What is psychographic segmentation?

As a product person, I’m always interested in segmentation as there’s no such thing as a universal customer with the same characteristics or behavioural traits. There are many different ways to identify and target a specific group within a population, and I came across “psychographic segmentation” as a way of segmenting your target audience.

Psychographic segmentation feels very similar to behavioural segmentation, but it also takes into account some of the psychological aspects involved in buying or using a product. These are some of the factors that you can look at when applying psychographic segmentation:

  1. Social class – This aspect divides the population into groups based on the income generated by the Chief Income Earner. This factor is taken into account by the UK Office for National Statistics when they work out the “Social Grade” to determine people’s media consumption and purchasing power (I’ve added a more detailed overview of social grades in Fig. 1 below).
  2. Lifestyle – The key thing that I learned about the lifestyle segmentation model is that there’s no set way of segmenting people based on their lifestyle. There are, however, a number of factors that one can look at. For instance, activities, interest and opinions form a key part of one’s lifestyle. Advertising agency Young & Rubicam invented the so-called 4C model which is often used as a lifestyle classification model. The full name for this model is Cross Cultural Consumer Characterisation and it outlines 7 different personality types and related lifestyles (see Fig. 2 below).

Main learning point: Especially when you’re doing your market research and thinking about the customer segment to concentrate on, psychographic segmentation can be a very valuable tool. It helps you to think about the demographics and behaviours of the target customers that you’re creating a product or service for.


Fig. 1 – “Social Grade” overview – Taken from: http://www.ukgeographics.co.uk/blog/social-grade-a-b-c1-c2-d-e

  • Social Grade AB: Higher & intermediate managerial, administrative, professional occupations
  • Social Grade C1: Supervisory, clerical & junior managerial, administrative, professional occupations
  • Social Grade C2: Skilled manual occupations
  • Social Grade DE: Semi-skilled & unskilled manual occupations, Unemployed and lowest grade occupations

Fig. 2 – Young & Rubicam’s 4Cs model – Taken from: https://frameshortfilmjamie.wordpress.com/category/young-and-rubicam-4cs/

  • The Explorer – Need for change, discovery and desire to be different.
  • The Aspirer – Looks at how others view them, tries products for the visual looks and focuses on their status.
  • The Succeeder – Strong goals and tends to be responsible. An aggressive attitude to life as they look for control.
  • The Reformer – Intellectual and tolerant. Doesn’t buy products just because they’re new, the reformer looks for enlightenment.
  • The Mainstream – Desire to fit in with society. Sticks with value for money, striving for security.
  • The Struggler – Has the ‘You Only Live Once’ approach. Focus on the present, looking for a sense of escape.
  • The Resigned – Has unchanging values. Is likely to stick with what there’re familiar with.


Related links for further learning:

  1. http://www.marketing91.com/psychographic-segmentation/
  2. https://www.examstutor.com/business/resources/studyroom/marketing/market_analysis/8_psychographic_segmentation.php
  3. http://www.marketing91.com/behavioral-segmentation/
  4. https://blog.udemy.com/behavioural-segmentation/
  5. http://www.ukgeographics.co.uk/blog/social-grade-a-b-c1-c2-d-e
  6. file:///Users/Marc/Downloads/4cs.pdf
  7. https://frameshortfilmjamie.wordpress.com/category/young-and-rubicam-4cs/



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