Segmentation and Opportunity Identification


Good bespoke segmentation can be very expensive. Good off the shelf segmentation with additional enrichment via further bespoke research can be a lot more affordable.

Our own work aside, we know of great client segmentation studies but are also alarmed by the quality of a lot of segmentations we find ourselves working with.

The Nestle segmentation in the case study HERE  is an example of great segmentation, which sadly wasn’t conducted by us.

On the other hand we see people being placed into segments on the basis of one question, segmentations that assume consumers can only have one motivation in a market, and so on. We have seen a segmentation that assumes that all families are the same. We have seen an agency say two years ago that there are forty segments in a market in the UK and now they are saying there are eight across the whole world. That’s some social change!

We strongly believe that wherever possible segmentation should start with an understanding of the whole of the person and their broad attitudes to life. Segmentation that starts with an understanding of the audience’s motivations within the sector is not good enough. It usefulness is limited, and data on behaviours outside the category such as media consumption will almost certainly be unreliable.

Sometimes though a client is only interested in a segmentation of buyers, based on sales data, for less strategic reasons than segmentation is usually conducted for. In such a situation a more pragmatic approach to segmentation can be adopted than we would ordinarily recommend.

We try and deliver the best segmentation the client can afford, and if the budget isn’t enough to provide accurate information we will say so rather than deliver something that isn’t reliable.

Individual segments can be valued by a variety of means either using existing data, if it can be ‘recut’, or by simple further quantitative research. If the sector is covered by one of our panels it can be done in a matter of days.

To find out more about our approach to segmentation contact us HERE

An example segmentation:

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Opportunity planning:

Open minded organisations can go far.

It’s easy to forget that many people predicted that a computer manufacturer couldn’t make a mobile phone when Apple announced the iPhone:


“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.”

 Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO April 2007

It currently has a  43% share of the US smartphone market. Some would say that’s a monopoly.

In a smaller way no-one would have expected Costa Coffee to be selling coffee in WHSmith a couple of years ago.

An open minded and creative approach to idea generation, and evaluation based on what the future might look like rather than what today is like can take a brand a long way. You can find out about our approach to workshops here. We have a presentation on segmentation through to idea screening we would be happy to share. Contact James here

Examples of our work

(Click on the image to find out more)


Nestle impress us. Of the multinational FMCG businesses it is the most flexible and adaptable, maybe along with Pernod-Ricard.

We were appointed to identify portfolio priorities and define key brand propositions.


Our first publishing project.

Defining audience, brand, and communications plan.

Very successful.


Stella Artois has long been one of Britain’s most successful beer brands. But it hasn’t always been plane sailing. It has gone through several periods of decline.

We got involved during the last one. A repositioning was planned. The ad agency wasn’t sure that was right. They suggested we have a look.


Big initiatives hadn’t resulted in big growth in visitor numbers.

We were appointed to find out why and propose actions.

About the title image:

MPL is on Soho Square.

MPL stands for McCartney Productions Ltd and is the holding company for Paul McCartney’s business interests.

Originally called Adagrove Ltd the name was changed to MPL on 11 April 1970 – the day after the Beatles broke up.