Establishing stock personas is a common business planning and marketing technique. It helps businesses think deeply, personally and emotionally about buyers and their core values, priorities and typical activities. Personas can help builders ideate tech packages as part of their merchandising process and can be used to hook buyers on extensive home tech options packages, but they are also risky.
Some buyers, like me, don’t like to be characterized or typecast, and for us, it can be a turn-off when a salesperson tries to profile us and sell us what she thinks types like us want. Some buyers, however, are happy to declare themselves as “foodies” or “audiophiles.” They’re proud of their tribal identity and appreciate it when a salesperson gets that and focuses on it. Because it’s a less universally applicable merchandising and selling scheme, it’s likely best to make it secondary to concepts we’ve previously covered like Central Benefit and Room-by-Room.
Here are the discovery questions we drafted that will help you understand Lifestyle Persona packaging and help you do the delicate work of probing for resonance as part of the tech options sales process.
- What does a weekday morning look like for you? When do you wake? Is it a long time between the time you wake and get out the door? What’s happening during that time? What’s your favorite thing about that part of the day? What would make that part of the day amazing for you?
- If you’re not headed out the door, what will you be doing with the rest of your day time at home? Are you working? Tending to family or household tasks? At leisure? What’s pleasant and unpleasant about that portion of the day? Is there anything in terms of home environment or conveniences that could improve that part of your day?
- Now let’s look at end of the day and beginning of the night? How does dinner prep work? Do you eat at home most of the time? Do you or would you like to get meals started or other things prepared at home like lights on or thermostat set for comfort in advance? What’s it like when you arrive at home? Do you spend a lot of time on meal prep and dining? Is it focused conversation time or are you also watching TV, listening to music, etc.?
- What does after-dinner look like? Reading, TV watching? What are your favorite shows? What do you watch religiously? What do you watch now and then? What about music listening? Is it mostly just background music or do you do critical listening where you just sit and listen to the music? What type of music is that? Do you go to musical performances, movie theaters or live theater regularly?
- What does end of the night look like? Are you in bed early or late? Reading or watching TV before bed? Do you do a lot of prepping and primping before bed or just change clothes and jump in the bed? Do you prepare for the next day’s activities? What does that entail?
- Now let’s talk about weekends. What do those look like in terms of daily schedule in and out of the house? Are you entertaining during the weekends? Friends? Family? Adults? Kids? Stay-over house guests? Indoors? Outdoors? What is the size range of parties you throw? What’s the typical flow of a party? Are TVs and/or music part of the environment? Are there games or other forms of entertainment like singing or performing that happen at your parties?
- Let’s talk about work-home connections. First of all, what kind of work do you do? Are you on the road much or mostly office based? Do you ever work from home? Do you try to stay connected to your home and the people in it while at work or otherwise away from home? How? Are there any issues you have working from or connecting to home when away that you’d like to address? Is there something technology could do to improve work-at-home or work-to-home connectivity? Does the work you do on computer at home require strong security? Does your company mandate any kind of computer or phone security?
- Are there any other regular or occasional activities or hobbies we should know about? Regular long absences because of vacation, owning another property or other reasons?
These questions outline specific lifestyle personas and connect them to corresponding tech assortments.
Are you a Music Lover?
Are you one of the first of your friends to get new audio technology? Do you like to tweak audio settings until the
sound is just right? Do you seek out movie theaters with the highest quality sound system so you can feel like you’re right there? Do you get together with friends to listen to music? If so, you might like immersive audio to go with your TV or high-performance multi-room audio to be installed throughout your house. Do you think you’d be looking for a good, better or best audio experience? In just a zone or two or throughout the home?
Are you a Movie or TV Lover and into the Cinema experience?
In that case, you may want a dedicated home theater built into a bonus room or other space or maybe just a zone where you and your family and friends can become immersed in a movie experience. Components of that can include a big-screen Ultra High Definition flat display or projector and screen, shades and lighting control, immersive audio and a universal remote to control it all. Acoustical treatments, theater seating, or other cinema accessories can be added. What would you be interested in?
Sports Fans want a great picture and sound…
…sometimes with the ability to see multiple screens like in sports bars. They also want food and drink near viewing areas. Sometimes they want sports simulators for golf, shooting and other sports. How about you?
Entertainers use tech to enhance the experience for their guests.
Do these options interest you?
- Filling your home with high-quality audio and video, inside and out
- Enhancing and automating lighting and other environment controls provide comfort and appropriate mood-setting for guests
- Using lighting to showcase artwork and other valued decorations to best effect before guests
- Using AV to support performing, speech-making, gameplaying and other forms of entertainment
- Installing a sports simulator for fun and competition with family and guests
Outdoor entertaining adds enjoyment of nature – views, sounds, fresh air, etc. with above elements
Is Working At Home a priority for anyone in the home?
In that case:
- Reliable, secure high-speed internet connectivity is a must
- Collaboration and video conferencing technology might be useful
- You’ll want the ergonomics of your office seating, screen viewing, etc. to be first rate
- You may need a physical meeting/ conference space built in
- You’ll need command and control of home from home office, from video doorbells and remote control locks and garage doors to whole home intercoms to home surveillance to controlling temperature and air quality
Are your kids likely to use tech in any of these ways?
Some kids need the equivalent of a high powered home office user for schoolwork; that means infrastructure for reliable, secure, high-speed internet service and potentially collaboration and video conferencing gear
Many kids are developing multimedia presentations and videos for school and fun and need studio, hardware and connectivity for capture, editing and internet “broadcast” of presentations and performances.
- Gaming and music are other passions of kids
- Parental controls of online content and screen time often make sense
Easy Living is a goal of many homebuyers.
What interests you?
- Remote control of the maximum number of devices in the home, or even a thoughtful, smart home that anticipate your needs?
- AV equipment
- Door locks
- Major appliance and plumbing fixtures in the kitchen, laundry room and bath
- Software and systems that help you stay on top of and call for home maintenance and order supplies you are low on. Is that of interest?
Do you want some of the cool new natural user interfaces like voice or speech recognition or gesture control, or are you satisfied with control through a remote, touchscreen or your phone?
Connected is a popular lifestyle mode.
Maybe you’re interested in connective features like…
- Putting wire and wireless infrastructure in your home to enable high quality of video, internet, and audio wherever needed
- Setting your home up so you or service providers, who you give permission to, can monitor and manage your home remotely
- Tech that makes it easy for you to communicate with friends and family by voice and video in the home
- Tech that ensures strong mobile phone connections
Gear Head is a fun name we apply to folks who are car lovers and tinkers.
They tend to like tech that tricks their garage out with AV you’d expect in a man cave—media, music, food and beverage. They also dig tech that helps them organize and access tools. Also available are media like cameras for video capture and outbound video streaming, and screens for inbound and video instructions. Are you a Gear Head? Do you want any Gear Head tech?
Products can be Green but so can people and homes.
Greens like tech that ensure their homes use energy and water as efficiently as possible. That’s done with tech like solar power, electrical storage systems, and energy monitoring and management. Water management and greywater systems take care of water conservation. They are also sometimes looking for a home that generates minimal negative environmental impacts such as emissions and use of building materials that harm the environment. Recycled and recyclable building materials can be part of the mix, too. Are you Green or interested in any of these green tech features?
Health Freaks are obviously interested in homes that provide a healthy environment and contribute to their feeling of wellness.
If you’re a health freak at any level you may be interested in tech that ensures:
- Clean air
- Clean water
- Proper temperatures
- Lighting that syncs with circadian rhythms
- Tech that makes for healthy food preparation and maximum food safety
Golden Years/Aging in Place is a lifestyle based on time of life.
The tech features associated with it include:
- Home control to increase convenience and address decreased mobility.
- Connectivity like high-resolution displays, audio, video conferencing to keep seniors connected to family, friends and loved ones as leaving home becomes more difficult
- Health and mobility monitoring and reporting
- Medicine reminders
- Exercise and fitness tech
- Tech to stay intellectually engaged and creative
Click here to download the free Guide to Developing a Home Tech Merchandising & Marketing Plan.