Our first assignment for Design Thinking, a class focused on design process & methods. Each team was given a local store and tasked with compiling a buyer persona based on user-centered research methods.
My team was given Switch Skate & Snow:
Our team brainstormed strategies to zero in on Switch customers: who are they? why do they shop at this store? What are their buying motivations? Tricia interviewed the owner and talked with her skateboarding teenage son. Amira interviewed undergrads and friends who longboard, and a professor who shops at Switch. I “mined the web & social media” collecting photos and reviews.
We then met to synthesize our findings. We found four customer types from our research: (1) the teenage boy, aged 10-15, (2) the college age guy, aged 18-20, (3) the college age girl, age 18-22, and (4) adult skateboarders, age 28+. The first two categories were evinced from interviews. The college girl category felt like an aspirational customer, one desired by the store owners and visible mainly in Switch’s Twitter feed. Young women may be fashion & trend conscious and spend their discretionary income on clothing & accessories, but Switch does not seem to attract this market as a core customer base. The last category are adult skateboarders – this category reflects skateboarders that were a part of this subculture in their youth or have continued to skate as adults. This category reflects the owners and staff of Switch, their friends and peers.
Our synthesis – visual brainstorming and storytelling
Based on our research, the core customer of Switch and the one to which Switch is most directly appealing is teenage boys. This customer, once hooked, is hopefully a customer for life – through high school, college, and again with their kids. This is our persona composite: