Who wants a little cookie ? The buyer persona concept

Hi there,

Today, I want to share with you my understanding of the “buyer persona” concept, its importance and therefore include, as an example, a french company that is truely a fantastic case study, as a marketing reference, Michel & Augustin.

LOGO M&A

About Michel & Augustin

“September, 2004. Augustin and Michel launch Michel et Augustin. Their dream? To put some color and pep back into your grocery step through delicious, natural concoctions. And to share every step of the way with a smile! 

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Today, their products are available in more than 20 countries.” Find out more about their story there.

About the buyer persona concept.

A company has a target population, usually several ones, but if you stay at this level of understanding, you might miss a lot of ways to actually reach these audiences.

In order to be more efficient, it is essential to understand your target, and therefore to define them as a buyer persona : a fictional individual developed by an organization based on a researched profile of its typical customer.

  • What are the basic personal details about your buyer persona? What does she/he does for a living? What are her/his preoccupations? What inspire your buyer persona ? What challenge him / her?
  • How does your buyer persona go through the decision making process?
  • What media the buyer persona consults? What are their activities on social media et search engines? What are the sections of the website that are of most interest to the buyer persona?

My assumpted buyer persona is based on their Michel & Augustin on-line presence channels : website, social media profiles and the kind of customers that they have.

I would like to introduce you to my assumpted buyer persona for Michel & Augustin, Claire, 31 years old. She’s living in France, in Bordeaux. She’s working in a design agency. She likes her job because it gives her a way to travel a lot and do not need to spend all her time behind a desk. She reads multiple blogs about food design and decoration and spend a lot of time on social media et search engine to get some inspiration. She likes to hang out and meet new people. She thinks her country is full of depressed people and enjoys every moment of little pleasure, as the smile of her daughter, Nina, 3 years old. She’s also concerned with her wellness and buy some healthy food for the family. She knows and loves Michel and Augustin products and the brand image which is based on authenticity and humour. When she sees an activity on them in her facebook timeline, she often shares it because they made her laugh. She’s spontaneous and friendly. She has always had that dream about becoming a pastry cook but never dare to try…

Ok I might have gone to far in my specifications. Do not be mistaken, i didn’t describe myself. But, my point is to go deeper than just the surface of an average person. That is how you can be efficient. If you can, if you go deep in your clients behaviors, they would read what you have to say, being persuaded that they just know you THAT well. 

Also, defining your buyer persona might give you :

insights into how your organization can engage with your clients in a better way at the time of ZMOT

When I chose that company, I didn’t think about this point, but there is no way that, in your ZMOT about having a snack, you will choose it from search engine research. The company awareness depends on the product trial and on the moment. On the other hand, you might use search engines to find out where to buy this product.

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– clues in order to shape the marketing communication that you need to deliver.

As I already told you, Michel & Augustin plays on a sincere and fun way of communication to its audience.  You might see that by watching the CNN report filmed in 2014 below and find out more of their communications here

– hint of how launch new products based on what those individuals think about your product

pop-up-large_04 M&AMichel & Augustin suggested meetings from day one in order to share with its public. Each month, you can meet the tribe (that’s how they called their staff members) in their offices, propose a recipe for cookies, discuss with the team. Every month, 50 to 200 people meet at their offices in Paris, Lyon, New York City.

– a way to recruit new dedicated members of your staff

Michel & Augustin decided to help their customers sharing the same passion for good pastries and support them to get pastry-certified by proposing 80 hours of formation. This way, the company helps theirs clients to achieve their dreams. It’s inspiring when you can be supported.  It is a virtuous circle, as they want to work to be art of the tribe !

CAP patisserie

– support from your social community

Allez howard un cafe

Michel & Augustin have been dreaming about being distributed into Starbucks for years. On a friday morning, they received a call from Starbucks asking for a sampling of their biscuits. Instead of sending the box, they sent two tribe members to actually find a way to meet Howard Schultz in person, they filmed their trip, they asked their community to make some noise on social media with the #allezhowarduncafé (Hey Howard, let’s have a coffee), sending images of them having a coffee. They had like 100 000 answers to their challenge and made so much social media noise that they actually succeeded and met Starbucks’s CEO. The very next day, they were invited to a 500 people Starbucks convention, where ther announced that they will distribute Michel & Augustin product in 25 Starbucks within 10 days  ! And they did it again ! They got such support on social media that it is the Howard’s wife herself who convinced her husband to receive the two ambassadors. What a journey !

#allezhowarduncafe

If you like this story, see the subtitled videos here

About the search engine queries

How would search engine would be used by this buyer persona? I used some keyword research suggestion tools such as semrush.comspyfu.com or alexa.com, to find out what key words are used for Michel & Augustin : 

  • michel et augustin les trublions du gout –> brand name +baseline
  • produits michel et augustin –> brand name products
  • michel et augustin emploi /recrutement –> brand name + recruitment
  • michel et augustin capital –> brand name + TV show name
  • mousse au chocolat recette –> chocolat mousse recipe
  • cookie recette –> cookie recipe

When those two guys created that brand, no one believed they could survive against big worldwide companies,  but with their fun, sincere way of being, they succeeded in offering something different and be successful. I’m amazed by their capacity of adaptation and their creativity. It’s also their weakness. You have to try the product, to see it and taste it to be able to want it. The brand awareness is essential, that is why they spend a lot of energy into tasting operations everywhere (supermarkets, events, trains stations, …). They are ready to make you dream, even to spend a night under the stars with them. They use social media to entertain their community, motivate them, get their support and make the buzz.

So, are you now convinced that the buyer persona concept is more than useful ? Don’t you think that this company has some serious ideas about digital marketing? If you didn’t know them, do you now want to taste it? I can promise you one thing, you will love it. I hope you enjoyed my post and would be delighted to discuss it with you.

Thank you for your support !

Sources :

Wake Up with Starbucks multi digital strategy – Case study

Hi there,

Time to wake up !

Time to wake up with Starbucks !

Make yourself at ease, have a nice cup of coffee, tea ? Not any one, no… Let’s have a hot, spicy cup at Starbucks while studying Starbuck’s multi channel digital strategy ! Let’s say we focus on US, but every bit of this strategy will expand worldwide, sooner or later.

Behind this coffee shop you see everyday while going to work or taking kids to school or while you travel and go to a train station, there is a pretty big digital strategy in order to make you WANT this coffee SO MUCH ! But How do they get it?

5-Things-I-Learned-Building-The-Starbucks-Brand

Let’s start by reading this very interesting article 5 Things I Learned Building The Starbucks Brand by Jerome Conlon. If you are in a rush, here is the short version :

  • 1. Build A Common Brand Vision
  • 2. Set A Course For Insights
  • 3. Capture The Shared Romantic Ideal
  • 4. Bring The Vision To Life
  • 5. Share The Vision 
  • To conclude  : how to propose to theirs customers “the ideal coffee shop experience : the third place “

I chose Starbucks as a case study because Starbucks is a leader in omni channel marketing, and there are a variety of strategies that you can glean from their mobile initiatives. So, let’s see some examples of how do they apply that vision to multichannel digital strategy, and how the customer can see it. I won’t assume that I can find in few hours every aspects of their strategy but I found some interesting material that worths sharing.

You can also find a nice slideshare overview by to help understand the digital background.

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As a consumer :

  1. “I want to experience an ideal coffee experience and not just have a coffee”

    If you read the article above, you now exactly why you want THAT Coffee, so let’s get further to see the channels that are used despite stores. We can tell that Starbucks have a loyalty card system to increase sales and create a long time relationship with its customers. You can access by a website or app. In stores, Starbucks promotes digitaly in its stores their latest products or seasonal beverages and use tracking to know when you are around.

  2. “I want to share my experience of the ideal coffee / coffee shop”

    On Social media, Starbucks is one of the favorite brands you can find. It’s true on facebook, on Twitter. Also, Starbucks is known for its strengths on Instagram, perfectly resumed by this article by Ana Gotter, as they are :

    • featuring seasonal products
    • encouraging and sharing user-created content to boost engagment
    • making a great use of hashtags
    • focusing of their images about the people and their lifestyle, not the product
  3. “I want to matter to experience that ideal coffee shop experience”

    The PSL case, aka for Pumpkin Spice Latte. This beverage has been a great success last year, but also created a good amount of threats on social media and into their communities as they were arguing about the beverage’s composition. You can learn a lot about this on this article by Ken Gaebler. So they use all their digital knowledge and date to find out insights than can be used in order to definitely transform this PSL Case into a big success again. One of the channels that is used is to create of form of memberships, so that PSL lovers can recognize themselves and feel different from others, which is well described by Thalia Ralph and relayed by Forbes in this article.

  4. “I want to experience that ideal coffee shop experience without waiting”

    With their No Time No Line App, Starbucks gives you what you want, right away. You can now nationwide order in line your favorite. As Catherine Barba,  Peps’s founder, in New-York City resumed it in her chronicle, there are 3 advantages for Starbucks :

    • A higher market basket size with suggested complementary articles
    • An increasing regular purchase with the option ” set a daily coffee order”
    • Additional sales by tracking you with your Mobile phone et sending you texts to encourage orders.
  5. “I want to experience that ideal coffee shop experience without waiting and leaving my office” (only if you work in the World Trade Center)

Starbucks Is Testing Coffee Delivery to Office Workers in the Empire State Building – You won’t find an actual coffee shop in the building but you can order on your mobile and get your delivery within 30 minutes at your office. “What else?” Oh Sorry, wrong brand line !

We definitely have a lot to learn from such a company. I hope you like this post and hope we can share some comments. There is a lot to do, but, in order to stay focuses, I don’t forget that even the bests can make mistakes. That’s how you improve yourself 😉

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My Top 5 useful points – Week1Activity

Hi there,

First of all, thank you for coming by. I hope we can learn a lot from each other. I follow blogs, I even have worked with bloggers, on websites content, on strategic marketing policies and their implementation, but I have never created a blog.

Without any further delay, here are my top 5 useful points from this first week activity.

#5  : case studies

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Be prepared

In this journey through digital and social marketing, we’ll be visiting differents countries trough 4 case studies : Sharecruit, The Candidate Ltd, Monks and Dino. I was grateful to be able to start by discovering them in the first video in order to put the learnings we’ll go through directly in practiceThoses different cases show similarities, recruitment for example, as well as client / agencies different points of view, and it’ll be very interesting to see what our professors have prepared for us… #thrilled

#4 SMART Objectives and SWOT

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Back to basics

I’ve frequently used those concepts and it’s truly benefic. You need directions and you need to seek a goal, a smart one for sure. I’m convinced that you have to put a problem in perspective, and to open you eyes about yourself. And what I like about it, is that it is easier to be said than done. You actually can’t go through a good SWOT or SMART objectives definition without putting your heart at it. And share, to get a new perspective. #dontblowit

#3 the consumer journey

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Won’t be that easy…

I’ve spent most of my time working on the consumer journey, but the other one, in stores. Then, the retail company I was working for created a website and we had to manage a whole other story between classic behaviors and online ones. We learned a lot. I’m particularly interested by this point, not only to understand and be able to manage it to increase sales and online branding, but  to seek a good win/win strategy on what it’s called now omnicanal strategies.

#2 the Zero Moment of Truth

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Where do I start ??!

I know. This point is part of the consumer journey. So why bother having a point on that? Because, this point is fundamental. When a person becomes a prospect. He or she is going to start his/her journey. What are the options? What help can be found? It changes everything to put a word at things. Then, for us marketeers, it helps classify behaviors, understand bloquages, because this experience can totally changes criteria the buyer itself chooses to discrimate a product from another.

#1 The importance of understanding each other

Let's do this !

 

This might seem irrelevant to you, but again, I think this point is fundamental. “Introduction to core concepts” was definitely one of my favorite chapters, because, it tells me that all of this is only communication. Never the world has to face so many technological changes of way of communications. We have to adapt in order to increase our chances of success. We have to learn.

Surprise(d)!

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Oh My ! I didn’t expect this, but, given the thought, it’s a really freaking good idea ! So let’s try this. It can only be a good experience to share. As ironic as it seems, I think that marketing your own personal brand is so much more difficult than selling a product or a service. Because you are totally in charge and responsible of what you can offer, where a product or a service is a combination of multiple skilled people and team work. How can an individual be compared to ten, a hundred, thousands minds combined !

It reminds me of a french Mooc that I followed more than a year ago, about  effectuation, organized by EM Lyon. One of the principles of this way of thinking that serves the intrepreneurs is called, don’t leave laugh, “The Crazy Quilt Principle”: Expert entrepreneurs build partnerships with self-selecting stakeholders. By obtaining pre-commitments from these key partners early on in the venture, experts reduce uncertainty and co-create the new market with its interested participants”.

If what I have to say pleases someone, it might be the start for a good journey…