A New Consumer Segmentation Approach: From Attitudinal To Aspirational

A New Consumer Segmentation Approach: From Attitudinal To Aspirational

Segmenting consumers with aspirational visual projection techniques, not just words.

We often hear our clients lament the 300 page “segmentation learnings” deck that fails to illuminate and ends up sitting on the shelf, unused. Nowhere is this more true than for image-driven brands for whom aspiration is hard to express in words and attitudes alone.

“Who is our current consumer? And who do we want our consumers to be in the future?” These questions have never been more important as brands look to understand and inspire their consumers while managing their equity across multiple media models, distribution channels and price-points.

Traditionally, consumer segmentation has been driven mainly by usage or involvement – a view of consumer types that led to predictable results with every brand in a company’s portfolio – and even entire industries – going after the same 1 to 2 “high value, high involvement” consumers.

Now, a new consumer segmentation approach uses highly creative visual projection techniques to segment consumers based on image – exploring how consumers wish to be seen, versus who they are.

This technique goes beyond single-word, single-visual inputs, to create a broad-ranging set of aspirational consumer “facets”, each with a tailored verbal and visual component that is custom-developed by category. The real unlock comes from pairing this highly intuitive, aspirational stimulus—the facets—with a discrete choice methodology that forces a true consumer ranking of the facets, resulting in an honest and complete picture of the person they wish to project. Through this process, each consumer essentially creates a multi-dimensional virtual collage of themselves that ladders up to a rich, fully-expressed vision of each segment rather than a flat range of consumer types. Part of the power of the methodology is that it operates on a subconscious level to draw out deeply emotional, nuanced insights traditional segmentations simply can’t access.

With these new tools, we can now decode aspiration: breaking down the exact motivations and desires that drive each consumer segment, while providing detailed verbal and visual insights brands can action directly in equity, communication and innovation work. In fact, the stimulus used to express these facets typically becomes a verbal-visual language the entire organization—from creative to finance—can use to shape strategy.

More specifically, this new consumer segmentation approach delivers real results, guiding company and brand strategy in everything from positioning to innovation to M&A:

POSITIONING – Develop or refine brand positioning to truly align with consumer aspirations

CREATIVE – Design inspirational creative that leads the creative dialogue with consumers

MESSAGING – Tailor brand communication for the right tone and level of detail to capture consumers where they spend their time, both virtually and in the real world

INNOVATION – Prioritize resources and create an action plan for product development

RETAIL STRATEGY – Identify shopping influences, buying patterns and preferences

PORTFOLIO STRATEGY – Determine aspirational targets for each portfolio brand and define white space M&A opportunity for new brands


This new segmentation approach can bring unique insights to all industries, but is particularly valuable for image-driven brands where badge value plays an important role, in industries such as fashion, personal care, alcohol and beverages to name a few.

consumer segmentation approach, new consumer segmentation approach, brand positioning

To learn more about aspirational segmentation contact us at 203-276-6262 or email: info@fletcherknight.com.

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