Cohort segmentation: An exploration of its validity

Published on Dec 1, 2003in Journal of Business Research
· DOI :10.1016/S0148-2963(02)00268-0
Stephanie M. Noble22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Mississippi),
Charles D. Schewe19
Estimated H-index: 19
(UMass: University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Abstract The notion of cohorts is becoming increasingly popular among trade journals and is even cited in undergraduate marketing textbooks as a segmentation technique; however, little empirical evidence exists to support the validity of the concept. The goal of the current study was twofold: (1) to examine the central relationship in the cohort concept—whether values can predict cohort groupings; and (2) to determine if consumers within cohort groupings cite similar external events as influential to them. Based on data gathered from 373 subjects, a multiple discriminant analysis was conducted to determine if subjects' ratings on seven value dimensions could predict their cohort membership. Additionally, cross-tabulations were conducted to explore the significant external life events each cohort cited as influential. The results showed that 45% of participants could be correctly classified into their cohort grouping and that external life events were related to these groupings; however, the results raise questions about the existence of consumer cohorts.
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