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Using means‐end structures for benefit segmentation: An application to services

Günther Botschen (Marketing and Law Group, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Eva M. Thelen (Department of Marketing, University of Innsbruck, Austria)
Rik Pieters (Department of Business Administration, Tilburg University, The Netherlands)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 1 February 1999



Although the basic idea of benefit segmentation lies in using causal, as opposed to descriptive, factors as segmentation criteria, most of the empirical studies do not differentiate between product attributes and the benefit sought by consumers. The objectives of this article are to clarify the distinction between attributes and benefits sought, and to apply a modified laddering technique, based on means‐end theory to use the elicited benefits to form benefit segments. A comparison with attribute‐based segments demonstrates that means‐end chains provide a powerful tool for “true” benefit segmentation.



Botschen, G., Thelen, E.M. and Pieters, R. (1999), "Using means‐end structures for benefit segmentation: An application to services", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 33 No. 1/2, pp. 38-58.




Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

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