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Identifying a set of line manager personas to guide new product introduction strategy

Karla Straker (The University of Sydney, Australia)
Genevieve Mosely (The University of Sydney, Australia)
Cara Wrigley (The University of Sydney, Australia)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 16 July 2019

Issue publication date: 23 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new strategic management tool – the reverse persona. In doing so, the methods, use and benefits documented from a case study with a global franchisee organization are presented.


This tool was derived from working with a global franchisee organization sought to design and launch a new product into the market. The reverse persona was deployed through n=14 qualitative interviews with franchisee owners were conducted to understand their perceptions of customers, awareness and concern of competition and their willingness to take risks. These insights were collated to develop reverse personas for the senior leadership team within the organization.


Changing the scope of personas from external customers to internal employee development, can further strengthen the method’s effectiveness in decision-making and strategic management, particularly for the implementation and roll out of new products.

Practical implications

In the case study, the senior leadership team saw the manager persona as a strategic aid to, “Help target the implementation of new products in stores, select franchise owners for potential new roles and to deeply understand the motivations, challenges and attributes of their middle management contributing to the competitive advantage of the organisation.”


This article is the first to explore the use of personas for internal strategic planning use within a company.



Straker, K., Mosely, G. and Wrigley, C. (2019), "Identifying a set of line manager personas to guide new product introduction strategy", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 47 No. 4, pp. 34-42.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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