Building personas to understand your current customers and the market that you serve is not a new concept. This has been common practice for more than a decade. And building the right personas does a fantastic job at helping you drive your marketing and knowing who to target.

But personas should not be the end-all-be-all when it comes to dictating a full brand marketing strategy.

Personas are great in many ways! They help you understand who your current customers are and what makes them tick. It helps you understand what consumers reside in your market, which helps you create opportunities to reach the right people. It helps you understand who you do not want to reach.

Personas are just one tool in the strategic marketing toolbox.

When it comes to a strategic brand marketing plan, personas should not be driving all of the messaging, channel and media selections. Branding has to be about more than that – letting your market see your brand and create a connection with it. Branding also means that everything has a starting point. Cherry picking consumers with conversion messaging when they are not first aware of your brand only creates confusion and lengthens the buying process.

Of course, mentioning conversion in the previous paragraph means we’re talking about the buyer’s journey. Which, 90% of the time, needs to begin with awareness. Brands need awareness to start building an audience before introducing the specificity of your personas.

All of this is to say that, yes, personas are helpful. Even critical to great strategic marketing. However, your personas should not overshadow all of your marketing and interfere with your brand. Let the brand be what it is to your market. Consumers will reveal themselves and fall into persona categories for the most logical approach to more specific marketing.