Customer Insights & Segmentation

What we do

Profit potential varies dramatically across a company's customer base, and different customers can have radically different needs and behaviors. Recognizing that simple averages cannot accurately capture the preferences of either your customers or the marketplace as a whole is a crucial step in developing a sound customer strategy.

We apply a BothBrain® insights approach to getting to the solution. We use rigorous quantitative techniques combined with real customer interaction—interviews, ethnography, shop-alongs and focus groups. We identify new opportunities for clients to deepen relationships with the loyal, profitable customers they know best.

We work with clients to marry their customer insights to their organization's unique operational strengths. And we help clients keep their segmentation insights fresh by enlisting their customers' help and continued feedback to spur innovation, navigate shifts in the marketplace and anticipate changing tastes and needs. By taking this customer-lens approach to every facet of customer strategy, we help clients allocate their resources, go after the right opportunities and ensure that they will realize the full revenue potential of their products, services and relationships.

Bain also brings to its customer segmentation work the power of its dynamic and responsive Net Promoter® Score (NPS®) disciplines. To learn more about NPS, visit the Loyalty page.

Net Promoter® and NPS® are registered trademarks and Net Promoter SystemSM and Net Promoter ScoreSM are trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems and Fred Reichheld.

Our approach
Customer Insights

The business world is changing faster than ever, and increasingly companies are finding that timely response to shifting customer needs—their desires and expectations as well as their points of irritation and dissatisfaction—is essential for growing revenue. Bain helps companies apply customer insights across the entire business by first asking the big, strategic questions: "Who are our target customers?," "How do we best serve them?," "Where do we need to play?," and then by addressing how to optimize operating models to meet those needs. We also recognize that customers are driven by both rational and irrational mental processes; therefore, it is imperative to spend time with them, observe their behaviors and look for trends.

Bain’s analysis strategies target the data that will help our clients make the most effective decisions. When done incorrectly, segmentation can drown you with superfluous information. Although our analysis is comprehensive, we are careful to keep our clients focused on the data that directly relates to product and process improvements that will generate money.

Customer Segmentation

Bain’s approach to segmentation begins with a clear understanding of our client’s desired outcomes. We define what it is we’re trying to accomplish first because real business objectives can be obscured in the segmentation process when companies try to reach all customers in all capacities.

When clear objectives have been defined, we focus on identifying the customers who are worth more than others—those who are truly tied to our client’s economics. That does not necessarily mean segmenting on economics alone, it entails discovering which segments allow your company to make more profit per customer than your competitors.

The segmentation and insights process will not yield results if customers’ economic value to your business is not the principle consideration. Our strength is tying targeted, priority segments, and the resulting customer insights, to economic understanding to drive revenue growth for our clients. In doing so successfully, we excel where specialist market research firms struggle.

By identifying segmentation objectives and focusing on economics first, we are able to work alongside companies to design and implement segmentation strategies that are tailored to their needs. We consider how clients will use the segmentation—through which avenues will they receive the data, how can the information be effectively used throughout the organization, what resulting actions are necessary and how will those initiatives be practically deployed in the field—to build enduring valuable analytic techniques.
We develop insights that work for our clients. Our approach and recommendations are highly customized and lead to practical actions. Visit Bain Insights to read more, or stay current on the topics you care about most by downloading the Bain Insights app today.
Our team

Our leadership team

  • Barbara
  • Barbara Bilodeau

    Global Director, Advanced Analytics Group

    New York

    View profile

In addition to the leaders listed above, we have an extensive and diverse team of experts ready to serve the needs of clients worldwide. Please contact us to submit a business inquiry.