Consumer Behavior and Social Class

627 Words2 Pages
Introduction There are several determinants of social class. Much of class is determined by income and educated, but class is deeply embedded in race and gender as well. Social standing can also reflect one's geography, one's origin or one's profession. Class is, ultimately, however ill-defined as a concept and relies heavily on a "know it when I see it" sort of approach. Most individuals can move between classes fairly easily if they want to. Consumer Behavior These characteristics represent most of the major demographic variables, and therefore can have an effect on consumer behavior, especially to the extent that the consumer self-identifies with class. A marketer will typically segment consumers on definable variables, but these definable variables will roughly correspond with particular social class and standing. For example, a company might want to target black females 18-25 for a new product, but might specifically only seek to target those of higher class standing. That latter component could change a number of marketing variables, including distribution and marketing message. Class affects consumer buying behavior is a couple of key ways. The first is it creates aspirational products. Bhat and Reddy (1998) note that brands are positioned in symbolic ways. Often consumers seek to associate themselves with brands that they feel with showcase their upward mobility. This can be seen among members of lower classes when they switch from a low cost provider to one
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