Geek looking at data

Environics Analytics Releases All-New PRIZM Segmentation System

May 21, 2020, 15:15 PM by Michael Weiss
2020 edition classifies Canadians into 67 distinct lifestyle types

Toronto, May 21, 2020 – Environics Analytics (EA) today announced the launch of the fourth generation of PRIZM, its comprehensive segmentation system widely used by businesses, not-for-profits and government agencies to analyze consumers and markets. The new PRIZM classifies Canadians into 67 distinct lifestyle types with names like Latte Life (younger, single urban renters), Came From Away (multi-ethnic, middle-aged urban renters) and Vie Dynamique (older, middle-income Quebec suburbanites).

At a time when businesses are recognizing the importance of up-to-date data to make better decisions, PRIZM provides a deep trove of authoritative information about Canada’s changing demographics, lifestyles, behaviour and values. Integrated with privacy-compliant data from dozens of marketing and media sources, the PRIZM segments provide users with insights for a wide range of applications—from marketing strategies and site location decisions to merchandising, media planning (traditional and digital) and mobile analytics. As the nation adapts to changes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, PRIZM can also help organizations better understand the motivations and behaviours of their customers—and track the recovery of businesses anywhere in the country.

“Canada has undergone so much change in recent years, and even more in the last few months, that decision-makers need the latest data to understand the new normal,” says Jan Kestle, founder and president of EA. “PRIZM takes away the guesswork with the most authoritative data available on consumers and markets. It goes beyond demographics to explore how people spend their time, where they spend their money and what issues resonate with them. Ultimately, it helps marketers better understand their customers to more meaningfully engage them, especially as the economy rebounds.”

With its 67 segments, PRIZM provides a fresh perspective on Canada’s distinct markets and communities. Since the prior edition, new segments have emerged as a result of powerful social currents, including the increasing popularity of high-rise condominiums (New Asian Heights, Savvy Seniors), the growing prominence of the Millennial generation (Indieville, Social Networkers) and the expanding cultural diversity in midsize cities (Middle-Class Mosaic, Midtown Movers). The new release features 14 predominantly francophone segments, 17 with large numbers of immigrants and two—Diversité Nouvelle (New Mix) and Enclaves Multiethniques (Multiethnic Enclaves)—with a significant presence of both francophone and immigrant neighbourhoods in and around Montreal.

The latest PRIZM also features an entirely new urbanity classification, “urban fringe,” characterized by segments in once-suburban areas—like Mississauga and Markham around Toronto, and North Vancouver and Burnaby in the Vancouver CMA—that have been absorbed by urban sprawl. Urban fringe residents now live in segments with names like Mature & Secure and Multicultural Corners. The emergence of urban fringe goes hand in hand with another change in the urbanity classification: the elimination of the exurban category. As cities continued to push outward, so has suburban sprawl, causing the exurban lifestyle to resemble that of suburban neighbourhoods rather than rural or town communities.

Nearly a year in the making, the new PRIZM was built using demographic data from EA’s 2020 DemoStats database, just-released Social Values data from EA’s sister company, Environics Research, and the latest data from respected organizations like Statistics Canada and Canada Post. The only segmentation system in North America built with both geodemographics and psychographics, PRIZM allows marketers to understand the actions and mindset of their customers at the neighbourhood level. The new system also documents the resilience of many demographic trends first identified in the 2016 Census: the aging Baby Boom generation (Boomer Bliss), the growth in multigenerational households (South Asian Families), increasing numbers of single-parent families (Friends & Roomies) and the rise in French-English bilingualism (Vie de Rêve “Living the Dream”).

Combined with EA’s MobileScapes (a privacy-compliant database developed from aggregated mobile movement data), PRIZM helps businesses and government agencies identify which changes in behaviour resulting from the pandemic may evolve into the new normal. As Kestle observes, “Will people who dined out every night before COVID-19 cook more home meals and order more delivery in the future? Will domestic travel and staycations replace winter getaways? And what is in store for broadcast and digital media? Such questions can now be addressed regularly through the lens of PRIZM, with the most up-to-date view of the Canadian population and it various segments.”

Together, PRIZM and its linked databases offer users access to more than 30,000 data points on wide-ranging topics, including purchase behaviour, media usage, leisure activities and financial health. And these data can be further integrated with a client’s customer file to enhance the understanding of consumers in a privacy-friendly way.



About Environics Analytics

Environics Analytics is the premier marketing and analytical services company in Canada. It helps customers turn data and analytics into insight, strategy and results. The company offers the full range of analytical services—from data supplier to strategic consultancy—and provides over-the-counter reports, purpose-built software-as-a-service and a wide variety of modelling approaches. Its team of quantitative marketers, modellers and geographers are experts at helping organizations identify their business challenges, develop data-driven solutions and achieve success along every phase of their analytics journey. To learn more about Environics Analytics, please visit

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