Understand your Customer’s Self-Image and Reflect it Back

happy young man with dog

Understand your Customer’s Self-Image and Reflect it Back

As you know, to really understand our customer, it is helpful to visualise them as one person.

This one person is the fictional representative or archetype for that whole customer segment.

Make a medical device for insulin checking? One segment might be a child. Another segment might be a middle-aged male. You get the picture.

To create our customer persona, we can do one-on-one depth interviews as our research We might also be part of this customer segment so we will have our own insights. We can validate those insights with the interviews and conversations with others.

When you have your persona, given them a name, age and other personal attributes like a character in a story, how do we use this?


Part of building our customer persona is deeply looking into their soul. By this, I mean getting into the depths of their psyche in terms of frustrations, pain points, challenges, and limiting beliefs.

This, as you can imagine, is a much deeper understanding than any demographic data is going to give. Our middle-aged male customer sees himself as gaunt, sick, old, and tired.

This deep insight will help your business with its product creation and co-creation with customers. It will help in the development of future product updates that fulfill new needs. It will also be invaluable for your marketing communications.

Your Product Landing Page

When you have a landing page or sales page for your product (which could be a service), the insights about the pain and frustration is your lead. We need to identify the problem before we can offer to solve it.

By completely understanding the specific challenge of the middle-aged man with no kids on night shift, you can paint a vivid picture he will relate to. Maybe he is unshaven, bleary-eyed, overworked, about to crack a fist into a window.

We explain the problem and that we understand, using our AUTHOR tool.

Reflecting the Ideal Self-Image

When we introduce our solution (product or service), we can then show him the self he wants to be.

This is equally important. We must identify with the pain, but we must provide pain relief. That pain relief solution will not only fix the function aspect of our customer’s life (glucose check), but an emotional aspect as well. We need to reflect this in our marketing communications.

fit man without shirt

Our male customer persona may oftentimes see himself as old, sickly, and tired. But underneath that is a young, fit, healthy, content man. This is also how he sees himself sometimes. And it’s how we would like to see himself more. And how we wants other people to see him.

This is how I see the facets of Self-Image and Reflection working together using the Brand Identity prism. You can’t have one without the other. With neither there is no human element. And if there is no human element, nothing will gel with people. At the end of the day, whether you are B2B or XYZ, your customer is a person.

There is also an article showing how you can create a brand personality that gels with people.

Another that helps you develop brand values and culture that resonates.