During our blog post, “How Do You Create A Perfect Buyer Persona?” we briefly touched on anti-buyer personas. We wanted to take some time now and explain this type of persona better for you.

What is an Anti-Buyer Persona and How To Use It?

So you have found some success from knowing who your target audience is. And you may have already taken the time to create an ideal buyer personas for your business. In fact, you might have more than one persona. But it may be time to start looking at building an Anti-Buyer Persona. You may have also heard it referred to as a negative persona. There is a very key difference between this type of normal persona and an anti-buyer persona. In this case, we’re focusing on creating someone who would be outside of your target audience.

Why Create an Anti-Buyer Persona?

Why Create an Anti Buyer Persona

Most businesses are not able to properly service or sell to everyone. Often, what you’re selling is going to be directed to certain people. An example would be if you were a large-scale marketing company, with multi-million dollar clients. You are not going to try and sell your services to a company that only has a marketing budget of $500 per month.

Anti-personas enable you to better present yourself and your products to increase transparency for your customers. It can help to eliminate any misconceptions and change how you market your products or services to your target customer. This is done by helping you figure out who you can’t serve, or who you might not satisfy.

The challenge is that customers who aren’t in your target market could still make reach out to you, not knowing what you have to offer isn’t a good fit for them. This can lead to frustration, unhappy customers or clients, and even wasted time on sales calls and communications.

Example of Targeted Marketing: Apple

Let’s take a look at a detailed example, to ensure you have a solid understanding of how you can use an anti-buyer persona.

High-End Products

Apple sells their 512GB iPhone 12 Pro Max at $1,959 before tax. When you look at how they market this phone. They focus on the specifications, the high-end camera and photo editing software. They do this because their target audience for that phone is someone who is going to be using it for these features. These users are also willing to pay for the extra features. The phone isn’t designed and priced for the casual user looking for a phone for texting and watching videos. If they had promoted it as an ordinary phone, for $2,000 and appropriate for amazing text messaging and phone calls, they would probably experience some unhappy customers. Instead, Apple essentially identified a way to deter customers from spending nearly $2,000 on a phone by focusing on the advanced features this phone is capable of offering. The anti-persona can clearly see this phone isn’t for them, since it focuses on features that don’t resonate with their needs.

Casual User Product

Apply also market a more cost-effective phone, the 64GB iPhone 12. This phone is marketed in an entirely different way. It has all the features a casual user would ever need. Most of the product pages for this device focuse on the colors the phone is available in. How light and thin but durable it is. The marketing even focuses on what accessories Apple recommends when customizing the appearance of the phone. It does touch on the camera and some of its features. But, those features are nowhere near as spotlighted as what’s shared when promoting the iPhone 12 Pro. And when you finally click on the “buy” page, you are not greeted by a four-digit price. Rather, you’re provided with payment plan options. This shows the prospective buyer how affordable it is.

You might not be targeting multiple levels of customers, like Apple does. But you can see how they have targeted their customers through specific marketing. They have identified what their target market would be looking for. As well as what might deter them away from buying the product that wasn’t designed with them in mind.

What is an Anti-Buyer Persona and How To Use It? Click To Tweet

Please Note

Going forward we are going to assume that you have read and created your own perfect buyer persona. It is a very helpful blog post in helping someone identify and gather the information needed for building a persona. We are also going to be using the same research provided, which is still current and relevant. If you think it may be outdated, it would be a good idea to gather up-to-date information.

Anti-Persona ConceptInformation for your Persona

Using the same information that you would use to identify your target audience, we can determine who is outside your target audience, but at a more specific level. Stating the obvious factors is not going to be very helpful. If you are looking to market your new high-end racing car tires simply identifying someone who doesn’t own a car isn’t going to make your marketing better.

The best Anti-Buyer persona is someone who thinks that they might be in your target audience, but they are not. Or at least not now. As you get more specific with who your product is not for, the easier it is to market it to your ideal target.

With the data you’ve gathered during your research, we can start looking at the differences between your customers. We should also looking for any outlying information. An anti-persona should look very similar to whom you would build a persona for, but they are missing at least one critical attribute.

As you get more specific with who your product is not for, the easier it is to market it to your ideal target. #antipersona #buyerpersona #JLM Click To Tweet

Buyer Persona Considerations

As a reminder, ask yourself these questions when considering who your perfect buyer persona is:

  • What are their likes and dislikes?
  • What are the challenges they are facing?
  • Who influences their decisions?
  • How would your product solve their problems?

But now, while creating the anti-persona, we need to ask the following very important question:

  • How would your product NOT solve their problems?

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Below is the information we would apply to both the persona and the anti-persona?

  • Name
  • Age
  • Location
  • What Industry they work in
  • Job Title and Responsibilities
  • Their Goals
  • Their Frustrations
  • What they are interested in
  • Brands they prefer
  • Social Media they use
  • Who do they follow?
  • What are they influenced by?
  • What would they post on Social Media?
  • Breaking Point
  • Buying Trigger

While most of the steps in creating your Anti-Buyer persona are similar to a Perfect Persona we need to identify why our product is not the solution to their problems. From your research, you may have noticed common frustrations or breaking points amongst them. These could be what you build on of why they are not your target customer. It could be the price or lack of functionality that make it so they aren’t your target audience. It is important to take the time and work with your team to identify what could make them a bad fit.

Steps to Creating an Anti-Buyer

Steps to TakeHere are the general steps we recommend following when creating your anti-buyer persona:

  1. Create your primary perfect personas
  2. List all attributes of each of your current personas
  3. Rank the attributes of your persons by the importance of what makes them your target audience.
  4. Start at the highest-ranked attribute and consider, “If this attribute changed, would this persona still be our customer?”
  5. If the answer to the attribute in Step 4 is “yes,” and the change would cause the persona not to be your customer, you have identified a potential anti-persona, as they are no longer in your target audience.

While these steps are a generalization, it is important to be as specific as possible when creating any type of persona.

Hopefully, this has provided you with more information on the steps to creating your own anti-buyer persona and how to use them to help build your targeted marketing initiatives. And if you need help creating a persona, or anti-persona, let us know. We would be happy to assist with this. You can connect with our team via our contact page, or the contact form below.


Joshua Lyons Marketing, LLC was established in 2015. Since that time we have provided digital marketing services to business and professionals. We help our clients increase their online exposure as a means to increase sales and revenue. Our core services include search engine optimization (SEO), website development and content creation. We also provide other online marketing services, such as email marketing, marketing consultations and various types of advertising. Our team is based in the Milton, Pace and Pensacola, Florida area. However, we work with clients throughout the United States. Read More



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