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Behavioural segmentation: a New Zealand wine market application

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As a subject, market segmentation has a long, debated history in marketing literature. Its application to the wine industry seems to be in its infancy and needing careful assessment. This paper examines various approaches to market segmentation as applied in the wine industry. Also discussed is information on, and an assessment of, a behavioural segmentation study conducted on a sample of New Zealanders. The basis for this information is a mail survey of 1144 randomly selected potential respondents. Respondents were drawn from a national wine mailing list (n=640) and staff (n=304) and students (n=200) from a tertiary institute. No follow-up activity was undertaken and a 28% response rate was achieved. A range of behavioural and demographic information was collected. In particular, participants were asked to indicate on average how many bottles of wine they purchased per month. This information forms the basis of segmenting on volumes purchased and, together with other behavioural information, combines to form profiles of wine consumers. Significant differences were found between light, medium and heavy purchasers of wine for several characteristics. While the segmentation platform provides some useful information, its use highlights the absence of other pertinent information. It is concluded that underlying reasons or motivations contributing to group membership would enrich the behavioural segmentation platform.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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