‘Individuality’ segmenting is where it’s at. Ordering my Grande Chai Latte with oat milk at Starbucks got me thinking about marketing and how today our need to profile and segment has gone beyond the niche. Standing in line to place my order, my coffee craved humans waiting to place their order before me, made me realize how significant considering the “individual” as a segment has become the norm for marketing.

As names and orders were announced— “Tall white mocha no whip”, “Grande non-fat vanilla latte with 1 pump vanilla”, “Venti iced matcha with 2 pumps brown sugar & oat milk”, “Tall honey almond flat white”, “Grande chai tea latte with soy” – not one of us had the same order!  That essentially means that not one of us had the same likes or parameters for our coffee… What does that say for marketing segmentation. Here I am in a “coffee lover niche” – and that’s all we have in common.

And while standing in line I realized how Starbuck’s menu mirrors the individuality of their niche target.  Admittedly I am a Chai Latte with oat milk for sure. Am I the only one out there? 

Individuality segmenting is where marketers will find true success. It wasn’t that long ago that marketing, and thus we, as marketers, relied heavily on demographics with the rigid dividers of age, ethnicity, gender (only 2!) or financial means, seems really archaic now. Can you believe we used to market so broadly?

The Digital Segmentation Era

Then ushered in the digital area, touting with its entry the new segmentation of psychographics. Psychographics is an approach to marketing that uses personality, value, belief and lifestyle as a measure. Wow isn’t that novel? The digital era required that as marketers, develop multi-dimensional targeting allowing brands and businesses to tap into digital properties and networks to reach inclusive grouping of minds, and hence the groupings of likes, dislikes, ideas and values…. With the digital era, it became the norm to speak to the psychographics of the demographics. Psychographics is the glue, connecting certain demographics (remember those rigid dividers?), and speaking to an underlying emotional character – sometimes subconscious.

Hello Social Segmentation 

Segmentation evolved yet again, with social media. Along with its proliferation, from a marketing perspective, social media has opened the depth and breathe of market strategies to set aside the newly involved psychographics and start building communities. With social it’s about the community…but even the community isn’t “single-minded” or “one-minded”. Social media isn’t just about forming a homogenous community; it’s about embracing the unique identities within each community, as varied as individual DNA.

Marketing must now cater to each person’s ‘slice of life’— their journey, their identity…their individuality…just like their Starbucks coffee order. So, what do you think? Is Individuality segmenting a real marketing consideration or not?