Psychographic Segmentation: Characteristics and Examples

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The Different Factors of Psychographic Market Segmentation

If you are in business, it becomes indispensable for you to know the taste and preferences of your target market. If you know your customers better, there are increased chances that you will be able to customize your products or services exactly the way they want it. Psychographic segmentation segregates prospective consumers on the basis of their personalities, lifestyles, interests, activities and other related factors. This sort of market segmentation is done in order to cater to the consumers with similar tastes and preferences and offer them something that they value. Every consumer has different psychographic make-up. Understanding this make-up, analyzing the prevailing differences and grouping consumers on the basis of their mutually shared characteristics mark the commencement of psychographic segmentation. 

Normally, marketers use this type of segmentation when a service or product is offered to a heterogeneous market where consumers have different demographics. The main objective of this segmentation is to consider the ‘not so visible’ characteristics like attitudes, interests, activities and personality traits etc. while grouping consumers. 

Examples of Psychographic Segmentation

The different factors or variables of psychographic market segmentation are categorized into various types. It’s up to the companies to decide which factor will be advantageous for them on the basis of their needs, products and/or services and specific market campaign. Let’s discuss about some of the most commonly used psychographic segmentation variables. 

Personality Based Segmentation

This variable is dependent on two other factors of consumer: 

  1. Lifestyle
  2. Social class

A personality with rich taste and preference will have the purchasing power to keep up an affluent lifestyle. Dressing up lavishly is a personality trait; an individual who loves to dress up lavishly, will require purchasing power to support this personality trait and due to high purchasing power, will lead a lifestyle that will support his/her personality. This kind of marketing strategy is often used by brands for targeting different personalities.  

Example: Bike brand Harley Davidson targets physically well-built and masculine personalities who are inclined towards a rough lifestyle. Companies often rely on personality types to target consumers. This kind of segmentation needs comprehensive and deep study of consumers as this factor is not tangible in nature. 

1a. Lifestyle Based Psychographic Segmentation

This is the most common and famous type of psychographic market segmentation used by companies. Every person has a different sense of dressing style that depends on their lifestyle and taste. Apparel brands make use of this type of segmentation to target consumers based on their stage of lifestyle: whether they are school going children, college going adolescents, office going professionals, housewives or retired people. Marketers also take into account one more crucial lifestyle aspect i.e. whether the consumer is an urban or rural inhabitant.  

Examples: D-Mart and Big Bazaar present the most relevant examples of such kind of market segmentation in India. Discount stores like Big Bazaar and D-Mart target middle-class budget savvy consumers who intend to save money at every given place and time. Owing to psychographic segmentation and after studying the past and present customer trends, Big Bazaar designs messages like Isse Sasta Aur Achcha Kahi Nahiand ‘Spencer’s Retail’ the Kolkata based chain of retail stores comes with a taglineMakes Fine Living Affordable”.  “Daily Discounts Daily Savings..!!!” is the tagline of the retail group ‘D Mart’ andValue for moneyis the tagline of ‘Vishal Retail Group’. All this is done to target those consumers who prefer discounted goods for saving money. If we consider the case of Walmart, we can see the messages likeSpecial Discounted Online Offersand Unbeatable Priceswhich are again targeted at budget savvy customers. Because these messages resonate with their target audience, it becomes easier for them to strike the right cord with their consumers and reach out to them in a more efficient and well-organized manner. 

1b. Psychographic Segmentation Based on Social Class:

Consumers in any given market belong to different social classes. Social class of an individual is determined by his/her purchasing power and it is further affected by the background of the individual. An individual’s earning and spending habits influence the social class of a person. Any individual will buy to retain his/her social class.

Premium branded companies like TAG Heuer, Omega, Longines, Rado, Tissot, Balmain, Gucci and other similar brands have positioned themselves in a different segment. These premium brands target the high class social segment because this segment has the purchasing power to purchase the products of these companies and individuals from this particular segment will buy expensive premium branded items to maintain their social class. Companies who devise and structure their marketing strategies on the basis of social class are required to consider lifestyle of the target audience too as a crucial factor apart from social class.

Psychographic Segmentation Based on Attitude:

Attitude or value of the consumer is another significant variable of psychographic segmentation. Every individual is having a different kind of mindset, attitude, belief and attitude. All these attributes are gradually but steadily shaped by our culture, surroundings and upbringing etc.; needless to say that all these influences further define our attitude towards different things, events and behaviors. If an individual comes from a conservative background, he/she will carry certain aspects in their attitudes throughout their lives. This will restrain them from purchasing any product that challenges or contradicts those beliefs, irrespective of their lifestyle or social class.

Psychographic Segmentation Based on Marital Status and Family

This kind of psychographic market segmentation includes marital status based segmentation. Products like baby food, baby diapers, baby soap, baby lotion and other baby products target married individuals who are potential buyers for such products. 

Family in advertising has become a prominent symbol. In the year 2018, Johnson’s baby launched a new campaign –Choose Gentlethat was aimed at millennial parents. It came with the concepts of co-parenting and sharing equal responsibilities. This campaign was shot with 44 real families – daddies, mommies, siblings and grandparents. This fabulous campaign was targeting families and also giving a message that the brand keeps on moving forward with changing times.

The crux of the story is that such brands segment their products towards married individuals, who are expected to purchase these products. We can discuss another example: Nestle, Cerelac, which always depicts the environs of a warm family house, where the parents feed their child the product to facilitate healthy growth. This setting is conceptualized to target married couples who are the main target audience for the company. 

Psychographic Segmentation Based on Education

Education has emerged as one of the crucial segmentation factors. Several brands who are offering edible products, market their products highlighting the health related benefits of their products. It’ done to target educated individuals who will understand the significance of the feature or quality offered and go to purchase it. 

Let’s understand it through the example of Saffola edible oil in India. The company started marketing its product showing its benefits and a healthy lifestyle. 

Saffola shifted its marketing strategy from scare to care. Earlier it was using the fear of heart diseases to market its products but later it started rebranding as the ‘oil that will keep your heart healthy’. As there was no awareness of heart health, Saffola used fear and people bought it. But now with the entire country having a consciousness of health and gym culture, it’s the precise transition and Saffola continues to be the undisputed leader in premium health oil. 

However, all these things can be understood only by educated people.  Obviously, using the same technique will not be as effective in rural areas as inhabitants of rural areas might not be educated enough to understand the benefits.