< Suites

Integrated Consumer Understanding

The First Holistic Target Group Brand Model

With this holistic brand-target group approach, we construct a model of the complex interactions between respective target groups and brands. The method comprises two integrated sub-models (CONSUMER & B®AND, see below) and the constructed model represents three relevant, corresponding levels (values, needs, attitudes) from which we can derive precise, operational and practical results.

Areas of Application 
ICU™ can generally be used to tackle all research questions relating to target groups or brands.

The ICU™ approach is ideal to generate precise and comprehensive target group descriptions, to identify current and potential target groups or to assess the market potential of products or services. When it comes to brands, this approach can be used to generate targeted, strategic brand positioning recommendations, to identify the most promising touchpoints for brand communication or to test already functioning communication claims and brand messages and much more - the area of application for this model is vast! 


ICU™ is based on a research design that integrates two full-blown models: the target group model CONSUMER and the brand model B®AND

CONSUMER focuses on the hybrid consumer. It is the first target group approach that analyses how consumers can be addressed on the basis of their mindset, beliefs and needs.

Unlike conventional approaches, CONSUMER is based on two different segmentations which are essential for comprehensive analysis of the consumer:

  • The needs-segment is isolated and compiled for each individual product category. It is based on concrete category needs and category-related beliefs.
  • The mindset-segment is independent of the category, universally valid and based on the mindsets and general beliefs of consumers.

B®AND focuses on the complexity of brands and the fact that they are more than mere images. They are holistic social constructs and mental reflections of a product or an offer. Brands must have a certain ‘presence’ and at the same time they must ‘offer something’. As for B®AND, brands must meet three different criteria: they must have a personality, they must be competent and they must provide a benefit.

Integration of the two models: The brand model B®AND is systematically incorporated into the CONSUMER target group model.

Brands fulfil their functions on different levels – depending on the relevant target group levels. This method is based on analogue brand and target group levels which in turn can be described on the same, universal dimension of human behavior.



For further information please contact:
Dr. Jörg Munkes