Home arrow Consumer Psychology arrow Psychographic Segmentation  
Psychographic Segmentation
Geographic and demographic variables traditionally have been the major variables for segmenting markets. Nevertheless, there may be considerable psychographic (social class, personality, and lifestyle) differences among the people within a given geographic or demographic group. In psychographic segmentation the market is divided on the basis of social class, personality characteristics, and/or lifestyles.

You can donwload excellent powerpoint slides on marketing management and business strategy here.

The different characteristics and wants of people in the different classes make social class a useful basis for segmenting markets such as those for liquor, furniture, financial services, cars, clothing, hotels, and leisure activities. Retailers, especially, often use social class in segmenting their markets. Prestige department stores, for example, cater to the upper classes while discount department stores and retailers like Family Dollar target the lower classes.

Marketers who use social class to segment a market build in product features, design advertisements, furnish stores, and develop the other elements of their marketing mixes to appeal to people in targeted social classes. For example, General Wine & Spirits Company has used the ad slogan "What the rich give the wealthy" in promoting its Royal Salute Scotch whiskey.

When marketers attempt to segment markets by personality variables, they try to offer brands whose images (or "brand personalities") will appeal to the consumer personalities they identify. Typical breakdowns include compulsive, competitive, extroverted, gregarious, authoritarian, ambitious, and aggressive. Banks that promote themselves as "friendly" and whose customer service personnel are instructed to call customers by their first names are trying to appeal to gregarious people. Some cosmetics marketers and some mutual funds target aggressive individuals.

Although some studies have suggested a link between several personality characteristics and buyer behavior, the results of many studies have not been conclusive. Nevertheless, some marketers, as indicated above, try to divide markets on the basis of personality, believing that personality does influence what products and brands individual consumers buy.

Lifestyle segmentation is a more recent method of identifying aspects of people's lives that affect their buying behavior. It involves asking respondents to indicate how strongly they agree or disagree with a series of statements (perhaps twenty to twenty-five pages of statements) pertaining to their activities, interests, and opinions (called AIO statements). By analyzing their responses, the marketer can determine if there are distinctive groupings of consumers. If groupings do exist, the marketer has a lifestyle profile of the consumers in each group. The marketer gains a better understanding of consumers' lifestyles, how the purchase of a product fits in with their lifestyles, what other products they might buy, and what types of advertising themes might appeal to them. Merchants such as Stuarts Department Stores who target low-income people know their customers' lifestyles inside out, including their shopping habits. The merchants know, for example, that these people do not buy seasonal merchandise until the weather breaks.

You can download excellent powerpoint slides on Marketing Strategy and Marketing Management HERE.

Source of Reference:
Albert Loudon and David Della Britta, Consumer Behavior : Concepts and Applications, , McGraw Hill. You can obtain this fine book here

You can download powerpoint slide on marketing management here.