company who gets it. Best Buy is using
personas to redesign their stores. And
they have more than one persona. Another
Hooooyaaaah. They have Buzz (the young
tech enthusiast), Barry (the wealthy professional man), Ray (the family man)
In the Washington Post’s article – Retail – Profiling for
Profit, Best Buy talks about “Jill” and the changes they made to the store in
order to accommodate her.
"Jill,"is a code name for a soccer-mom type who is the
main shopper for the family but usually avoids electronics stores. She is
well-educated and usually very confident, but she is intimidated by the
products at Best Buy and the store clerks who spout words like gigabytes and
Pink, red and white balloons festoon the entrance.
TVs play "The Incredibles." There is an expanded selection of home
appliances as well as new displays stocked with Hello Kitty, Barbie and
SpongeBob SquarePants electronic equipment.
Well – you’ve certainly made the store more “kid
friendly.” What else
To customers, this group (devoted to helping Jill) is
known as personal shopping associates, and its members wear pastels instead of
the royal blue shirts that other salespeople in the store sport.
Do the pastel shirts still clearly mark them as
Best Buy Employees? Why change the color
of the shirts? Did this cause any
confusion? Does Jill wonder why an
employee in a pastel shirt is helping her while men are helped by the normal
looking employees in the usual branded colors?
The employees offer to walk her to her car in the
rain with a pink umbrella.
Ok, love the
umbrella, but why that pink again? Why
not use the big bright brand colors? Make
her last image of you an umbrella that’s branded with your colors instead of
We’re officially stepped off the train into stereotypeland. So what else?
The music over the loudspeakers has been turned
down a notch and is usually a selection of Jill’s favorites, such as James
Taylor and Mariah Carey.
Ok – Stop. James Taylor? James
Taylor?????? Mariah Carey, ok if it’s
her latest album – but James Taylor???? What else do they play, Anne
Murray? John Denver? Look at any Adult Contemporary playlist (they
target the coveted female 25-54 market) and will you find James Taylor? No. What you will find is Kelly Clarkson, Maroon 5, Sheryl Crow, Shania
Twain, and Matchbox 20.
I’m not saying Best Buy has Jill completely wrong – there is definitely a “mother” who “lives for
her children” who would be thrilled to be greeted by Sponge Bob Square Pants
and The Incredibles playing on the TV’s. Training employees to be helpful without spouting “techno speak” and
making the environment less testosterone driven is definitely going to help
your sales with women.
Best Buy’s increase in sales speaks for itself – they are
obviously having success thanks to their better understanding of “Jill.”
But I think there’s a minimum of one other female persona
they need to address. How about the
Type-A woman business owner? Or a more
electronically savvy divorced woman who’s setting up a home of her own and
looking for a wide screen TV?
2 – women are involved in almost 75% of all electronic
3 – women are increasing interested in gadgets, from DVDs,
to iPods, to digital cameras for themselves and for their families
Best Buy may have more personas that weren’t cited in this
article, but if they don’t, I’d have to ask – you feel men are different enough
that they need at least 3 different personas to encompass their different
buying processes. Do you think all
women can fit into one persona?
Another question – how do you handle “Jill” on your
website? Hmmm – may have to take a look
at that. Let me fire up my pink
computer, grab my pink notebook and ponder the site through my pink framed