Can behavior and attitude variables be used to group consumers according to needs or responses that differ by benefits expected, usage, user and loyalty status, attitudes and price sensitivity?

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Karyth Cara | College Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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Since your question is simply "Can behavior and attitude variables be used to group consumers according to" various factors, the answer is, yes, consumer behavior and attitude variables can be used for such groupings. For a more thorough answer: and consumer behavior and attitude variables are indeed so used for groupings according to varying factors. The practice and process of arranging these groupings is called "market segmentation," also called "market segment analysis." 

Market segmentation is the process by which groups that are similar are identified and targeted. Market segmentation, or "segmentation," organizes groups of consumers based on the similarity in their needs, their attitudes and their desires. Segmentation may result in several different kinds of groupings, such as:

  • groups segmented by demographic data
  • groups segmented by geographic location
  • groups segmented by product or service needs
  • groups segmented by sensitivity to price
  • groups segmented by psychographics and lifestyles

Market segmentation proceeds on the concepts of understanding different consumer needs; understanding how consumers decide about different products; and understanding how segment groups differ from one another, for example, how demographically and geographically segmented groups differ from each other or how groups segmented by lifestyle differ from groups segmented by price sensitivity.

From this definition, it is clear that behavior and attitude (e.g., behavior and attitude equate with needs, lifestyle, demographic) can be used to group--or segment--consumers by need and responses (e.g., needs and responses equate with geographic and psychographics). Can these be effectively broken down into specific differentiators?:

  • benefits expected
  • usage
  • user status and loyalty status
  • attitudes
  • price sensitivity

Starting at the bottom of the list, price sensitivity is one of the standard market segmentation (or grouping) categories: "groups segmented by sensitivity to price." Attitudes clearly falls under "groups segmented by psychographics and lifestyles" as well as "groups segmented by demographic and geographic" data and area. User status and loyalty status fall under "groups segmented by product or service needs" and "sensitivity to price," "lifestyle," "psychographics," and "demographic and geographic" data and area. Usage is very much like user status and loyalty status since it can be a differentiator in any one of the five standard segmentation (grouping) categories above. Since benefits expected expresses attitude with usage, it too can be a differentiator in any one of the five categories from "groups segmented by psychographics and lifestyles" to "groups segmented by demographic data."

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