Marketsegmentation is a consumer-centric approach in marketing thatinvolves dividing a potential market into customer clusters or groupsbased on shared or common aspects that define the customers.Marketers therefore, approach and target these markets uniquelyusually by a different marketing mix or by different productsaltogether. To do so, marketers are required to carry out substantivestudies to discover the needs of these groups and develop specializedproducts and services to meet them. There are different bases ofsegmentation such as geographic, religious, sociocultural anddemographic among others (Schiffman & Kanuk 2010). A good exampleis case of Toyota motors which has separated its American, Europeanand Asian markets. These markets are targeted through various modelswith a wide price range. To target higher income earners across theworld, Toyota introduced the Lexus brand.
Marketsegmentation is fundamental issue to the marketing concept. Schiffmanand Kanuk (2010) define the marketing concept as needs identificationin the market whereby consumers might be aware or not aware of theexistence of these needs. Take the case of Apple’s introduction ofthe tablet as a go-between a smart phone and a laptop. The market wasnot aware of this need but apple made consumers aware of it.Therefore market segmentation comes into play in the sense thatdifferent groups in potential have different needs. To segment thesemarkets also means making the various groups in the market aware oftheir unique needs. For instance, Diet Coke targets health consciousindividuals and the marketing approach in terms of advertising andthe accompanying message for this segment is unique. Another exampleis Citibank which offers Islamic banking services to Muslims inAmerica and other countries around the world. The bank has created aservice specifically to serve Muslims as a unique segment of themarket based on religious segmentation. All these are informed bymarket segmentation and the desire to meet diverse needs in themarket.
Schiffman,L. & Kanuk, L. (2010).Consumerbehavior.New York: Pearson Prentice Hall.