Consumer Segmentation Studies

Understand Your Consumer-Members

When communicating with consumer-members about your co-op's products and services, it's critical to position your message in a way that will achieve desired results. To position your message properly, you need to understand who your members are and what motivates their choices regarding energy consumption. A common tool used in traditional marketing to understand customer motivations is consumer segmentation which is the practice of dividing a customer base into groups of individuals that are similar in specific ways relevant to marketing, such as age, gender, interests and spending habits.

By segmenting members based on their attitudes and beliefs related to the climate, renewable energy, energy efficiency, technology and media usage, co-ops are able to design and communicate programs and services to meet their member needs.

What Motivates Electric Co-op Consumer-Members?

In order to help co-ops gain a better understanding of their consumer-members, NRECA recently conducted a segmentation study with the consumer-members of 19 distribution co-ops. The analysis identified five distinct segments among the consumer-members along with a predictive model, that can determine a member’s segment by asking 10-questions focused on their attitudes and beliefs related to the climate, renewable energy, energy efficiency, technology and media usage. The segments identified are shown in the chart below.

Who Are YOUR Consumer-Members?

The five distinct segments revealed in this study provide insights into the motivations of electric co-op consumer-members at a macro level. But to leverage these insights to develop programs and communication strategies that will appeal to these segments, you need to understand the composition of your own membership.

NRECA Can Help.

If you are interested in targeting your communications to better resonate with your consumer-members, NRECA Market Research Services can help you conduct your own consumer segmentation study in a couple of ways:

  1. Include the 10-questions in another survey being conducted with a random sample of members (e.g., a Member Satisfaction Survey). Then estimate the proportion of members falling into each of the five segments.

  2. Complete a census of your co-op's entire membership, or sample a desired portion of the membership, asking as many members as possible to answer the 10 questions. This option will allow you to assign member households a segment designation.


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