4 Helpful Elements Of Buyer Personas Essential To Your Brand Storytelling

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Marketing Leaders Can Use 4 Approaches Involving Buyer Personas To Create A Brand Story Buyers Will Want To Read

Some of the best books ever written often involve an engaging central character or several central characters.  Stories are written that revolve around a plot of the central character facing and overcoming challenges.  A non-fiction book I read recently that does this well is The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larsen. 

As the title gives away, the central character is Winston Churchill and Larsen delivers a terrific story on his role in leading the British nation through a difficult time in its history.  The story takes place during the unrelenting blitz of the bombing of London and surrounding areas by the German Airforce in the early days of World War II. 

Without researching and interviewing people about this moment in history and about Winston Churchill, such a terrific story could not come together.  Larsen has a knack for taking unique insights about the central character’s experiences and making them come to life on the pages of a book.  We learn new episodic tidbits that change our perspectives about someone or a moment in history we thought we knew everything about.

In the world of brand storytelling, accomplishing a similar end is extremely difficult.  The results can often be brand storytelling and content that fails to connect and is meaningless to an audience of buyers.  Particularly if no research or insights is gathered about the central buyer or buyers as well as the challenges they seek to overcome.  

Buyer Personas, archetypal representations of actual buyers based on qualitative research, have been helping to inform brand storytellers about their central buyers and insights into the story of buyers.  However, it is important to know the right things to consider and the wrong things to avoid.  In order to put your buyer personas at the center of brand storytelling, you can make certain that they provide the following elements:

1 – Descriptive of Who Buyers Are

Good buyer personas make it clear they are real and not fluffy representations of your buyers.  There is a reason that buyer insights research is critical to buyer persona development.  The end result should be that they are descriptive of real buyers and you can truly get to know your buyers. 

2 – Goals Drive Their Pursuit

Buyer Personas, and personas in general, were founded on the premise of understanding goal-directed behaviors on the part of users and buyers.  Your buyer personas should be representative of this pursuit.  Just listing superfluous goals will not cut it.  In Larsen’s book, Churchill’s drive was unmistakable.

3 – Understanding The Buyer Mindset Means You Are Clear On What Buyers Think

One of the most fascinating things about reading historical fiction or non-fiction is when you get an approximation of what the central figures were thinking.  Revelations on the thinking behind choices and decisions made can be downright astonishing.  For example, in the book mentioned, Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess was of the singular mindset that he could actually convince England to negotiate a peaceful surrender.  All by himself!  Making a secret solo flight that ran out of fuel just before landing.  Understanding the Buyer Mindset becomes a critical element to gain insights into beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, and norms driving their behaviors.  Know what your buyers are thinking enables you to tell a good story.

4 – Tell  A Narrative That Maps To Buyers’ Narratives

Buyer personas should give you insights into how buyers narrate their own stories.   Giving guidance on how brand storytelling should create a narrative that relates to the audience of buyers your brand is trying to connect with.  It is a delicate balance of art and science to create a resonating narrative.

By researching and considering these four elements of buyer personas, brand storytelling can help you prevent copy filled with business jargon and buzzwords.  Instead, helping you to create a narrative that puts your buyer at the center of a story.  A story that is revealing, engaging, and helps buyers to discover a new perspective.

(To learn more about these four elements, you can consider the Buyer Persona Masterclass.)

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