market segmentation, positioning, marketing mix, consumer behavior
- Preferred format: This teaching activity is flexible and can be run individually or in small groups with optional reporting back to the overall class.
- Student audience: This discussion exercise is more suitable for students in an introduction to marketing course
- Exercise time: This discussion activity will probably run 20-30 minutes
- Activity variations: You can get the overall class to select the most attractive target market, and then the students/groups work that target market only.
Review the activity below or download the PDF student worksheet
Student Worksheet: From Market Segmentation to Marketing Mix (Drinks)
Student Discussion Activity
The STP process (segmentation, targeting and positioning) is undertaken by marketers in order to have a better understanding of consumer needs so that a more effective marketing strategy can be developed. In this exercise, a total of eight different market segments for the cold beverage market have been provided.
(Note: For the purpose of this discussion activity, let’s assume that the cold beverage market extents to sodas, juice, energy drinks, milk-based drinks, water, sports drinks, and so on – but not alcohol products.)
Quick Overview of Each Market Segment
This group of consumers is seeking a fairly straightforward functional benefit from their consumption of a beverage.
On the go
The on-the-go market segment is a busy group of consumers who tend to eat and drink while they are traveling.
Need a boost
This market segment consists of those consumers are feeling rundown or tired during the day.
Variety seekers are consumers that have limited brand loyalty and will consume a broader selection of drinks, depending upon their taste and situation at the time.
The health focused market segment consists of consumers who make their food and beverage choices based upon being healthy and eating well.
This market segment consists of consumers looking for products that are helpful when playing sport or while exercising.
Hold the sugar
These consumers may have particular needs such as weight loss goals or being diabetic, but in most cases they are looking to cut some calories from their daily diet.
Just feel like it
This consumer segment is attracted to drinks for enjoyment and refreshment, rather than for any functional (thirst) benefits.
Student Discussion Questions
- Review the above market segments and identify which segments would make attractive target markets for drink companies. Outline the basis you used to select the most attractive segments.
- Using your list of target market/s, identify the types of beverages (e.g. bottled water, soda, energy or sports drinks, juice, milk) and flavors that would best fit the needs of each target market.
- In addition to the type of beverage and flavor, are there any other product attributes (e.g. packaging, container) that needs to be designed for the market’s needs?
- Outside of the product mix, in what ways should the other elements of the marketing mix be modified?