W.W. Grainger Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

By John Dudovskiy
August 19, 2020

W.W. Grainger Segmentation, Targeting and PositioningW.W. Grainger segmentation, targeting and positioning refers to ways in which the global industrial supply company chooses specific companies among large base of potential customers and develops its product and service offering to appeal to the needs of a few chosen customers.

Segmentation involves dividing population into groups according to certain characteristics. Grainger uses a set of segmentation criteria such as region, size of the company, turnover and potential annual MRO spending. Moreover, complexity of customer needs is an important segmentation criteria extensively employed by the industrial supply company.

Targeting is the next stage after segmentation and it is associated with selecting specific groups to sell products to. Positioning refers to the selection of the marketing mix that appeals to the needs and wants of the target customer segment to the maximum extent. Grainger uses multi-segment type of positioning and accordingly, the B2B distributor exploits more than one segment at the same time.

Specifically, Grainger positions its Zoro and MonotaRO  websites to appeal to the needs of small and medium-sized customer segment with simple needs for MRO products. Different customer segment with more complex needs on the other hand, are targeted via High-Touch Solutions value proposition, which involves sales and service representatives, KeepStock inventory management system and collection of orders from branches.

There are important differences between B2C (business-to-customer) and B2B (business-to-business) segmentation. These differences include the following:

1. More complex and rational decision making. Decision making process by Grainger target customer segment is complex and rational. It is opposite to B2C segment, where appeal can be made to customers’ needs on emotional level to influence the purchasing behaviour. This fact has direct implications on Grainger positioning in a way that the global industrial supply company has to base its value proposition on measurable and tangible advantages.

2. Complexity of B2B products. Unlike many B2C products, industrial products have greater level of complexity in range, installation and service. Grainger can use this as a competitive advantage and to protect its market from purely online competitors such as Amazon Business. Specifically, the company can increase its focus on market segment that needs more complex industrial products that purely online players cannot offer.

3. Smaller B2B target audience compared to consumer target audience. Grainger’s target customer segment in general and target customer segment with more complex needs in particular is limited in number. Accordingly, it can be argued that the value of each customer for the B2B distributor is great with certain implications on positioning of Grainger products and services.

W.W. Grainger Report contains the above analysis of W.W. Grainger segmentation, targeting and positioning and W.W. Grainger marketing strategy in general. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on W.W. Grainger. Moreover, the report contains analyses of W.W. Grainger leadership, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of W.W. Grainger business strategy, ecosystem and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.