Buyer Persona Definition – 5 Real World Examples You Can Study

Buyer Persona Definition - Image of a woman shopper

Hi there!  This article explains the buyer persona definition.  

Beyond that, we will go over some helpful examples of different buyer personas who might purchase the same product for different reasons.   We will also go into a step-by-step process to create a buyer persona from scratch.


Definition – Buyer Persona is a representation of your ideal buyer.  It almost always includes details about how they experience the problem you can solve for them.  But it goes much further.  

In marketing language the customer’s problem is frequently described as “Pain Points.” 

Customer Pain Points – are meant to clarify that the buyer doesn’t in fact have a single problem, but often a series of related problems that are causing them pain.  The term Pain Points is also helpful because it indicates that buyer’s are motivated to seek out a solution.

Beyond Pain Points – Concerns, Needs, and Desires

A good Buyer Persona will capture your Buyer’s concerns, needs, and desires regarding the problem.   A concern might include making a wrong purchase decision and experiencing buyer’s remorse. [definition].  

Concerns can also include secondary but important reasons that the Buyer wants help in solving their problem. 

For example – your buyer’s core problem might be dry skin.  But their concerns about their dry skin might include how dry skin can be made worse by using the wrong kind of make-up. 

They might also wonder if dry skin can get worse because of swimming in chlorinated pools.

Beyond diving into the problem your buyer’s are facing and their concerns, your Buyer Persona will also capture important details about how your Buyers are currently finding information related to their problem.

A Buyer Persona will also dive into the motivation of that Buyer to solve their problem.

Usually a buyer’s motivation can be thought of as those that they explain to others – or their visible surface motivations, but there will usually also be unspoken or intrinsic motivations that the Buyer will not necessarily reveal but are just as important in influencing their buying decisions.

Sometimes you will hear Buyer Persona referred to as a Marketing Persona or Customer Persona.  These can be used interchangeably.

Now we will dive into understanding Buyer Personas and walk through some example buyer personas.  

Wellness Product Buyer Motivations Example

A Buyer Persona for a beauty product might include both that the Buyer Persona is interested in improving their dry skin for health reasons, AND also include that their deeper reason is that they want to look good for an upcoming social event. 

This information might have been captured during the check-out process by the e-commerce company – where they asked shoppers if they have a social event coming up.  

The e-commerce company knew to include this question because they also did interviews with potential buyer focus groups – who regularly mentioned that they invested in a new skin care products a few weeks before an important social event.

Car Purchase – Buyer Persona Motivations Example

Imagine that you are responsible for developing the Buyer Personas for an off-road car brand.

You might start by thinking of the extrinsic reasons that this ideal buyer considers buying a high end off-road vehicle. 

Possibly some of those extrinsic reasons might include safety, durability, and production quality.  

But… you also discover in interviewing buyers that they tend to post on social media about their adventures off-road and get significant likes from their community.

So this buyer persona will probably also have social status as a strong motivation to purchase a brand that is well recognized. 

Why Create a Buyer Persona?

Creating a Buyer Persona will help you to clarify the most important needs and concerns of your buyer and understand how to map their concerns to solutions you can provide.

Later in this article, we will go through a step-by-step process to gather the relevant information you need to create a buyer persona.  

But before we do that, let’s dive a bit more into how you will use the Buyer Persona to improve your marketing efforts.

Understanding how you will use Buyer Personas will give you a proper context to start creating them the right way. 

Do I need only a single Buyer Persona?

As you explore and investigate your prior buyers information, as well as survey and interview potential new buyers you will often find that there are several unique and distinct buyer personas.

This can be true even if the product or service is the same. 

Let’s consider two different buyer personas who might want to purchase an iPhone.  The first buyer persona is a college student, while the second buyer persona is a business professional.

Buyer Persona Example – iPhone for College Students

Your college student buyer persona might care mostly about the quality of photos they can take, and the specific social media applications which are available on the iPhone.  

The extrinsic (or spoken out loud) reason that your college student buyer persona might give is they want a phone which is well designed, has a good processor, and works well with their Apple Macbook.

Meanwhile the status of having an iPhone is also important to them.  But they might not mention this out loud. So this would be listed under intrinsic (or internal) needs & desires.

Buyer Persona Example – iPhone for Business Professional

A business professional buyer persona might be interested in buying the exact same iPhone as the college student buyer persona.  But their reasons could be very different. 

The extrinsic reasons for the business professional buyer persona might be that they also want a phone which has a good processor, works well with their Apple Macbook, and has strong security.

But the internal or intrinsic reasons for a business professional buyer persona might be that they want to use a product they are familiar with – because they already know Apple products and they are too busy to learn a new user experience.

Developing Several Buyer Personas  – Summary

When you see a pattern of unique types of buyers, it’s time to consider creating unique Buyer Personas.  

Each buyer persona will provide your team with guidelines not only on the problem that the buyers care about, but also their intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to seek out certain brands and solutions.


Check out our Guide To Creating A Buyer Persona (Coming soon!)