AlwaysWoW! For a Great Great WoW in Life

Thoughts from me about things that are cool, that are WoW, that blow me away. Observations about businesses and people from a wide variety of life. Daily encounters - and thoughts outside the box, inside the box and without any box. New thinking, and challenging old thinking. Passionate about life, about respect, and about integrity.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Help me, I am in the wrong segment

As mentioned in an earlier entry in my blog, I had lunch in Amcorp Mall last Friday with a new acquaintance and subsequently, I fall victim to “traditional segmental thinking”.

Let me start by saying that I am mostly quite casually dressed at work, but dress up a bit when I have a meeting. However, I wasn’t in the mood to dress up totally, so arrived smart-casual. I say this because it fits into the following story.

After lunch and showing my lunch-partner off, I thought of the Popular bookshop in the mall. I am currently looking for a specific book, cannot find it in MPH, but take a chance to browse in all bookshops for the book.

Regular readers will remember that I love to read. So I thought I take the chance to browse in the bookshop for a couple of minutes. Since I couldn't remember its exact location, I went to information and checked with the girl.

She than sent me to the second floor. Coming up the escalator, I saw another bookshop, called “Pay Less Books”. It is a shop that sells second hand books – I think I saw it mentioned earlier, in some other blog. Interesting shop, really. Some of the books look a bit run down, but who cares.

Now I wonder why the girl at the information didn't mention this bookshop as well and I realise that she might have fallen victim to “traditional segmental thinking”. See, I was dressed quite well, no coat or tie, but a pretty good trouser and a nice shirt.

I am a Mat Salleh - subsequently, she thought I am not, cannot, be interested in a Second Hand Bookshop. She thinks like everybody likes to think: Mat Sallehs are rich, people with coats have money, they want branded, new stuff. It is not her fault, of course not. If she would see me in my normal clothes, with Shorts or Jeans, and T-Shirt, she might have told me about the second hand shop.

Circumstances change, people act differently in different situations. In new marketing speak: they move across segments. That's why "traditional customer segmentation" fails. I am not always the rich guy (will I be, ever?), or the dressed-up guy or the one, who is out for fun. But companies market to me in the sense that they say, okay, he lives in a condominium, is an expat (no, no, no, I don't see myself as an expat!!!!), married with kid, aged, blablabla and so on, so let's create this product, this ad this whatever and he will buy it.

But this is wrong, I think.

People need a specific product at a specific time, and look for something - product or service - that they need at that point of time. May be today, products or services that target specific demographics set themselves up for lower performance, if not even for failure.


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