The Sinus-Milieus are a social model. They were developed by SINUS over 40 years ago and are considered the gold standard for psychographic target group segmentation in the German-speaking market. The Sinus-Milieus arrange people with similar values, a similar lifestyle and a comparable social situation into groups of “like-minded people”. The transitions between the milieus are fluid. We call this the “uncertainty principle” of everyday reality.
The Sinus models all have a very similar graphic structure. The vertical axis shows the social situation (ranging from low to high) and the horizontal axis shows the value orientation (ranging from traditional to postmodern). The higher a milieu is located in this graph, the more upscale its education, income and occupational group; the further to the right it extends, the more modern in a sociocultural sense the basic orientation of the respective milieu.
The Sinus-Milieus illustrate the motivations behind the various lifestyles in our society (values, life goals, lifestyles) and how they can be swayed (media use, communication preferences). They therefore offer marketing more information and better decision-making tools than conventional target group approaches. Products, brands, political parties, media etc. can be positioned on the Milieu Map.
Extensive information from the creators, developers and users of the Sinus-Milieu model can be found in our basic manual “Practice of Sinus Milieus”. Our information packages provide a comprehensive introduction to working with the Sinus-Milieus. Do you want to get to know the Sinus-Milieus in more detail? Then let us train you up to become a Milieu expert.
The Sinus-Milieu model has been extended for various areas:
The Sinus-Milieus are therefore not a ’one-off typology’ like many other models but rather an approach that has been established for decades, with great market penetration.
This is evidenced by the integration of the Sinus Milieus into the most important market media studies, consumer and TV audience panels in Germany.
The Sinus-Milieus are a hub for linking information on different topics from different sources, because the milieus tick the same way, whatever the research design. For example, the media behavior of the Expeditives from a representative survey can be combined with the basic travel orientations of this future milieu, which were researched in focus groups.
The approach is used by leading brand manufacturers and service companies for strategic marketing, product development and communications, and by political parties, ministries, trade unions, churches and associations (see Customers). Large media companies have been working with it for years, as have advertising and media agencies.
As Sinus-Milieu studies are published continuously, you learn more and more about your target groups. This wealth of experience can therefore be built on – often cost-neutrally. In other words, the existence of many pre-existing verified findings dispenses with the need to collect and analyze data from scratch, especially with regard to communication strategies and media usage (Milieu-specific touchpoints).
The Sinus Milieus approach allows our customers to better understand the modern sets of values, and the relevant trends of today and tomorrow, and to target their target groups even more precisely – not only in German-speaking countries, but now in over 40 countries.
The areas of application for the Sinus-Milieus are wide-ranging. In addition to applications in politics, the Church, journalism or education, there is hardly a market category in classic marketing research for which the Sinus-Milieus have not been used. They enable a differentiated description of customer and buyer groups, the targeted positioning of products and services, the definition of market segments for new products and relaunches, the detection of market niches, the efficient addressing of buyer potential, and, last but not least, the early detection and localization of new motivations and constitutions.
The Sinus-Milieus can be used in many ways:
An introduction to working with the Sinus-Milieus is provided by our information packages, which are updated annually with the latest statistics.
We have access to various population-representative market media studies and can therefore carry out individual counts and market-describing analyses for you – if you wish, according to demographic subgroups pre-defined by you and/or according to Sinus-Milieus.
You can also have us collect new and targeted target group data at any time. If you need quick answers to a few questions, we recommend a representative short survey. Of course, we also offer more extensive customized market and social research studies.