Feral segmentation: How cultural intermediaries perform market segmentation in the wild

Carlos A. Diaz Ruiz*, Hans Kjellberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This article extends the S-T-P framework of market segmentation (i.e. segmentation, targeting, and positioning), showing that firms have more sources of segments than previously acknowledged, including the option of integrating feral segments that emerge publicly in the marketplace. While the S-T-P framework currently focuses on ad hoc segmentation tailored for a focal firm and syndicated segmentation made for commercialization to multiple firms, this article introduces feral segmentation in which cultural intermediaries (CIs) coin consumers categories through their familiarity with popular culture. Empirically, the article investigates how CIs constructed the lumbersexual segment, a neologism combining the narcissism of the metrosexual with the roughness of the lumberjack. The findings include a four-step feral segmentation process: (1) Establishing deviance —singling out anomalies that lower the explanatory power of existing segments. (2) Prototyping —sketching profiles that enhance familiarity and allow identification. (3) Anchoring —attaching the segment into public discussions. (4) Vaccination —coining preemptive validations against criticism.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalMarketing Theory
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)429-457
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • consumer segment
  • cultural intermediaries
  • market segmentation
  • representational practice


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