An Examination of Global Market Segmentation Bases and Strategic Positioning Decisions

International Business & Economics Research Journal

Volume 3, Number 9

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An Examination Of Global Market Segmentation Bases And Strategic Positioning Decisions
Salah S. Hassan, (E-mail: [email protected]), George Washington University Stephen H. Craft, (E-mail: [email protected]), Birmingham-Southern College Abstract This paper examines the conceptual linkages between global segmentation strategy and brand positioning from the perspective of firms operating in increasingly globalized markets. The manuscript suggests the combined use of macro/country-level as well as micro/behavioral-level bases of segmentation in order to leverage similar strategic positioning across global markets. The analysis presented paves the way for embarking on future research to enrich the academic understanding and managerial practice of linking global segmentation with strategic positioning decisions.

Introduction

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an the decisions surrounding global market segmentation be based solely upon geopolitical and economic factors or can global segmentation decisions be based upon lifestyle and behavioral variables? In an increasingly technological and globalizing marketplace where customer segments are becoming more similar across national boundaries, behavioral and lifestyle segmentation is becoming a necessary addition to geopolitical and economic segmentation for effective international marketing (Aulakh and Kotabe 1993, Helsen, Jedidi and DeSarbo 1993, Nachum 1994, Luqmani, Yavus, and Quraeshi 1994). Segmentation strategy development is complicated in global markets by the need for companies to make related strategic positioning decisions in an increasingly competitive and transparent marketplace in order to leverage brand equity and achieve economies of scale. In short, segmentation strategy development does not simply involve the selection of desirable market segments, but also includes the corresponding need to effectively position brands relative to the identified.