The European dimension
Methods of consumer segmentation based on lifestyles, values, aspirations and other socially based abstractions have been all the go for 10 years or so. France and the USA have been particularly fertile sources for thinking, not always very applicable thinking, in this mode.
The following paper, an outline drawn from stringent original work by AGB's Janet Mead, and based on a system evolved by France's CCA, describes what may be a much more practical and relevant tool in the same genre. It identifies an underlying core of values and attitudes that transcend European administrative and political boundaries - shared values that can be mapped and applied. After describing the Europanel database, the paper outlines four main social currents, and the locations of various European lifestyles emerging mathematically from the study. It also identifies six mentalities, and draws some practical conclusions.