Defining the perfect target audience or market is a challenge faced by brands in all industries across the world. Assuming you have a great product or service, getting this right usually means success but getting it wrong often leads to failure.

In this chapter, we’ll introduce the concept of buyer personas and how we can use these fictitious representations of your ideal customer to get a clearer picture of your target market.

Let’s set the context with two real-life examples of how this works.

I travel a lot for business. I’m not a huge fan of hotels, so I like to book accommodation with Airbnb whenever it’s possible. I love to experience living in the city I’m visiting, even if it’s just for a couple of days. I like to pop into the local coffee shop in the morning or chat with locals in the neighborhood bar at the end of the day— it’s also excellent value. The clincher for me, though, is having a quiet space where I can set up my temporary office.

Although Airbnb is always my first choice, I do have a few issues.

In some Airbnbs, I struggle to find a good setup for my temporary office—sometimes I find a nice big desk and other times I have to huddle around a small coffee table.

The other issue is that I often have to wait around until 3 pm to check-in.

Imagine my reaction when I received an email from Airbnb announcing “new changes to improve my experience.”

The first was a new filter enabling me to shortlist units that had a “laptop-friendly workspace,” while the second was a “check-in early” feature.

However, it was not the new features alone that won me over—it was how Airbnb demonstrated that they understood what I wanted. The email referenced the fact that I was based in Ireland and traveled to other countries on business. They understood the stress and fatigue I regularly experience when I arrive after a long flight.

In other words, they made an emotional connection with me. It felt like they had introduced these new features just for me!

This is an example of great marketing—Airbnb had done their homework, and this email most likely went out to thousands of Airbnb customers who, as a result, felt special.


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