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How Consumer Segmentation Can Help Brands Navigate the Changing Consumer Landscape

Lisa Holmes Profile Picture
Lisa Holmes Bio
Jana Rude Profile Picture
Jana Rude Bio

In an ever-changing political, social and digital world, you need a consumer-centric strategy to be successful.

Consumer segmentation is a powerful tool that helps you better understand and appeal to your target market. If you have buyer personas or an initial definition of your ideal audience, consumer survey data can be a useful starting point. These insights give you the ability to quantify the size of target segments and differentiate consumer behaviour.

You may already look at industry-focused surveys for this segmentation, but those results won’t likely paint a full picture. A better approach: drawing from broader surveys containing consumer habits and preferences across varying areas of life to put your target segments in context.

Why is that a better approach? Because you need to understand far more than just how consumers engage with your own product or category. You also need to recognise how those fit into larger consumer values, lifestyles and habits in order to enable growth and mitigate risks.

Four consumer segmentations

There are four core consumer segmentations: geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioural. To get started with this analysis, you should know which consumer segmentation is the best fit.

Focusing on geographic and demographic consumer segmentations is a common approach for companies but can give a skewed view of consumers’ daily habits and long-term lifestyle choices.

Take segmentation a step further. Consider buying behaviours, lifestyle habits and attitudes of your ideal audience. That way, you can develop better products, marketing campaigns, sales strategies and growth initiatives that resonate with customers on a deeper level.

Eight types of consumers to target

To help you expand your customer base and reach prospective buyers, we examined thousands of behavioural indicators from our annual Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey to segment consumers into eight types.

Global Consumer Types

  • Balanced Optimist
  • Cautious Planner
  • Conservative Homebody
  • Empowered Activist
  • Impulsive Spender
  • Minimalist Seeker
  • Secure Traditionalist
  • Undaunted Striver

This segmentation is based on psychographics, profiling distinct personality-driven traits. Changes in attitudes and habits can be tracked in our annual Consumer Types series. You’ll get valuable insight into consumer wants and needs; plus, a breakdown of their demographics and path to purchase for each type.

Get our free white paper and start targeting the right audience with the right tactics: 8 Types of Consumers for Targeted Marketing.

Editor’s note: This article was published in May 2021 and has been updated.

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