Someone asked this on Quora and thought I’d share my answer with you here as well:
What’s the significance of buyer personas?
And here was my answer (no cooking connections this time):
Imagine you and your friend are going fishing.
He knows where the most fish will be, you don’t.
He knows what kind of fish will be there, you don’t.
He knows what kind of bait he’ll use to catch that fish, you don’t.
He knows what to do with the fish once it bites, you don’t.
And he knows how to cook that fish to make it the best meal you’ll ever eat, while you would probably just toss it on the pan (hey, not a bad way either).
Your friend has all the info he needs to make your fishing trip an awesome experience, while you’ll probably end up frustrated and feel like it was a waste of time.
That’s the significance of buyer personas.
They give you all the information you need to successfully move forward with your business plan.
By the way, buyer persona or customer avatar, same thing. And you can always use this guide to help you creating one for your business (or a friend).