Benefits/attributes desired is commonly considered the most strategically meaningful market segmentation base. However, in practice, problems in product benefit/attribute specification and data collection are frequently observed. This research compares the performance of benefits/attributes desired and brand preference (a competing segmentation base that provides similar information but is more closely related to purchase behavior) on the criteria of segment identification, brand purchase, and responsiveness to marketing mix elements. Results suggest that brand preference segmentation produces more interpretable and managerially useful segmentation results than benefits/attributes desired. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.