The Relationship Between Buyer Personas & Brand Identity

The Relationship Between Buyer Personas & Brand Identity

By Bridget CunninghamSep 24 /2020

E-mail. Social media. Paid ads. Chatbots. With more avenues than ever before to reach prospective customers, companies are in a great position to nurture relationships with leads and grow their business — if they are able to create a cohesive experience for their audience...

Consider this stat: Brands with consistent branding expect to earn 23% more annual revenue than brands that are inconsistent.

While brand inconsistencies can surface in a variety of ways, such as disparate logos and undefined color schemes, they are often attributed to the messaging used across different channels. If your voice constantly wavers between fun and buttoned-up, or there’s a lack of clarity on your values between touchpoints, it’s natural for prospects to be confused by your brand identity — and with this confusion comes a hesitancy to trust and invest in your product or service.

So what does it take to build a consistent brand identity? One of the first (and most important) steps is establishing buyer personas.

How Do Buyer Personas Shape Brand Identity?

It’s a phrase heard many times before: put yourself in their shoes. The same sentiment that encourages us to understand and empathize with the circumstances of others also applies to how businesses relate to their target audience. The more an organization can see things from their ideal customers’ point of view and speak their language, the more opportunities they have to build meaningful connections.

Buyer personas are intended to help bridge this gap. As semi-fictional representations of your ideal buyer, buyer personas can better define your target customers’ demographics, needs and measurements for success. You can then use these insights to shape and communicate a more powerful value proposition that resonates with potential customers and motivates them to take action. In fact, 82% of companies using personas reported that they were able to improve their value proposition.

How Do You Develop Buyer Personas?

Interviews have long been a cornerstone of buyer persona development. By talking with current customers, you can access key information on challenges that brought them to your product or service and what made them choose you over competitors. Meanwhile, conversations with leads that did not turn into customers can highlight potential barriers or questions that influenced their decision not to purchase. Pairing this information with feedback from your sales team can help you draw generalizations about your target audience and learn how to best serve them.

While buyer persona interviews create a framework for understanding your customers, data enriches these insights. Consider a customer survey where you ask about the types of content your current customers consume the most and their preferred formats (e.g., blog posts, videos). You can cross-reference your findings with data in your sales/marketing portals that shows the most viewed pages and those with the most conversions. Together, these insights help you align your marketing strategy with what your target market wants to see, and how they want to see it.

Here are a few more ways data (and specific tools) can support your buyer persona research:

  • Heatmaps via Hotjar: Visualize user behavior on an individual website page to spot where the most activity takes place (hot) and elements that tend to be ignored (cold).
  • Search terms from SEMrush: Analyze the search volume and keyword difficulty of keywords that resonate with your target market, while performing competitor analyses.
  • Social media conversations: Actively monitor discussions around your brand across social media channels, taking note of any patterns or trends in individuals’ feedback.

Tip: To make sure your buyer personas still align with your target audience as time goes on, we recommend revisiting buyer personas on at least a yearly basis as well as after big changes.

How Do You Communicate Your Brand Identity to Your Buyers?

Once you have a clear picture of your customers — from pain points to common questions — the next goal should be to address these factors at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Consider what’s of interest to prospective buyers in the awareness, consideration and decision stages. For this exercise, we’ll use the example of a telehealth business whose target is physicians:

  • Awareness: The physician wants to educate themselves on ways to manage a high volume of patients while providing quality care that leads to better outcomes.
  • Consideration: The physician wants to evaluate their options to improve patient management, a list that could include hiring more on-site personnel, using in-person health coaching or using virtual health coaching.
  • Decision: The physician wants to understand how the offerings from the telehealth business compare to other competitors in the telehealth space.

The question then becomes one of how to communicate these elements through your brand identity. Using our sample telehealth business again as an example, there are many routes to take.

  • Awareness: Speak to the pain points of physicians in your website messaging and on social media, while creating blog posts, videos and other content that aligns with these sentiments (i.e., “How to Provide Patient-Centered Care Inside and Outside the Clinic”).
  • Consideration: Use imagery on your website and social media that showcases the ease of interactions between patients and virtual health coaches, while supplementing this with data that supports the effectiveness of telehealth in better patient outcomes.
  • Decision: Clearly state why physicians should choose you over competitors in the value proposition on your website and social media, while generating competitor comparisons, case studies and testimonials from customers to move the needle in the right direction.

The key again here is consistency. The same messaging and design elements that you use on your website should also be reflected in your social media presence and elsewhere. That way, the personality of your brand and your promise to customers comes across clear and authentic.

How Can a Marketing Agency Help?

Developing buyer personas and using these insights to shape your brand identity requires a team effort. Content writers conduct interviews and research, using what they learn to craft marketing messages and create content that resonates with the interests of their audience. Designers work in tandem with content writers to pair relevant imagery with the content and ensure relevant brand guidelines are followed across all platforms. Developers work behind-the-scenes to turn the creative vision of designers into fully functional resources.

Rather than hiring in-house for each of these roles, you can work with a marketing agency like Kuno Creative to access an entire team of experts under one roof. We’ll conduct interviews and research to better understand your target audience and then use these insights as a roadmap to further shape your brand identity and develop assets to support these initiatives. From there, the opportunities are limitless.

Digital Branding

Bridget Cunningham
The Author

Bridget Cunningham

Bridget uses her journalistic experience to successfully engage with technical minds. Prior to Kuno, she managed the blog program and assisted with social media efforts at COMSOL, a high-tech engineering company that offers multiphysics software solutions.