Think about some of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Roadrunner, etc. What do they all have in common? The cartoonists personified animals and even inanimate objects (think Spongebob) to make fun characters children grow up with.
All of us have a favorite cartoon character we loved as a kid. We could identify with them. Our parents bought us the stuffed animals, countless plastic toys and video games. We have an emotional connection to these characters.
Marketers can use the same principles that connected us with our favorite cartoons to better understand their target audience. Consider an organic soap company that targeted socially conscious Gen Yers. You could personify your demographic and psychographic by calling her Lili. Then you have to do some character-building. You can start macro with, where does she shop? What are her favorite brands? Is she single? And you can even project what she’s going to do: After she graduates, does she want to get married and have children or focus on her career? You can even get granular as well: does she ever wear high heels? Does she want a job wear she can wear jeans?
Now that you understand your audience, you need to think about how can your brand fit into Lili’s lifestyle? Think introspectively. Are you similar to other brands in her lifestyle? If not, you might need to re-tool your target audience. Once you position yourself in what way can Lili relate to you and how can she get excited about your brand?
Personifying your audience can help you build an emotional bond that will guide your marketing and branding efforts. Because you stop thinking about your audience as white, female, 17-32 and start having a relationship with them. Over time you will learn intuitively what your audiences likes and dislikes.
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