There is generalised evidence that consumer profiles seldom differ between brands across many product categories in developed markets. However, market segmentation based on consumer characteristics continues to be a common marketing tactic, especially in international marketing context. This study examines consumer profiles in emerging markets to see if any difference exists. We examined 190 brands in nine different emerging markets across two product categories: hair care and whisky. In general, our findings are in-line with earlier empirical results – consumer profiles seldom differ in emerging markets. Deviations are found across whisky brands, which are related to brand distribution and affordability. These potentially constitute boundary conditions for the discovered empirical generalisations. The key implication for marketing practitioners is that market segmentation using consumer characteristics will unnecessarily limit the vast potential emerging markets offer.
Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy, 2012