Tag Archives: Persona

Positioning map helps consumers make decisions

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a hotel in Alberta, Canada. Surrounded by mountain peaks and an emerald lake in the Banff National Park, this hotel has a pub for the outdoor enthusiasts coming from all over the world. At the pub, the menu was carefully designed for foreigners by mapping local drinks in two dimensions: how bitter (vs. sweet) and mild (vs. full flavor) beers are and how sweet (vs. sour) and mild (strong) cocktails.



Visual mapping of existing products in two dimensions has been widely used among marketers who either modify existing products or introduce new products. Marketers rely on, so called, positioning map or perceptual map because map illustrates the customer perception of a company’s products and brands relative to their competition.



However, as the menu suggests, positioning map could benefit customers as well when provided with unfamiliar products. As persona helps designers communicate with users, map could help novice customers make informed decisions. In other words, positioning map aids consumers’ understanding of their own preferences, like consumption vocabulary.


West, P. M., Brown, C. L., & Hoch, S. J. (1996). Consumption Vocabulary and Preference Formation. Journal of Consumer Research, 23(2), 120–135.

Consumers’ understanding of their own preferences can be aided by a “consumption vocabulary”-a taxonomy or framework that facilitates identifying the relation between a product’s features and one’s evaluation of the product. In the absence of such a vocabulary, consumers’ understanding of their own preferences will require more extensive experience and may never fully develop. The effect of such a vocabulary is tested in two experiments in which subjects provided with a vocabulary (1) exhibit better-defined and more consistent preferences than control subjects, (2) show improved cue discovery, and (3) show learning (i.e., increases in consistency over time). All results hold regardless of the functional form of the model used to assess subjects’ preference formation.



Does a Persona Improve Creativity?


Inclusion of Other in the Self (IOS) scale (Aron et al., 1992)



The purpose of this study was to test whether the priming of a brainstorming task by a persona increases ideational fluency and originality, i.e. the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of creative performance. We conducted a preliminary (n = 18) and final (n = 32) experiment with international students of business. These experiments revealed that priming of brainstorming by a persona increases originality of ideas by a large effect size (Cohen’s d = .91, p = .02), and not significantly ideational fluency by a medium effect size (Cohen’s d = .33, p = .39). As an alternative explanation to empathy, the found creativity effect may be attributed to priming that retrieves related memory items and thereby facilitates idea generation. As practical implications, design thinking practitioners can expect more original ideas and overcome design fixation if they brainstorm on a persona which is modelled in a concise and consistent way that caters to understanding the user need.


empathy, persona, creativity, originality, ideational fluency, brainstorming, brainwriting, design methodology, design thinking, design research