Cohorts

Without exception, the demographics of my twenty-eight marketing students are:

  • Aged 18-22 year old
  • Female
  • Lives in Songjiang, Shanghai
  • Studies at an art academy

You’d think that these four points precisely describe a group of people, but we did an exercise in the class today and it turns out they mostly disagree on life topics, ranging from their favourite fashion brand, ideal holiday destination, to views on marriage, sport, smoking, and fast-food.

It’s why in segmentation, demographics alone aren’t enough — and you also need attitudes and behaviours. Moreso, if such a small group of students has such conflicting opinions on very basic topics, you’d wonder what’s the point of all these trend reports about millennials and Gen-Z, using general cohorts to describe millions of people as somehow being similar.

Shanghai