In our discussions of personas, we often get tripped up by the terms archetype and stereotype. They are so similar, can they be used interchangably? I know I have mixed them up many times.
My dictionary isn't completely clear on the difference but my interpretation is:
- an archetype is used to inform;
- a stereotype is used to demean.
So, a persona is an archetype (but not a stereotype) for the ideal user and buyer of our products.
For more on personas, check out my article on Buyer and User Personas. Also read Adele's blog and blog.