Whether you are determining your place in the market or preparing for a corporate rebrand, you’ll more than likely need market research. An organization’s market can be analyzed in a variety of ways: you will want to look at who your customers are (demographics), as well as what their opinions, attitudes, and behaviors are (psychographics), etc. While looking at this information is extremely valuable, it is often difficult to make sense of the results if they are not tied together in a meaningful way.
For that reason, a segmentation analysis is highly recommended for any major branding research efforts. Segmentation utilizes a combination of psychographic and demographic components of surveying, as well as usage and attitudes toward the product or service. This results in an analysis that allows you to not only understand who these segments are demographically and how they behave, but also provides a clearer picture of how you can effectively communicate with these segments and meet their individual needs. You will understand what portion of the total market your customers represent, how they behave and think, AND how they perceive and use your products or services.
There are two very important components of a sound and useful segmentation study:
- An ample data set to analyze
- A questionnaire that provides actionable results and makes it easier to group respondents into differentiated segments.
A psychographic segmentation is based upon analyzing numerous variables including consumer attitudes, values, behaviors, emotions, perceptions, and interests. Identifying the proper segmentation variables is critical. Segmentation questionnaires can be long; therefore, you have to make the best use of the time you have and choose your attributes carefully by asking the right questions, the ones that have the most meaning to your subjects, AND that are most likely to be actionable for you.
The segmentation study can be of strategic value to you not only for immediately targeting consumers, but also for use in future research. A “typing tool,” a shortened set of questions from the segmentation questionnaire plus an algorithm that classifies consumers into existing segments, can be created rather than making new respondents complete the full segmentation questionnaire. For example, if focus groups need to be conducted, the typing tool questions can be included in the screener to classify participants into their respective segments.
After you’ve completed a segmentation study, you will have a clearer picture of how to reach out to your target market. This will allow you to have a strategic approach to reposition your brand to improve your overall performance.
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