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Segmenting the market through the determinants of involvement: The case of fair trade



The fair trade market includes several types of actors, ranging from world shops to supermarkets, and from restaurants to clothing stores, involving a heterogeneous clientele. An analysis of fair trade consumers must be sufficiently granular to capture their different expectations, attitudes, and motivations; hence the need to segment the market. Through the concept of involvement, the objective of this research is to analyze and compare by segments the determinants of behavior of fair trade consumers. The research consists of three phases: segment identification, behavioral analysis by segment, and synthesis of the managerial implications. Two out of four hypothesized criteria prove to be effective in segmenting the fair trade market, namely age and distribution channel preference (whereas gender and education are not significant criteria). The analysis shows that the drivers of the involvement in the decision to buy fair trade products vary by segment. Thus, the article concludes with the development of communication axes that can trigger or strengthen the desired behaviors in each segment. It provides fair trade marketers with an efficient communication content that can be used for fair trade advertising, product packaging, branding, or merchandising. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.