Get the word right. Fusion, not confusion, is the future for most sectors, products, services and entities.
Fusion is a concept – not a miss-spelling or a mispronunciation. Its relevance transcends sectors, product types and service categories. Its contemporary application is a back-wash from over-use and often misuse of market segmentation, which ultimately led to market fragmentation.
Micro-managing and endeavouring to consider nano-segments of populations are often unviable and ill-advised. Having the ability to discriminate and delineate discrete nuclear sub-groupings of existing and prospective customers is not enough justification.
The evolution of market-segmentation witnessed changes in focus, from demographic profiles (age, occupation, income, gender etc) to psychographics, which centred more on lifestyle pursuits and self-images.
Time–series analyses consistently highlight the fact that tightly profiled primary target audiences – centred on demographics or psychographs, and occasionally a combination of them – seldom represent more than 40% of actual customers and clients.
It is clear that many individuals and entities that do not “fit” the profile, aspire to do so, or related best to those who did.
Perceptions and self-images can - and regularly do - overwhelm reality. Thus, the statement:
                        The consumers’ perceptions
                        are the marketers’ realities
Look no further than the number and percentage of all-wheel-drive sports utility vehicles which never leave the bitumen, clog the freeways and create gridlock on the streets around schools at twice of each weekday.
In recent times many businesses and sectors have fallen victim to well-intentioned broadening of product/service mixes, as a means to generate additional revenue.
Incompatible customer profiles, needs, buying routines and purchase criteria have been significant filters and blockages to such endeavours.

Superficial analyses have not enabled appropriate delineation of underlying circumstances which determine and contribute to commercial success.
For example, the purchase of domestic floor coverings is typically taken at differing times and on distinct bases. Renovation is a complex web of decisions, purchases and endeavours: only those who truly know their customers can identify the distinctive nature of such.
Endeavours to integrate – fuse, if you will – newsagencies and pharmacies have in the main suffered similar outcomes. Increasing visitation rates to retail pharmacies or related operations do not ensure increased revenue in that discrete product mix.
Pet product retailers and veterinary surgeries are exploring related initiatives, with mixed and often imbalanced results, in which win–win is not a constant.
Many restaurants and cafes have enjoyed success with fusion cuisines. They tend to avoid attempts to integrate and coordinate differing ethnic-based food-types. Indian, Chinese, Italian and Swedish is an interesting mix, but by nature is not fusion. To many consumers it is not a mouth-watering temptation.
Fusion, it seems, is at its best when it is an influence, not an ingredient or component of a mixed offering.
Consistency between signage, branding, ambience and menu is important. It may be unique, a hybrid and a reflection of the rich mosaic of life, society - and the globe.
Purity and consistency are idealisms from the past, but probably never realisable or existent.
The increasing presence of key influences, stimulates interests, establishes expectations and contributes to positive, enjoyable experiences: differentiates. All these are significant factors to stimulate returned patronage.
In many respects marketers who seek to effect “cut-through”, resonance and relevance to discrete market segments endeavour to exclude certain consumer groups and sectors, as a means to achieve optimal performance.
Doubtless, the segmentation process precludes many opportunities, be they related to targeted audiences, product/service ranges and communication texts and channels.
Conversely, fusion tends to be more inclusive, embracing and capitalising upon prospects with secondary and tertiary factors. In short, an absence of delineation which is definitively “black” or “white” promotes the reality and prospects of that which resides in the broader continuum of grey.
In the prevailing marketplace it seems acceptable, indeed possibly preferable, to be operating “under the influence”. It puts a differing hue to being considered a conviction marketer.
Confused? Hopefully not. Just starting on the journey to a fusion future.