I recently wrote this brief introduction to personas for a freshman-level Introduction to Business class.

A buyer persona (sometimes called a customer persona) is a description of an imaginary person that represents a target customer or user. A well-written persona typically will include:

  • Demographics
  • Needs
  • Motivations
  • Behaviors

B2B personas typically also include:

  • Firmographics (such as titles)
  • Whether they have the authority to make purchasing decisions

Each persona should have a name. Be creative with the names so that the personas are memorable. For example, if you market energy bars, you might have personas named Workout William (a fitness enthusiast) and On-the-Go Olivia (someone seeking a convenient meal replacement).

One of the biggest benefits of personas is that it gives people in your organization a shorthand to use when discussing marketing plans, sales strategies, product development, and other initiatives. If you say, “we’re targeting this social media campaign to Olivias,” everyone should know what you mean. You don’t have to dive into detail about demographics, behaviors, and other dimensions. 

Online Reading

To learn more about personas, please read the following:


You have just started a business that makes and sells premium, healthy dog food. Create three personas for your expected customer base.

For each persona: 

  • Go to HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool and click “Build My Persona.”
  • Follow the instructions to create a persona.
  • On the final page (titled “Make My Persona Overview), add additional pertinent information if necessary. Note that you also can add more sections.
  • Click “Download/Export” and save a PDF.

When you are complete, share your personas with a classmate. Compare your thought processes and results.