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BLOG | Personas and Christmas

How personas save Christmas

Does Christmas always come so suddenly for you too? As if the time from September onwards is running in fast-forward mode? And when the children open the first door on the Advent calendar, it's like pressing another accelerator button, it felt like it was door one yesterday, why the heck are they already at number 19 today? And then:

Christmas in Germany.

Grandpa (80) neatly removes the sellotape from the wrapping paper decorating a medium-sized box. After all, tidiness is half the battle and now we're also supposed to consume sustainably - although Grandpa has been doing this his entire childhood due to a lack of alternatives. That's why he doesn't want to tear up the paper, but recycle it. He carefully pulls the box out of the paper, opens the lid and is wide-eyed: a week's worth of socks, printed with "Monday, Tuesday...". Grandpa almost freaks out with excitement. He doesn't.

Emma, 7 years old, can hardly stand it any longer. At last it's her turn, she tears the paper off her parcel so quickly that Grandpa barely has time to frown and holds up the very latest Barbie, complete with a glittering, long pink Barbie princess dress with matching accessories. Emma is beaming with the glittering stones on the dress - unfortunately, neither is she.

Similar scenes are repeated with other family members and in other houses and apartments throughout the country.

What went wrong?
One should assume that elderly gentlemen already have everything and that socks are always useful. Besides, Grandpa should know at his age that presents are mainly for the children and that the adults shouldn't feel so bad if it doesn't fit 100%. Emma is into Barbies and glitter, we know that for sure, you just have to look around her room. So why was the Barbie with the glitter dress a failure bravely and painstakingly covered up by Emma?

Field research in the children's room and at the coffee table

Because we did NOT look around their room ENOUGH. We were guessing, not data-driven - just like many companies who think they know their target group and are constantly wondering why their product is not a resounding success or why many candidates for an advertised position don't bite. data-driven personas can open up completely new markets and keep candidates queuing up. You can find out exactly how to do this in our blog.
data-driven personas can also save Christmas. So that Grandpa's eyes shine and Emma jumps for joy. How do you do that? By using data. Only in this case, not with large-scale market studies, but with precise observation and data collection. Field research, so to speak. We can then use this data to create a persona sedcard of our loved ones, on which we note their activities, preferences, goals and pain points.

Take Emma, for example: at first glance, her room really gives away the fact that she likes Barbies and glitter. But if we take a closer look, we realize that she has a Barbie house that is already pretty well populated. Whether she needs another roommate is questionable. She has a "chandelier" with glass crystals hanging from the ceiling, glittering garlands and fairy lights everywhere. The predominant colors are turquoise, white and a little pink. There is a huge pinboard with self-painted artwork, and the cuddly toys are dressed in clothes made from old baby T-shirts, which Emma has painted and stuck on in an extremely creative way. But: the Barbie princess dresses went into a box last year and her little cousin now wears her own. The wardrobe in the Barbie house is as good as empty, one Barbie is wearing a homemade bikini made of balloons, another a mini skirt that looks like a former evening dress that has fallen victim to children's scissors. Some places on the wall show traces of water-based paint that has been more or less well washed off.

This field research in the nursery plus other things we already know about Emma results in the following persona sedcard:

EMMA

Activities Playing Barbie
Painting and drawing
Being creative, designing things yourself
Meeting up with friends
Street dance club at school
Preferences

Likes "bling-bling", but has just outgrown the first pink and princess phase.

Likes decorations of all kinds and stylish clothes.
Has a mind of her own and implements ideas, even if she gets into trouble from time to time.

Goals I make the world the way I like it!
Pain Points Most Barbie things are pink, or princess style. So my Barbies hardly have anything to wear. My parents freak out when I "redesign" the wall.

This results in wonderful gift ideas for Emma:

  • An easel and paints with vinyl carpet to protect the floor
  • Everyday Barbie dresses, preferably not in pink
  • An artist's box and coloring pads for all creative designs
  • A children's sewing course
  • A children's sewing machine
  • A very large blackboard or a voucher for painting a wall together with blackboard paint
  • A suitcase full of pearls, sequins, etc.

And so on...

And the grandpa?

Grandpa would have liked to have traveled more when he was younger, but life had other plans for him. He is interested in architecture from different countries and eras. He used to love crafting and designing things himself, which is probably where Emma gets her creativity from. His pain point is that he stopped traveling when he was in better shape and now his eyesight, strength and fine motor skills are not what they used to be, so working is no longer as easy. Today, he enjoys watching cultural and educational programs on television and wants to stay up to date for a long time. This also makes for great gift options for Grandpa:
A day or weekend trip at Grandpa's pace to an interesting museum or a beautiful city, an illustrated book about the architecture and visual arts of a particular culture or time, or a few days to introduce him to the secrets of TikTok, Pinterest or Instagram, laugh about them together and discover new things. You can still give him socks as a gift, you always need them and grandma will be happy if she doesn't have to buy him any.

Do it once, keep it up to date, all Christmases saved

Sounds like even more work during Advent? It is - for once. But as is so often the case with projects that sound complicated at first, it's worth it in the long run and makes the stress much less. Of course, we probably won't be able to save this Christmas for the whole family... but the next one definitely will! So: add this link to your bookmarks!

One more thing for the time after Christmas: The next Christmas is coming. It feels like the day after tomorrow. And there are plenty of birthdays in between. Just as companies need to keep real buyer personas and candidate personas up to date so that they function optimally, you should also do the same with the gift personas: maybe Emma will go blue next year and want to be a rock star and Grandpa will become an Instagrammer over the summer and could use a new cell phone? But don't worry: once created, the persona sedcards can be easily updated with a visit to the children's room and a couple of times drinking coffee plus a few clicks.

And now: have a happy and peaceful Advent season!

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