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A consumer-oriented segmentation study in the Swiss wine market

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Purpose ‐ The main objectives of this study are to develop a comprehensive questionnaire and to analyze the nature of wine market segments. Past research has focused on involvement, lifestyle or motives as segmentation criteria. The present study seeks to combine all three perspectives. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A postal paper-and-pencil survey was sent out randomly using addresses from the telephone book in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, resulting in a final sample size of n=929. Findings ‐ A principal component analysis identified 17 factors with satisfactory reliability coefficients. Using factor scores, a hierarchical cluster analysis was run, resulting in six wine consumer segments. These segments were further analyzed and described as: the price-conscious wine consumer; the involved, knowledgeable wine consumer; the image-oriented wine consumer; the indifferent wine consumer; the basic wine consumer; and the enjoyment-oriented, social wine consumer. Research limitations/implications ‐ The methodology used to identify the wine consumer segments was exploratory. It is recommended that future work should continue to develop and validate such a methodology for the wine industry. Practical implications ‐ Wine producers and marketers should appreciate that there are different segments of wine consumers. The information provided by this research is useful for marketers who seek to gain a competitive advantage through differentiation. Originality/value ‐ This paper contributes to the academic literature by presenting a useful extension to the available segmentation literature. Combining different approaches for segmenting a market proved to be a fruitful method in identifying wine consumer segments.

Keywords: Market segmentation; Switzerland; Wines

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00070701111116437

Publication date: March 22, 2011

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