Friday, May 26, 2006

The "Behave-Atudes"

A strong understanding of your customer’s behaviours and attitudes as they relate to the products and services you sell is one of the keys to successful segmentation and the success of your business. Many large companies (with large resources) develop sophisticated processes for segmenting customers based on behaviours including quantitative and qualitative research, data mining and complex analysis models. Many refer to these segmentation models as “Needs Based” segmentation, however, the needs are normally never really identified but rather extrapolated (guessed at) from demonstrated behaviours and or attitudes.

When trying to understand the fundamentals of your customer’s behaviours and attitudes regarding your products and services two key parameters should be evaluated. How interested or how engaged are they and how frequently do they use the product or service.

The diagram demonstrates the four generic behavioural/attitude (Behav-Atudes) categories that can be found in most industries. Depending on your specific product or service the size of each group will vary but you will likely be surprised to find that there is almost always a sizeable group in each category. The offerings you make to each group as well as the way you communicate to each of these groups should be adapted to their specific behaviour/attitudinal position. Identifying your customers Behav-Atudes can give you a real competitive advantage or even lead to discovering new ways to solve the customers underlying needs by substitution making your products obsolete and redefining your industries.

The Four Generic “Behave-Atudes”
( You will likely find names for the Behave-Atudes that describe your customers from your industry perspective that are much better. Feel free!)


Individuals who are actively interested and frequent users of products and services like yours could be called Professionals. Not because they necessarily use your products in their professions but because they are typical very knowledgeable and have strong opinions based on a great deal of real experience of the products or services. Insight gained from these users can contribute significantly to further product development. Branding is very important.


Enthusiasts are people who are very interested but not frequent users. Among these you will find people who have expensive kitchens but who eat most of their meals in restaurants or people that have a fully equipped carpentry workshop in their garage for hobby use. These users can be very talented and sophisticated despite having less “real” experience than the professional. Branding is important in this group.


These people will use your products and services occasionally but are really not interested in the products. As long as the product works they really don’t care very much about design, branding or extra accessories. Simplicity is key with these customers since these users will not spend time learning to use your products or services.


Rebels use your products and services often but are not at all interested in them. They may drive their car much more than the average car owner or use their cell-phone much more than other people but they view the product only as an means to an end. These users view products in the same category as commodities and are very price conscious. They seek basic functionality and ease of use. It is not uncommon to find users with negative attitudes about your products despite being frequent users. These people often feel forced into using the product or service.

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