Market Segmentation: The Clif Bar Way

Question – what do things like hair color, types of donations and organically grown products have in common? Answer – they are all used to establish market segmentation for different companies.

In the past, companies had simple classifications for their customers that mainly revolved around historical data of previous buying habits. For example, segments like multi-buyers, single buyers, frequency and recency of purchases were often used to determine the value of a customer. Today, much has evolved in the area of market segmentation due in large part to broad data.

Concepts like Philip Kotler’s five market segments: benefit, demographic, occasion, usage level, and lifestyle, have changed the game of marketing. Utilizing broad data has changed from descriptive, historical, post-analytical information that helped maintain business, to predictive models that help companies grow and expand.

Brown-haired people might not be the basis of a marketing campaign for a tool company, however, a shampoo company that is launching a new product line targeting brunettes, might be very interested. On the other hand, that shampoo company might not be concerned with organic purchasers, but an environmentally conscious company may find that type of segment appealing. Narrowing down and segmenting from a suitable market base helps businesses determine market potential and thus grow substantially.

One such company that has been successful in identifying market segments utilizing cause-based marketing is Clif Bar. Clif Bar is a socially responsible company that specializes in organic energy bars and drinks geared toward sport and outdoor enthusiasts. The company utilizes cause-based marketing to target customers who are active, environmentalists, and who purchase fair trade and organic products. Also, Clif Bar often donates to environmental groups and partners with farms that produce environmentally sound and organically grown produce. This level of targeting has allowed the company to develop high brand awareness and loyalty, while also generating immense business growth.

Aside from the socially conscious end of market segmentation, Clif Bar’s target audience also includes people between the ages of 22 and 45 with a household income of over $150,000. The target has a college degree and the majority of customers have never been married. This could signify the audience’s value for independence and freedom.

Travel, exploration, nature, sharing experiences, staying current on world events, being active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle ranks high for interests of their target customers.   These interests coincide with the type of online sites they frequent, such as,,,,,, and The target audience’s TV preferences also align with their values with the most popular being BBC America, Bloomberg, Fine Living, and The Science Channel.

Thanks to broad data, businesses like Clif Bar have a greater understanding of their customer base, helping them create lasting relationships. The amount of customization available in terms of market segmentation is astounding – the sky is really the limit. Not only has it helped many companies increase revenue, but broad data has also allowed companies to anticipate the needs and expectations of their customers. Clif Bar, utilizing broad data, knows their customer more now than ever before and that understanding still has a lot of room to evolve and grow.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s