The Scarlet “S” of Segmentation

The Scarlet “S” of Segmentation

September 17, 2013

Looking at how brands affect our subconscious thoughts and feelings provide refreshing insights for all marketers who want to better understand what makes you, me, and the rest of the world tick. Not just for profit but for the sheer fun of getting to know ourselves and our customers as human beings. We are not Affluent Singles, or (my favorite horror) DINKS, meaning Double Income No Kids. These kinds of pigeon holes are artificial designations, known as “segmentations,” to make marketing seem easier, but they lump us into amorphous masses that simply do not align with the way we think of ourselves, our families, or friends and neighbors.

“Empty Nesters” is a funny example of what seems like a convenient marketing shortcut segment that takes us down the wrong path. Getting the kids out of the house and out of college and launched on careers might have the advantage of cutting down on expenses so that good old mom and dad can go sailing in their forty-foot yacht or travel on a long wished for African safari in what insurance companies like to portray as the golden years of retirement. It might also signal the unattractive prospect of a future life of lonely dinners at home or the unpleasant prospect of declining health in a not-too-distant old age. Empty nesting could be delightful one day and awful the next. One company we know of even coined the term “Postmenopausal Empty Nesters.” Can you imagine people thinking of themselves in such a way? It’s objectionable, misleading and insulting—hardly a good way to approach a prospective customer.

Are you guilty of segmenting your customers? Do you wear the scarlet “S” of segmentation? Has segmentation worked for you? Please share your experiences with segmentation here or on Twitter and include #howdoesitmakeyoufeel #HDIMYF.

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Daryl’s new book, How Does It Make You Feel? Why Emotion Wins The Battle of Brands, will be available for purchase digitally this month on Amazon. Follow HDIMYF updates on Twitter @BTCEO and @Brandtrust®!

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