What is a Persona?

What is a Persona?

What is a Persona? Jonathan Poland

Personas are fictional characters that businesses use to represent and model the characteristics, goals, needs, behaviors, and emotions of their target customers. They are created based on research and analysis of customer data, and are designed to be generalizations of actual customers. Personas are often used in marketing and user experience planning as a way to better understand the needs and motivations of target customers, and to develop strategies and tactics that will effectively meet these needs. By creating personas, businesses can more easily visualize and empathize with their target audience, and design products and experiences that are tailored to their needs and preferences.

Personas are often developed based on market research, such as customer interviews, and are designed to accurately reflect the characteristics, goals, needs, behaviors, and emotions of target customers. To ensure that personas are based on real data and accurately represent the target market, it is important to carefully separate the process of persona development from planning and design. This can help to prevent the temptation to shape the personas to fit the preferences or biases of the marketing or design team, and ensure that the personas are grounded in real customer insights. By using personas that are based on real data, businesses can more effectively design marketing and user experience strategies that meet the needs and expectations of their target audience.

Personas are designed to include a range of character traits, values, needs, aspirations, behaviors, skills, and limitations that reflect the characteristics of a target audience. When used effectively, personas can help teams to consider designs and plans from the perspective of their intended audience, and ensure that products and experiences are tailored to meet the needs and expectations of customers. However, if personas are developed incorrectly, they can become a superficial pretense of designing for customers, rather than an accurate representation of their characteristics and needs. This can occur when personas are created by teams that have never met a customer, or when personas are based on unrealistic stereotypes rather than real data. To avoid these problems, it is important to carefully research and validate personas to ensure that they accurately reflect the realities of the target audience.

Learn More
Total Addressable Market Jonathan Poland

Total Addressable Market

A total addressable market (TAM) is the total potential revenue that a company can generate from its products or services…

Barriers to Entry Jonathan Poland

Barriers to Entry

Barriers to entry refer to factors that make it difficult for new companies to enter a particular market. These barriers…

Creative Destruction Jonathan Poland

Creative Destruction

Creative destruction is a process in which new, innovative ideas and technologies disrupt and replace older, established industries and firms.…

Product 101 Jonathan Poland

Product 101

A product is an item that is offered for sale. It can be a tangible good, such as a car…

Accountability Jonathan Poland


Accountability refers to the responsibility of an organization or individual to provide explanations for their actions and accept responsibility for…

Research Design Jonathan Poland

Research Design

Research design is the overall plan or approach that a researcher follows in order to study a particular research question.…

Data Architecture Jonathan Poland

Data Architecture

Data architecture refers to the principles, structures, standards, controls, models, transformations, interfaces, and technologies that define how data is stored,…

Concentration Risk Jonathan Poland

Concentration Risk

Concentration risk refers to the risk that a specific investment or group of investments could pose a threat to the…

Customer Requirement Jonathan Poland

Customer Requirement

A customer requirement refers to a specification or need that is expressed by a customer, rather than being generated internally…

Latest Thinking

Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) Jonathan Poland

Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS)

Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) refers to a special classification of stock in the United States that offers significant tax…

Barrick Gold Jonathan Poland

Barrick Gold

Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD) is a significant player in the global economy, particularly within the gold mining industry. Its…

Newmont Corporation Jonathan Poland

Newmont Corporation

Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM), being the world’s largest gold mining corporation, with extensive operations in mining and production of not…

Gold is Money Jonathan Poland

Gold is Money

Overview The history of gold as money spans thousands of years and has played a pivotal role in the economic…

What is Leadership? Jonathan Poland

What is Leadership?

In the modern business world, where rapid changes, technological advancements, and global challenges are the norm, effective leadership is more…

Product Durability Jonathan Poland

Product Durability

A durable product, often referred to as a durable good, is a product that does not quickly wear out or,…

Durable Competitive Advantage Jonathan Poland

Durable Competitive Advantage

The most important aspect of durability is market fit. Unique super simple products or services that does change much if…

Praxeology Jonathan Poland


Praxeology is the study of human action, particularly as it pertains to decision-making and the pursuit of goals. The term…

Business Models Jonathan Poland

Business Models

Business models define how a company creates, delivers, and captures value. There are numerous business models, each tailored to specific…