Market Segmentation Strategies

Under Amour: A Case Study

The University of Virginia conducted a case study on Under Amour. This case study focuses on the risk Under Amour took by identifying a market segment within the sportswear industry that under-performed and creating a campaign that spoke volumes to that segment, resulting in a competitive market segment advantage and increased company sales. In the article, Under Amour identified the active female market segment as one that needed to be conquered, after their rival, Adidas, failed to reach the market segment with their “Unite All Originals” campaign (University of Virgina, 2016). Under Amour saw the untapped potential and launched its own campaign. Titled “I Will What I Want,” the campaign focused on empowering women and celebrating those who choose to defy the negative external pressures placed on them. This attempt to appeal the substantially smaller market of women is considered niche segmentation. Social media was at the core of Under Armour’s segmentation strategies, as well as celebrity endorsements (University of Virginia, 2016). Under Armour chose unlikely “athletes” like ballerina Misty Copeland and supermodel Gisele Bundchen to star in their ads, which were created for TV, print, and web. These strategies proved to be effective, stirring viral engagement via social media.

Key Points to Remember When Implementing Segmentation Strategies

Having read the Under Armour article, there are a few key points that stick out when it comes to implementing segmentation strategies. The first is brand association. Brand is everything, and customers or potential buyers need a reason to remember your brand. Give them one! Secondly, consider the risks of brand ambassadors. While for some companies, like Under Amour, celebrity endorsers worked out great, there is always the possibility that an ambassador might make a mistake, and this could negatively impact your brand because the two are “associated.” Always be prepared and have plans to overcome adversity. The third important thing to remember when implementing segmentation strategies is to consider your audience. Under Armour chose to use social media as the heart of its campaign; they understood that this was the most effective means of reaching their intended female audience, which allowed for viral conversations via the web. What else should you do with segmentation strategies? Draw attention. Word-of-mouth and viral marketing play a large role in spreading brand awareness, and work well in today’s increasingly connected world (University of Virginia, 2016). If you can get people talking about your product or service through your segmentation strategies, your campaign will be golden. The Final Tip: storytelling and emotions. People like to connect with brands and advertisements that trigger an emotional reaction. They like to see a story behind a brand or product. This strategy makes it easier to relate one’s personal life to the brand and creates interest. Brand loyalty will follow. Follow these tips, and you will be effectively using segmentation strategies.

New Market Segments and Segmentation Strategies

There are always new market segments on the rise. Self-driving cars were always thought to be a reality only in dreams. However, many companies like Google’s Waymo have taken matters into their own hands and begun pursuing the market segment of the self-driving car owner. For Waymo, this market segment is the elderly and disabled, and those in need of mobility. This is a fascinating, brand new market and thus, new market segments are forming. In order to reach this market segment, companies like Waymo may utilize emotional appeal in their ads, focusing on the freedom that mobility brings to individuals. An effective segmentation strategy that Waymo might benefit from is using real-life testimonials of those in need of mobility, focusing on what the Waymo self-driving car has done for them: gave them their freedom back. This would be Waymo effectively utilizing story-telling, emotional appeals, and reinforcing a positive brand image. There is sure to be a lot of talk around self-driving cars as it is, but if you add in effective advertising and segmentation strategies, their ads would have the potential to go viral.



University of Virginia. (27 Jul 2016). Under Amour’s Willful Digital Moves. VA: Darden Business of Publishing. Retrieved from


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