A level Business Studies and AVCE Business exam revision resource


Psychographic segmentation divides the market into groups based on social class, lifestyle and personality characteristics. It is based on the assumption that the types of products and brands an individual purchases will reflect that persons characteristics and patterns of living.

The following are examples of psychographic factors used in market segmentation:

  1. Social class : Is the single most used variable for research purposes, and divides the population into groups based on the occupation of the 'Chief Income Earner' (CIE), as such it can be seen as a socio-economic scale. In the UK, The National Readership Survey, provides the following standardised groupings.

    higher managerial, administrative or professional
    Company director

    intermediate managerial, administrative or professional
    Middle manager

    supervisory, clerical, junior administrative or professional
    Bank clerk

    skilled manual workers

    semi- and unskilled manual workers

    state pensioners with no other income, widows, casual and lowest grade earners

  2. Lifestyle : Involves classifying people according to their values, beliefs, opinions, and interests. There is no one standardised lifestyle segmentation model, instead market research firms, and advertising agencies are constantly devising new categories, which will best help target possible consumers of their clients products.

    One example of a life style classification model, is that developed by the advertising agency, Young & Rubican, called Cross Cultural Consumer Characterization (4Cs for short). This classification model is presented in the table below

    Rigid, strict, authoritarian and chauvinist values, oriented to the past and to Resigned roles. Brand choice stresses safety, familiarity and economy. (Older)

    Alienated, Struggler, disorganised - with few resources apart from physical/mechanical skills (e.g. car repair). Heavy consumers of alcohol, junk food and lotteries, also trainers. Brand choice involves impact and sensation.

    Domestic, conformist, conventional, sentimental, passive, habitual. Part of the mass, favouring big and well-known value for money 'family' brands. Almost invariably the largest 4Cs group.

    Materialistic, acquisitive, affiliative, oriented to extrinsics ... image, appearance, charisma, persona and fashion. Attractive packaging more important than quality of contents. (Younger, clerical/sales type occupation)

    Strong goal orientation, confidence, work ethic, organisation ... support status quo, stability. Brand choice based on reward, prestige - the very best . Also attracted to 'caring' and protective brands ... stress relief. (Top management)

    Energy - autonomy, experience, challenge, new frontiers. Brand choice highlights difference, sensation, adventure, indulgence and instant effect - the first to try new brands. (Younger - student)

    Freedom from restriction, personal growth, social awareness, value for time, independent judgement, tolerance of complexity, anti-materialistic but intolerant of bad taste. Curious and enquiring, support growth of new product categories. Select brands for intrinsic quality, favouring natural simplicity, small is beautiful.(Higher Education)

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