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Zombie Persona

. Dennis Schleicher

Zombie Persona

“Zach” 22, male Slow Zombie (shambling)


Zach is a former college student in his early 20s. He was into beekeeping, science fiction, and making fun of Vampire Goths before being bitten. Zach was middle class, ate out 2/3 of the time at various fast food outlets, had 2 credit cards and one bank card he used for various purchases, drove a ’94 yellow Geo Storm. Zach thought the baseball bat was an adequate defense against zombies, and had moderate success fending them off one by one. An attack en masse overwhelmed his meager defenses, and now he identifies strongly with the Living Dead (Shambler) demographic.

Home setting

Zach is a wanderer by nature, never settling in one place for very long, constantly drawn by his Needs ( see below ). Because of this, home setting descriptions are difficult to articulate.


To consume. That is, to consume living human tissue ( Ewww ). He is drawn mostly by sound, as his other forms of perception have been hampered by his condition. This motivation is constant, powerful.


Extreme accessibility issues; Zach can’t use a mouse, computer, or even a door handle. To facilitate the retail experience for Zach, a physical Personal Shopper would be required. The storefront would need to be ADA compliant, as Zach can’t climb stairs and might have difficulty navigating an escalator. Digital manipulation as fine as going through pockets or a wallet would be beyond Zach, so further assistance in purchasing experiences would be required for Zach.

Buying habits

Minimal; the living dead have few needs, except as mentioned above. This is not to say that they do not have varying amounts of cash on hand. Zach would likely have money not slated for anything in particular, so this disposable income could be sought targeted by various inventive marketing efforts.

Online familiarity/activity

In his current state, Zach is incapable of even rudimentary decision making, and no online activity. Extreme facilitation as detailed under “Needs” would be required.

Marketing, Engagement, and Retention

While online promotions and incentives would likely be ineffective with Zach, the herd mentality is strong. Simply running a Craftsman Circular Saw or using two sets of Elmo Tickle Me Hands at the entryway of a store would be enough to bring Zach and others of his demographic inside the store. Once in the store, Zach and his cohorts would spend great lengths of time there, until forcibly removed. To re-engage, the same marketing methods outlined above ( making loud noises ) should prove fruitful every time with Zach.

Key verticals

Shoes, Beauty, Outdoor Living.

The user research to create this persona was done by Pete Simon here at SHC.


At 11/18/2009 10:36:00 AM, Blogger Michael Etgen said...

Pete - I believe I've spotted Zach in a number of places. His current job seems to be the IT administrator for our internal instant messaging service, since I can't imagine any living person managing it like it is now.

I'll make sure to look out for him in other places too though, since he's such a wanderer, I assume he must change jobs frequently. If and when I see him again, I'll be sure to let you know so you can update your persona.

- Michael


At 11/19/2009 10:30:00 AM, Blogger Praveen Verma said...

This is hilarious. Please allow me to use this persona if I ever designed shopping experiences for zombies :)


At 11/19/2009 12:32:00 PM, Blogger Anoop Jayakumar said...

interesting! :)


At 10/23/2010 04:02:00 PM, Blogger Pete said...



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