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Consumer segmentation project & market sizing CASE STUDY


The Brief

Royal Caribbean International is a cruise line offering holiday cruise experiences, one of the largest cruise operators for the last 40 years. RCL wanted to gain a better understanding of their customer segments to drive actionable insight that would aid customer targeting.

It’s not just where RCL customers holiday, it’s how they holiday. RCL ships are the biggest, most revolutionary adventure playgrounds on the waves. Recent refitting’s of the ships have added more wow factor –from 10-storey slides and robotic bartenders to skydiving simulators and West End entertainment. Now is the time for RCL to ensure they are communicated to the right people in the right locations.


To understand current customers and the comparisons with emerging holiday trends between groups of similar holidaymakers based on the travellers lifestage, holiday preferences, companions and destinations (customer segmentation).

The frustration with customer segmentation always comes from how to use attitudinal (research) motivations and lifestage (demographic) data to identify total UK population which align to target brand segments to enable targeting and pulling through the commercial value.  This frustration can extend further if you restrict customer segmentation models to analysing existing customers in isolation – the focus is not just on where the brand has performed well to date but, more importantly, to be able to strategically plan for where the brand fits in the total UK holiday market and what unique value positions need to be communicated to maximise growth in of the brand in the future.

Operationally, the clear definition of customer segment profiles needed to be delivered which could be used as a measure of success on closing the sales gap and monitoring the effectiveness in media campaigns in bringing through new target brand customers.

Customer segment profiles provide the metric to size both the UK total market potential and the brand penetration of existing customers. The profiles also add depth to the communication of brand unique sales propositions and development of brand imagery for each distinct profile, covering:


  • Who they are?
  • Where they live and work
  • Destination and holiday type alignment
  • When and where they travel, seasonality and lead booking time preferences
  • How they book: web, call centre or retail and travel agent preferences
  • Tailor communications to their preferred channels and response triggers?

Our Approach

S2 profiled and segmented RCL existing customer base by customer demographics, holiday behaviours and attitudes, along with communication preferences. RCL need to maintain their strong sales with the older loyal demographic, while also bringing focus to the growth opportunity of attracting families with young children.

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The Result

S2 developed customer segments defined and illustrated by detailed customer profile (pen personas). These customer segments have been appended to RCL’s database and are used to inform future sales strategy and media planning. S2 modelled the customer segments to size future customer opportunity, heat mapping and profiling density of UK population by geographic areas, including granular analysis of defined catchment areas. S2 is currently continuing to work with RCL on consumer research projects and consultancy workshops.


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