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International Segmentation

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International Segmentation

There are three types of international segmentation – global, regional and unique. Global segmentation is used when there is a group of consumers with common needs that cross national borders; regional segmentation is required when the similarity of consumers’ needs and preferences only spans across the region or several countries, and unique segmentation is when consumer preferences are localised to a single country.

International segmentation allows companies to decide on their positioning strategy. Some key benefits of segmenting the international market are: it allows generalisation of market research conclusions; samples can be taken from several segments instead of every market; customers’ needs can be better understood; growth opportunities can be discovered and marketing communications can be better targeted. In order to realise these benefits, segments must be as homogenous as possible.

In essence, if findings from several markets present substantially similar results, they can form a segment. As a result, market research findings from one market can be applied to the rest of the segment too.

People use international segmentation for various reasons, some of which are: understanding international customers; identifying similarities and/or differences across international markets and ascertaining what role they play in an international customers’ fashion retail repertoire.

An international segmentation may require a multi-domestic strategy where each country represents a separate segment – this approach is sufficient where products are produced locally and is tailored to satisfy local requirements. However, a pan-global approach is adopted when global organisations recognise that groups of customers in different countries can have more in common with one another than with consumers in the same country. This enables organisations to adopt a framework for offering the same products and/or marketing across different countries by targeting the same customer segments in different markets.

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