Target Group segmentation makes sense: if one sheep leaps over the ditch, all the rest will follow

C. Egmond*, R. Jonkers, G.J. Kok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To meet the Dutch governmental goals of reducing CO2 emission, target groups must increase their rates of adoption of energy conserving innovations. SenterNovem,(1) in commission of the Dutch Ministry of Environmental Affairs, developed a strategy to effectively change the adoption behaviour of target groups. To develop strategies that take different rates of adoption into account, this study answers the questions: (1) How can different segments of the adopter market be categorized; (2) What are the characteristics of adopters in the different categories; (3) How do the determinants of behaviour of the adopter categories differ; and (4) What policy instruments can be used to change them? We conducted a secondary analysis of the data from a previous survey of housing associations. Based on the so-called self-designating method we constructed a scale of adoption rate and we measured the rate of adoption of housing associations. Segments of this target group with different adoption rates and correspondingly different characteristics were found: first adopters in a target group have a more visionary attitude, whereas the later adopters have a less visionary and more pragmatic attitude. We conclude that the self-designating method used in a survey provides explanation for the adoption speeds of different market segments. This explanation, in turn, can lead to more effective interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3115-3123
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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