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  • Hunter Thurman

Segmentation spoiler: you’re looking for 4 kinds of psychological profiles.


We all know that people are not all the same and neither is their behavior, even for very specific product categories.


But it’s not totally subjective, either.


If you’re planning segmentation this year…

or have a segmentation in-hand that’s turning out tough to activate against…

or simply want to figure out how to drive buy-rate and penetration for your brand…


You need to uncover which of the 4 human drivers correlate with your category – which then, in turn, reveals how to position your brand and communicate to consumers for maximum behavior-driving.


Neuroscience provides these 4 drivers which are durable, predictable, and explain WHY people act the ways they do in a given context (like a category, phase of the purchase journey, or shopping channel).


  1. Rational: Pursue INFORMATION via reading labels, comparing options, and deciding for themselves which decision makes the most logical sense (this is usually how most of us THINK we make decisions).

  2. Tribal: Pursue ALIGNMENT via the wisdom of the social tribe to ‘endorse’ / approve a decision (or brand).

  3. Exploratory: Pursue new DISCOVERY, meaningful personal experiences, and sensory-based decisions.

  4. Instinctual: Pursue WINNING and standing out from the pack via gut instinct and satisfying impulses.


Think about the last car you bought – you can probably identify which of the above most strongly influenced your choice (even if you’d hesitate to announce it out loud).


It can become more elusive, however, in determining why you chose a brand of cola, a fast-food place, or a toothpaste brand – but the same forces were at work deep in your subconscious.


And, these forces directly predict how you’ll make decisions, what / who will influence you in the journey, and how to attract your attention.


Even with expensive, months-long segmentation studies, all roads will lead back to these four human truths.


A sub-set of these – or all of them – may be present in YOUR context / category, but they’re surely there, and they’re the unlock to the often elusive ‘actionable segmentation.’

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