Are There More Than Two Types of People in the World?

We’ve recently run some brilliant segmentation studies for our clients.  If we had to choose favourite projects types, segmentation would be well up there.  It’s like mastering that amazing recipe as you start with just ingredients, thoughts on what the final product might look like but the thrill is in the creation and the expectation when the solution is made. However, maybe we’re over-complicating things as maybe the world is simpler than what we thought.

Robert Benchley’s Law of Distinction states “there are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don’t” and he’s not alone in this segmentation thinking.

Mark Twain wrote “there are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.”

Einstein saw life in two ways “there are two ways to live:  You can live as if nothing is a miracle; You can live as if everything is a miracle.”

Quentin Tarantino segmented the population based on music preference – “There are two types of people in this world, those who like Elvis and those who like the Beatles.”, while Henry Ford must have moved one from his one black car mantra as he’s quoted as saying “There are two kinds of people: those who think they can, and those who think they can’t, and they’re both right.”

If you ask the average person on the street, they also have the ability to divide the population into two:

“those that work, those that don’t”

“those who can, those who can’t”

“people who run, everyone else”

“AFL or NRL”

“young or old”

“good versus evil”

So are we over-complicating things – probably not.  Good segmentation goes beyond the simple division of two but maybe it’s a great place to start.  Take the population, divide it logically into two and then add the richness and the variations between these groups.  We talk about the Pareto principle of 80/20 –  where 80% of sales, complaints, profits, etc come from 20% of clients/products/staff and that’s basically working on the same principle.  It’s food for thought at least – we’re 50/50 about that.

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