Audience segmentation is a fundamental to any brand or service. If you try to be something to everyone, you will be nothing to anyone. And good segmentation allows brave and bold communication as it unearths interesting insight into what makes a specific audience tick.
You can clearly segment any market in any number of ways. Attitudinal segmentations are by far the most useful as they enable alignment with the underlying attitudes that drive behaviours.
But segmentations can go horribly wrong. They can be overly influenced by the numbers and spreadsheet gang… so obsessed with rounding up and slicing the data that any intuition or common sense is squeezed out.They become factually correct but not very useful. Or they can become so micro that they actually make selling stuff harder, not easier.
Greeting cards seem to have fallen into the latter trap.
Have a look at these cards on offer in my local store… my particular favourites are “To you great grandson” and “With love to you Dad and his partner”.
Now I appreciate these are examples of real relationships, but are they sufficiently large segments in themselves to target and more importantly does anyone want to buy a card whose main purpose seems to be demonstrating the sender grasps the nature of their relationship with the receiver?
And is this approach to segmentation really going to grow the Greetings cards category?
Personally I’ve always favoured cards with no message on either the front or inside – unpolluted by the skill of the professional card writer – so leaving you free to write absolutely anything you want.
But maybe I just don’t buy enough cards?
Brand Edge are a research & insights agency based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire.