Brand Strategy and Segmentation.


There is no segmentation in brand strategy. There are segments. There are segment priorities.

This I learned from Peter Kim, while he was the strategy head at McCann-Erickson in the 90s. On the iteration of the brief he pulled together at the time – which I still use today – Mr. Kim talked about understanding all target audiences. As we know, it’s a big world out there and many targets purchase and influence purchase. In Mr. Kim’s rigor, once you understood all the different targets, it was time to “remassify” them into one target. From that one mass target he asked you to determine a shared attitude or care-about all would agree upon.

One might think this could create an opportunity to water down the care-about. And it may…but only if you let it. Brand planners have to prioritize at this point. They may have to hold one part of the target more sales-sacred. Brands touch everyone. No one should be left behind.

Segmentation studies make it so one focuses the brand claim on the most likely buyer. But in branding we try to speak to the masses. Segmentation comes later once the brand strategy is cooked.