Identify the right persona

Personas are an important method for us product managers. Therefore it is important to identify the right persona for us.

It is important to understand:

  1. What roles and types of people are using the product and are involved in the purchase decision throughout the buying process?
  2. Who is the user of the product?
  3. Who has influence on the purchase decision?
  4. Or who is user and at the same time has influence on the purchase decision?

Therefore, we introduce a simple and highly effective tool, a table that helps you identify all the personas for your product.

First, create the following table, whether on paper or on the computer, it doesn't matter. This table helps us to identify the right persona.

Envision the entire sales process of the product, including all influencers, middlemen, assemblers, etc. up to the end customer.
Nowput yourself in the role of the potential customers and look at the purchasing process from their point of view. If necessary, add new roles and personas.

Second, assign the roles in the relevant row in the table.

It is recommended to do this with the entire product management team, to ensure that everyone has the same understanding and nothing has been forgotten.

For example, for a product management software, this may look like this:

identifiy the right persona buyer user

Identify right persona for OEM or indirect sales

If you work as a supplier, this table lengthens because for each company that sells or installs your product, the personas must be broken down into personas that.

  1. Process, install or otherwise use the product (User Persona).
  2. Are involved in the decision-making process to buy the product. This can be an technical, legal, price or processability, installation and usability evaluation (Buyer Persona).
  3. To who points a) and b) apply (Buyer-User Persona)


The Hörmann company offers an additional part for the remote control of its garage doors, a WLAN gateway. This WLAN gateway is used to integrate the garage doors from Hörmann into the SmartHome concept of a house.

We have introduced the Persona method with Hörmann and analysed their entire buying process with users, influencers and buyers.

The end customer is the homeowner, usually a private person.
There are various ways for the homeowner to get the WLAN gateway for his garage door.

  1. The homeowner buys the WLAN gateway himself on the Internet and installs it himself.
  2. He commissions an electrical company to buy and install a WLAN gateway.
  3. He buys a new garage door from a metal dealer who installs it including the WLAN gateway.
  4. He hires an architect and planner to design and build a new garage, including the garage door and its WLAN gateway.

The entire buying process must be considered.

Hörmann distribution sells to -> wholesaler. Wholesaler sells to -> metal dealer and electrical company.
Architect and planner commission -> metal dealer and/or electrical company.

Now all persons are listed who:

  1. Influence the purchase by the end customer.
  2. Influence the purchase of the WLAN gateway in the respective company.
  3. Install and set up the WLAN gateway.
  4. Use the WLAN gateway to open and close the garage door.

identify the right persona for bussines

Your task is then to set up the personas within the Product Management Dashboard.

 With interviews, the following must be found out and assigned to the persona:

  • User-Persona: problems and use scenarios
  • Buyer-Persona: decision criteria, information channels, purchasing channels, payment methods
  • Buyer-User Persona: all points under 1) and 2)

Read the continuation: Interviews with the right persona

The article Identify the right persona is an excerpt from our textbook Strategic Product Management, which is available for free download.

Overview: Articles and information for product managers

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About the author

Frank Lemser is a trainer and founder of proProduktmanagement. He has been a market-driven evangelist since the beginning of the 2000s and since then has also been methodically involved with product management. He has developed the Open Product Management Workflow™, numerous tools for product managers, written and published books free of charge and was involved in the development of the Product Management Dashboard for JIRA. His personal goal is to solve many everyday and work problems for product managers, to professionalize and simplify the work for product managers.

Trainer and Author Identify right persona

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