Variables of Segmentation: Consumer Markets

There are two types of the markets- consumer markets and industrial market. Consumer markets are those markets where the ultimate consumers for their personal use purchase the products. In Industrial markets, the goods and services are purchased for use directly or indirectly in the production of other goods and services for resale.
Marketers use different variables for market segmentation.
The variables of dividing the consumer markets can be placed in two broad categories. One is Consumer background characteristics, which include Geographical, Demographical, Psychographical & General Life-style variables. Another is consumer’s market history, which includes product usage, product benefit and Decision process.
Here is a brief discussion about them:
Consumer background characteristics:
  1. Geographical variables: The geographic segmentation is the oldest, most basic and most conventional way of segmenting the markets. The variables included in geographical segmentation are Region of product distribution, Cultural differences, languages, accessibility to the target market, mobility of the consumers and so son …
  2. Demographic Variables: Demographic features of the markets are also basic variables of market segmentation. Demographic variables include the Age, Sex, Income, Educational level, Social status etc.
  3. Psychographic Variables: The psychographic variables include the personality traits, perception, and attitudes, Reference Groups like family and friend circles, and Social roles of the consumers.
  4. General Lifestyle Variables: General lifestyle provides a multidimensional profile of the consumers and deal with the general way of life of the consumers. The represent a correlation of demographic, geographic and psychographic variables.

Consumer’s Market History:

  1. Product Usage: The market can be segmented based upon the product usage. For example, the market can be divided into heavy, medium, light and non-users of a particular product or service. The variables can be use, Brand loyalty and attitude of the consumer towards a product. It also involves the durability and no durability of a product.
  2. Product benefit: Product benefit variables are used in product positioning as well. This variable includes expectations of product performance, the needs which are fulfilled by the product, brand perception, brand satisfaction etc.
  3. Consumer decision process: This variable segment the markets based upon sensitivity to the markets, shopping patterns, Product information searches etc.
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