For strategic planners of a certain stripe (read brand planners) segmentation is not just about physical characteristics, e.g., purchase frequency, amount purchased, price sensitivity. It’s about psychological characteristics. If one tries to pattern people into motivational, psycho-social and cultural groupings, things begin to look different. It is these patterns that provide insights that help create more impactful marketing ideas.
Let’s look at education a little differently. Here are three different student segments. First Impoverished in Body. Those who live in Karachi or Rio or Dharavi….or in crazy poverty in the U.S. Students who worship the ability to learn and better themselves. Kids starved for education, inspiration and opportunity. They sit at the front of the class and shush the other kids. At the other end of the spectrum live the Silver Spoon Kids of Privilege. Bred to succeed, sired for $40,000 a year private high schools, loved and nurtured to be better earners. And in the middle, the third segment, the Public School Majority. What’s the opposite of a Tiger Mom? These kids float through school not to prepare for the future, but because the bus picks them up. No idea about major, a modicum of pride in grades, education for them is not a tool but a pass time. Sports and booty rule the day. (There are a lot of grays I missed, yo understando, but these are okay brackets.)
These segments are palpable. Alive. Rich. Worthy of deep thought for marketing minds. If you are Staples or St. John’s University, Apple or JanSport how do you think about your consumers? And their parents. Segment different. Peace.