Behavioral segmentation divides people and organization into groups according to how they behave with or act toward products. Benefits segmentation—segmenting buyers by the benefits they want from products—is very common. Take toothpaste, for example. Which benefit is most important to you when you buy a toothpaste: The toothpaste’s price, ability to whiten your teeth, fight tooth decay, freshen your breath, or something else? Perhaps it’s combination of two or more benefits. If marketing professionals know what those benefits are, they can then tailor different toothpaste offerings to you (and other people like you). For example, Colgate 2-in-1 Toothpaste & Mouthwash, Whitening Icy Blast is aimed at people who want the benefits of both fresher breath and whiter teeth.
Another way in which businesses segment buyers is by their usage rates—that is, how often, if ever, they use certain products. For example, the entertainment and gaming company Harrah’s gathers information about the people who gamble at its casinos. High rollers, or people who spend a lot of money, are considered “VIPs.” VIPs people get special treatment, including a personal “host” who looks after their needs during their casino visits. Companies are interested in frequent users because they want to reach other people like them. They are also keenly interested in nonusers and how they can be persuaded to use products.
The way in which people use products is also be a basis for segmentation. Avon Skin So Soft was originally a beauty product. But after Avon discovered that some people were using it as a mosquito repellant, the company began marketing it for that purpose. Eventually, Avon created a separate product called Skin So Soft Bug Guard, which competes with repellents like Off! Similarly, Glad, the company that makes plastic wrap and bags, found out customers were using its Press ’n Seal wrap in ways the company could never have imagined. The personnel in Glad’s marketing department subsequently launched a Web site called 1000uses.com that contains both the company and consumer’s use tips. Some of the ways in which people use the product are pretty unusual, as evidenced by the following comment posted on the site: “I have a hedgehog who likes to run on his wheel a lot. After quite a while of cleaning a gross wheel every morning, I got the tip to use ‘Press ’n Seal wrap’ on his wheel, making clean up much easier! My hedgie can run all he wants, and I don’t have to think about the cleanup. Now we’re both GLAD!”
Although we doubt Glad will ever go to great lengths to segment the Press ’n Seal market by hedgehog owners, the firm has certainly gathered a lot of good consumer insight about the product and publicity from its 1000uses.com Web site. (Incidentally, one rainy day, the author of this chapter made “rain boots” out of Press ’n Seal for her dog. But when she later tried to tear them off of the dog’s paws, he bit her. She is now thinking of trading him in for a hedgehog.)