Is Lifestage Losing Its Meaning?

Davina O'Donoghue and Louise Steele
Evo Research and Consulting

While much of the current consumer segmentation approach to qualitative research can be valuable in clarifying the marketplace, it largely depends on the supposition that lifestage continues to be the unifying factor in enabling attitudes to brands and products to be identified.

However, we have recently begun to notice that seemingly perfect targeting was somehow missing the mark among its supposed audience. Simultaneously, we began to hear from consumers themselves about advertising that was clearly not meant for them striking a chord and influencing their purchasing behaviour. Put this alongside the fact that consumers are finding it ever more challenging to classify brands in terms of a typical user, and we begin to see a shift of attitude. Underlying all of this is the simple truth that none of the brands in question has undergone any significant shift in targeting or strategy. So what has changed to mark such a fundamental shift in consumer thinking?