantitative research contact:

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