Category Archives: Customer segmentation

Rise & Slay

Retaining customers in the digital age is literally a walk in the P.A.R.K.

Its actually that simple! 

At Cobblestones Consulting, we work with clients in fields as diverse as healthcare, B2B, nanotechnology and B2C to offer them strategy insights based on robust market research.

Our P.A.R.K. model of customer engagement helps our clients leverage their business strengths to attract-retain-monitor-measure and amplify carefully selected customer segments.

The model in a nutshell is as follows:


If you want to be a resource to your customers instead of a sales pitch, reach out to us in the comments section to this post. We’d be glad to serve  you!

**A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all **


Who is your Indian Customer? KYC!

Much has been made of India’s demographic dividend. Just the sheer size and volume in market segments has business owner’s itching to grab a slice of the Indian pie.

Consumer India Demographics

As a business owner looking to enter India, your natural query is – Who is my customer?

The easiest way to answer this question is for you to hire a market research agency.

You do just this. Sure enough, after much statistical jugglery on their part and head scratching on yours, you now hold in your hand a well-crafted report filled with tabulated Indian demographic data, geographic mapping of consumer spread and drilled-down socio-economic classification. This is observable, easy market research that can at best tell you about the user status for your business offering, its usage rate among consumers, their stage of adoption and loyalty status.

So, now you know “WHAT” & “HOW” Indians consume your market offering. Great analysis for your good money, huh?

How does this research report help you to sell more, sell to the correct target group, at the right price, using the right platforms?

It doesn’t.

To do that you need to understand the value your product/service delivers to your Indian consumers. For which you need to sell to the right TG. To help you make sense of this amorphous TG, I’ve created out of them, a matrix of what I call Six Market Ready Indian Segments.


This grid is based on the first publicly accessible “LOHAS”-type segmentation equivalent for Millennials in USA. It was created by the Kansas City-based integrated marketing agency, Barkley USA, in partnership with Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

This segmentation grid transcends any particular category, specific micro-age groups, issue or dimension and it also acknowledges the importance of life stage in shaping consumer behaviour in India. A Mother is not interested in the same things as the Activist. Likewise, it acknowledges that while this generation of Indian consumers as a whole is defined by its passion for causes, interest in the environment, and use of technology, they are not true of all consumers, and even goes so far as to identity a ‘Path Breaker’ segment.

In my conversations with this age group of consumers in India, many say that they do not identify with all of the characteristics ascribed to their generation (s) in traditional marketing analysis (Baby Boomers/Gen X/Y/Z/Millennials). This segmentation helps to drill down a bit into that issue.

For marketers, these segments help to put a face on some of the more prominent Market Ready ‘archtypes’, especially in the Indian context.  You wouldn’t address a Gadget Guru in the same way as you would a Sanskaari, when talking about technology, and perhaps a few other related categories.

Any blanket segmentation has limitations and this one is not a replacement for an age-based, category-specific segmentation, particularly if your category doesn’t readily line up with the dimensions used to create these segments. For this, please reach out to me on my website or leave your coordinates in the comments section below. I will be glad to serve you.

Nevertheless, this segmentation matrix is a step in the right direction and should provide terrific starting point for those business owners wishing to drill down into this cohort for specific insights that get beyond the generalities.

Have a safe and relaxed weekend, peeps. See you on the other side.

PM Modi’s Second Marketing Mantra – Segment


This is the magic marketing  mantra used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rack up his impressive wins at home and abroad. You can read about it here –

MODI hands up

Source: Google Images

In this post, I will introduce the second syllable in this mantra. S= SEGMENT.

Segment to succeed

For companies looking to win in the Indian market, given the geographic spread, cultural differences and price sensitivities at play here, segmentation is a sound basis for developing targeted and effective marketing plans. Furthermore, analysis of market segments enables decisions about intensity of marketing activities in particular segments. A segment-orientated marketing approach generally offers a range of advantages for both, businesses and customers.

To get you started, here are nine questions you can answer. If your answers are not convincing enough or if you aren’t sure the answers are correct, do not hesitate to undertake Market Research. It can make all the difference between your market credibility and market disappearance!

For any Market Research activity in India, and consequent strategic marketing advice, please do not hesitate to contact me. Visit my website for more details.

9 Modi-fied questions

Remember, in the relationship-based Indian market, success is relative. More success, more relatives! Stay safe and have a good weekend, peeps. See you on the other side.

PM Modi’s Marketing Mantra – How He Does It and How You Can Too


Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trending big time! Across the world. There is much we can learn from this man who has single-handedly changed the political narrative in India. He has not just changed the narrative but the entire political paradigm across the world! In recent times, PM Modi is the only politician who can fill up an entire stadium and have people hankering for more. All this without losing his shirt (à la Premier Putin) or his sense of humour (like President Trump).  This is brand building, brand conversion & brand evangelization at its finest.  Modiji is so good at Marketing and Product Delivery that ordinary Pakistanis want him as their leader!

Aaj Tak Modi

Source: So Sorry: India Today Group’s innovative politoons

In the wired world we live in, consumer lives are both incredibly nuanced & pervasive. Businesses need to design products & services and deliver better experiences, at the speed of Wi-Fi. This requires reinvention and reinterpretation of the market offering against the backdrop of conflict resolution. Businesses will do well to emulate PM Modi who has both the experience and ability to breed focus and consistency through governance. And orient the commitment through his clarity and voter responsiveness. The manner in which he transforms experiences using marketing media, marketing channels, discourse and personal connect is laudable.

Any business organisation’s ability to Modi-fy the market with its brand will create the only possible differentiation in the easy-to-imitate age we live in. How can businesses do this? Unfortunately, there is no one giving an answer to this question & that’s where the problem lies when it comes to Indian Markets. As a business owner looking to start your venture in the deceptively simple Great Indian Bazaar, you want winning mantras.

Look no further. I am unveiling today, Modi’s Marketing Mantra for your quick reference.

ESCROW – meaning place in custody or trust until a specified condition has been fulfilled.

E.S.C.R.O.W. = Empathize. Segment. Create. Realize. Obliterate. Win.

To understand how Prime Minister Narendra Modi uses this mantra to rack up his impressive wins is interesting. But to understand how YOU can use this mantra to succeed in slippery Indian Market terrain – now that is putting your money where your mouth is!

In tomorrow’s post, I will unveil Modi’s Marketing Manual – how he uses this mantra to succeed and how you can use it.

PM Modi says it for me “Hum wade nahi, irade lekar aayien hain (I come, not bearing promises, but carrying intention)”.

Stay tuned, peeps. This stuff is impressive.

Stop Selling, Start Listening

Twenty eight hours had passed since Prime Minister Modi had delivered his annual Independence Day address from the ramparts of the historical Red Fort in the capital. He had given the mantra ‘Start-up India, Stand up India’ to the nation, urging entrepreneurs to make India No.1worldwide, in start-ups.

Immediately following this announcement, the National Bureau of Enterprise Promotion (NBEP) swung into action. They called Adhvaan for a meeting and gave them a clear brief for their latest assignment: Given the strong manufacturing and finance capabilities by both start-ups and established business houses, how could Indian businesses navigate the treacherous consumer terrain in digital world? What proven strategies could be used to reach and keep customers in real time?

Adhvaan was a business strategy group, which had in their team, experienced analysts who were walking repositories of business knowledge and application.

The Head of Adhvaan called for an initial presentation to be made to him in the coming 5 hours. The two chosen leads for this project christened ‘Stay Firm India’, had their work cut out for them.

30-something Alka was a Consumer Behaviour expert. A tough-talking woman, Alka was known for being up-front in speaking her mind and keeping up with her male counterparts in witty banter as well as taking action to get what she wanted professionally. A fast-talking, frank woman, it was difficult to beat Alka in strategy arguments. Her seductive and soft-looking demeanour masked her business acumen to the peril of many. Known in the team as ‘The Hawk Lady’, Alka was considered “one of the gang” rather than an object of sexual desire. She could hold her own in a wit-driven argument, have the same professionalism levels as her male counterparts, and keep her cool under stress. Inspite of her A-league education and aristocratic background, Alka had learnt to appreciate the working-man’s ideals by working her way up the ranks in business. A hard-working professional, she passionately fought for the good of the consumer. And Indian businesses listened intently to Alka, who was widely regarded for her excellent analytical business skills and incisive consumer behaviour insights.

Her counterpart in the ‘Stay Firm India’ project was the wily Garud. He was a respected thespian who with his blackish silvery locks, wiry frame and earnest, boyish charm was often the go-to man for many business start-ups looking for business information.

Older than most of his colleagues, 49-year old Garud was a pro at Business Strategy, especially on company responses to market changes. Very wise and intelligent, Garud was a guiding light of knowledge to his team and his clients who depended on his advice to navigate their company and careers.  A logical, focused team player Garud was good at planning and enjoyed performing his duties, always thinking issues through before acting. He had a pronounced tendency to apply rules, reason and the greater good of all in his decisions. Utterly unflappable in the face of serious problems or danger; his colleagues knew that no matter how terrifying or hopeless things got, he would never lose his cool and would not stop working on a solution to save the day.

Garud and Alka made a prefect team. The logical Garud was offset by the more emotional and humanistic Alka. The main difference between the two was that while Alka would often leap to correct decisions intuitively and work her steps backward to the problem, Garud’s solution to problems often had a balanced, well-thought out and inductive approach.

At their brainstorming session, Alka set the tone by asking “What makes an Indian consumer buy?” As usual, she got straight to the heart of the matter and working her way through she listed the 3 R’s that all businesses in India need to recognize.

“A consumer will buy from you if you – Respect the consumer, Recognize consumer needs and Reward customer purchases.”


In perfect tandem, Garud brought up a question that all business owners wanted an answer to: ‘How can companies sell more to Indians?’

Any company can sell more in the country, provided it monitors and measures Real Time Sales Value Maximization, Realization per Sale and Reach of Sales.



To illustrate this paradigm, Alka chose the brand while Garud threw his weight behind

 Chumbak  Bewakoof
Walk into any swanky retail outlet in India and near the billing counter you will see a stack of brilliant hues – you have stumbled upon the Chumbak display of accessories, apparel, home & decor and gifting items – each with a unique design and chaotic colour palette.

Chumbak was born out of love for India and the love of travel. Chumbak started with fun magnets and became a lot more than just fridge magnets including key chains, T Shirts, bags, pens, books and other merchandise.

How this quirky brand managed to become a shopper favourite is the story for another day…..

Starting as an online T-shirt shop to buy ‘Slogan and Quotes T-shirts’ 3 years ago, today Bewakoof sells

·         more than 3000 style trends in women and men casual apparel,

·         a mind-boggling array of mobile phone covers,

·         counts over 20 lakh Facebook fans as its loyal customer base and

·         is merchandising for seven movies.

The irony is that the story of this brand began with 2 IIT engineers who followed their heart, chose to refuse mindless high paying jobs to become entrepreneurs who wished to change how Indians consume fashion!.

How the Bewakoof brigade has become a game changer in so short a timespan is a story for another blog post…………

%d bloggers like this: