Using Market Segmentation Approaches to Understand the Green Consumer

Timothy M. Devinney

in The Oxford Handbook of Business and the Natural Environment

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199584451
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Using Market Segmentation Approaches to Understand the Green Consumer

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This article describes how one can apply models of market segmentation to the understanding of the varying nature of green consumers. It reviews two approaches of segmentation and argues that only one of them will be effective when attempting to understand socially laden consumption behavior. A discussion of how one can think about segmentation from this perspective is presented. Preference heterogeneity is a necessary but not sufficient condition for effective segmentation and that heterogeneity can lead to non-obvious outcomes. Segmentation is affected by the variance of consumer preferences. Moreover, the article considers three areas of application: examples of a priori segmentation; examples of behavioral segmentation; and developing a general way of thinking about applications of segmentation models. It is impossible to understand green consumption without a complete understanding of the non-green aspects of particular consumption contexts.

Keywords: market segmentation; green consumers; preference heterogeneity; consumer preferences; behavioral segmentation; green consumption

Article.  8118 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Marketing ; Business Strategy

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