Validity and the design of market segments
This literature-based paper reviews the nature of segmentation knowledge including many of the claims and the criticisms associated with both theory and practice. It then turns specifically to segment design and the choice of variables for segmentation of consumer markets. A vast inventory of possible segmentation variables is available and although the reasons for choosing any one or any combination may sometimes be clear and obvious this is not always the case. The paper works from first principles by considering the initial design of market segments which then leads into assessment of available segments. It suggests that segment design and variable choice necessarily include evaluation which can be framed by using the standard approaches to establishing validity. The paper also comments on the subjectivity associated with the creation and the subsequent construal and consumption of segment solutions.
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