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The majority of large companies have in place consumer segmentations that identify “discrete” groups against which to target different business activities (e.g., new-product development). We argue that these frameworks for consumer understanding are often flawed: they present bland groups with pen portraits that misrepresent the diversity present within each segment. They may also fail to present clear business targets for different departments within a company. Within this article we borrow Jungian terminology to discuss consumer archetypes—specific individuals who capture and express the richness and diversity of a given target segment. With reference to an empirical case study, we demonstrated a technique for identifying consumer archetypes and present some example output of this approach.
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