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Brand Segmentation in the Hotel and Cruise Industries: Fact or Fiction?
An analysis of a consumer database calls into question the idea, common among academic
observers, that market segmentation can work as a grand strategy for either cruise lines or
for hotel brands. In pursuing a market segmentation strategy, a brand would focus its efforts
on a discrete group of consumers to the exclusion of other groups. In so doing, that brand
would attempt to forestall that set of customers from doing business with competitors. Using data
drawn from a sample of over 40,000 respondents in the United States, this study finds no such exclusivity
for large market segments. One reason for this is that hotel and cruise markets are not sufficiently
segmented for such a strategy to succeed.