Mastering Social Class & Consumer Behavior: 🔐Key To Marketing Success🎯

Mastering Social Class & Consumer Behavior: 🔐Key To Marketing Success🎯

The system of social class exists in all societies. Substantial differences with respect to buying behavior are found among classes.

Various classes shop at different stores and prefer different treatment from sellers. People of different social classes buy different brands and show different spending and saving patterns. These have impacts on marketing strategy formulation.

Thus, it may be necessary to design marketing programs tailored to specific social classes.

Why is the Knowledge of Social Classes Required for a Marketer?

  1. Knowing about social classes helps marketers make better decisions, like how to advertise, set prices, and distribute products.
  2. Social class affects how people buy things, including what they buy, where they buy it, how often, how they pay, and why they decide to buy.
  3. Ignoring social class can make marketing ineffective, but considering it helps target the right people with the right messages.
  4. Understanding social class helps find out what different groups of people want and like, so marketing can be customized to their needs.
  5. Marketers should stay updated on social class changes to adapt their strategies and reach different groups of customers successfully.

What advertising message and media should be selected for each class, the designs and prices set for each group, and how to distribute the product to each group may be decided appropriately with a sound knowledge of the social classes and their behavioral patterns.

The social class study provides an important explanation of certain aspects of buying behavior.

Marketers are particularly interested in social class study, as there is a correlation between a consumer’s social status and his purchasing patterns. This includes what he buys, from where he buys, the frequency with which he buys, how he makes payments, what motivates him to buy, and the mental process involved in the purchase decision.

The concept of social class is both analytically useful and relevant to marketing decisions. Without having proper knowledge of social classes, their characteristics, and their impacts on consumer behavior, it is not possible for a marketer to devise appropriate strategies in areas ranging from product development to market segmentation, to pricing, and finally to distribution.

Background of Social Class Study

People in a particular society are divided into different distinct social classes. People are classified into social classes according to different characteristics.

Consumption patterns vary with the change in social classes. For marketers, it is imperative to know how each class behaves regarding consumer behavior.

You should know that the most fundamental and intriguing of all human phenomena is the tendency in people to both differentiate themselves from one another and to group together on the basis of similarities or consistencies. This is the basis for one of the most central concepts in marketing: market segmentation.

The total market, as you know, is divided into different subgroups of homogeneous nature and characteristics. Similarities are found among the members of a particular subset, while they are different from members of other subsets.

Because of differences among groups/subsets, behavior patterns vary among them. Sociologists refer to this as social structure. It implies that a group of people or market can be structured or subdivided into smaller groups based on differences in their behavioral patterns.

One may structure consumer groups in many ways. You may find differences in the demographic characteristics of consumers. They may also differ from one another in the degree to which they possess intellectual and material things such as knowledge, skills, and money.

We use the concept of social class to describe these differences found among consumers. Again, one group of consumers may differ from another group based on the customs they practice or follow.

As social structures vary among groups, they display different consumption patterns, lifestyles, and behavior. It is therefore necessary to study various kinds of social structures. Such a study may help a marketer understand consumer behavior better. From this realization, marketers take a keen interest in knowing different aspects of social stratification and social class that may help them understand consumer behavior better and develop appropriate marketing strategies.

How to Determine an Individual’s Class Membership?

A marketer must know how to measure the social classes of people living in a particular country. There are quite a few techniques for measuring social classes. Marketers should also know the types of social classes that exist around the globe, as well as their features. It will help them develop the right product for the right class of people.

Marketers are interested in knowing what people are like in various social classes. They may seek help from sociologists who have developed simple approaches for determining the social class membership of individuals.

Marketers, for formulating their strategies, should know who belongs to what class. The number of factors determine who belongs to what class in the social system.

The basic factors determining an individual’s class membership are:

  • Occupation
  • Personal performance
  • Possessions/artifacts
  • Interactions/associations
  • Education
  • Influence

Occupation

What happens when you meet someone for the first time? You usually first ask the name of the person and then ask them questions about what they do. The answer to the second question will tell you a lot about that person.

Analysts of consumer behavior consider occupation the best single indicator of social class. Generally, the prestige ratings of occupations coincide with assumptions about salary or other monetary rewards, level of education, and social or political power.

In our society, we usually rank secretaries, generals, and successful businessmen into higher classes, while university teachers are considered as members of the middle class.

Personal Performance

Personal performance and achievements of an individual may also indicate where they fit in the social ranking. The majority of lawyers in our country belong to the middle class. But a lawyer like Dr. Kamal Hossain definitely fits somewhere in the upper class only because of his personal performance or achievements.

Possessions/Artifacts

What material items an individual possesses indicate their class membership. It is obvious that clothing, furnishings, type

of house, and appliances owned and used by people of the middle and upper classes will vary. Thus, an individual’s class membership may be determined by the type of house they live in, the clothing they wear, the automobile they drive, and the household appliances they use.

Interactions/Associations

We feel comfortable when we mix up and are with people of similar values and behavior. Interaction or association may be considered an important determinant of an individual’s social class. It is found that friendships, dating, and marriages take place among people of the same class.

Education

Higher or more education generally means a higher social class. People holding a Ph.D. degree do not abound in the lower classes. A bachelor’s degree, on the other hand, is almost a prerequisite for placement in the contemporary middle class.

Influence

Everyone in society does not hold and use the same degree of influence. In a complex society, individuals having and exercising more power are considered to be members of higher social classes. Usually, individuals performing coordinating functions, such as ministers, generals, and secretaries, are treated as members of the upper classes.

Techniques of Measuring Social Class

Occupation, education, income, and to a lesser extent, dwelling area are the primary dimensions used to determine the social standing of individuals. These are the achievement-based status dimensions.

There are non-achievement status dimensions as well, such as age, gender, and parents’ status. But the question arises: how do we measure these dimensions in the most effective manner? A wide range of social class measurement techniques is available.

The basic techniques used by marketers to measure social classes are

  1. Reputational approach.
  2. Subjective approach.
  3. Objective approach.

Let us now discuss them briefly:

Reputational Approach

Lloyd Warner, one of the pioneers in the social class study, developed the reputational approach for measuring social class. The name suggests that one’s social reputation or among neighbors or associates will determine their social class.

Under this method, people are asked to assess their social position or rank the people they know.

This method is applied using an interview method.

The interviewer selects A group of respondents and asks them to give opinions on their neighbors or known people regarding their social standing. Respondents are not forced to give opinions; spontaneous responses are considered.

Subjective Approach

As the name suggests, the subjective approach is subject to individual bias.

Under this method, individuals are asked to rank themselves into social classes. Individuals rate themselves according to their understanding, not how others view them in society. The problem lies here that individuals are likely to rate themselves higher than their actual social standing.

Moreover, they are likely to avoid the implied meaning of different social classes. As a result, this method may give a false idea to the marketer regarding the size of each social class.

Objective Approach

The objective method measures social classes based on some demographic variables. It is free from individual bias.

The other two approaches described above are not free from personal bias. The reputational technique considers other people’s opinions regarding an individual’s social class, whereas others may not appropriately rank an individual either because of their own disliking or to protect their self-images.

The subjective method is not bias-free in the sense that individuals are most of the time likely to exaggerate their own positions with respect to others.

The objective method, in measuring the social classes of individuals, uses demographic variables such as income, occupation, education, type or area of residence, organizational involvement, and material belongings.

There are two types of objective methods: single factor/item index and multiple factors/items index.

The Single Factor/Item Index

It calculates social status based on a single dimension.

Because several dimensions influence an individual’s overall status, this method is generally less accurate at predicting an individual’s social position or standing in society than well-developed multiple-item indexes.

However, the single-item index allows one to estimate the impact of specific status dimensions on the consumption process. Three common single-item indexes used by marketers in measuring the social classes of consumers are income, occupation, and education.

Income is an indicator of status and purchasing power. There is a correlation between income and status. But using income as a social class measurement dimension has several problems.

Researchers face problems regarding whether they should consider family or individual income, before-tax or after-tax income, or even salary or total income.

Moreover, accurate income data is difficult to gather. Though there is a correlation between income and lifestyle, it is not always true. A university professor may have the same amount of income as a motor mechanic, but the lifestyles of these two individuals will differ, as will their social classes.

Since education influences an individual’s tastes, preferences, values, and attitudes, it is considered a useful variable in measuring the social classes of individuals.

Moreover, it is fairly easy to measure education levels and thus may be used effectively in measuring social classes.

The most widely used single-item index is occupation. The type of work one does has a direct bearing on their lifestyle and thus their social class.

But in most cases, occupation has a correlation with education and income. One difficulty in using occupation as a social class measurement dimension is that it is very difficult to determine the relative status of numerous job titles that exist in society.

To solve this problem, one can develop a hierarchy of occupations in terms of prestige, education, and income.

Multiple Factor/Items Index

The multiple-item index may provide a more accurate prediction of the social classes of people.

This method integrates more than one demographic variable and measures social classes based on more than one variable at a time. There are quite a number of multiple-item indexes developed by researchers.

Three of the widely used methods are:

  1. Warner’s Index of Status Characteristics (ISC)
  2. Hollingshead Index of Social Position (ISP)
  3. Coleman’s Computerized Status Index (CSI)

Among these three methods, Warner’s (ISC) is the most widely used. Now let’s have a brief look at the first two methods as they are used extensively.

Warner’s Index of Status Characteristics (ISC)

This method is the most widely recognized and used multi-item index for measuring social classes. It is based upon measures of occupation, source of income, house type, and dwelling area – four important socioeconomic factors.

Warner defined each of these four dimensions over a range of seven categories and allotted different weights to each of the categories. Individuals are classified into one of the six social classes under this method.

Hollingshead Index of Social Position (ISP)

Another well-developed and widely used method of measuring social classes is the Hollingshedad Index of Social Position (ISP). This method measures social classes along two dimensions: occupation and income.

This method measured or reflected an individual family’s overall social position within the community. This index may be seen in the following figure:

Mastering Social Class & Consumer Behavior: 🔐Key To Marketing Success🎯

Subculture Based on Social Class

Social class may also be used as a determinant of subcultural differences. There could be a subculture of the well-offs, a subculture of the middle class, and a subculture of poverty.

People belonging to the rich’s subculture will display different buying behaviors than those of the middle and poor.

Rich will be very selective in their purchases; people of the middle class will have substantial control over their consumption decisions; poor, on the other hand, will be very careful and cautious in making their purchase decisions.

The subculture of poverty consists of people living below the poverty line. They will avoid buying pre-packed, instant, frozen food items because of their low incomes as they are likely to be costlier than the fresh staple ones.

As they have limited educational opportunities, they develop different attitudes, outlooks, and motivations resulting in different buying behaviors. Most of their incomes are spent on necessities such as food and housing.

Only a small amount of their incomes are spent on clothing, transportation, recreation, and luxury. They basically look at low-cost items, favor shops where they get credit and are attracted by the marketers’ different inducements.

Types of Social Classes, Their Characteristics, An Buying Behavior

In every society, social classes exist. Social classes are distinct units composed of individuals who share common attitudes, values, and patterns of behavior. Although social classes may be categorized in various ways, W.L. Warner’s classification is widely accepted. He identified six social classes that exist in societies around the world:

  1. upper-upper.
  2. ower-upper.
  3. upper-middle.
  4. lower-middle.
  5. upper-lower.
  6. lower-lower.

Marketers are particularly interested in social classes because knowledge of them helps in formulating appropriate market segmentation, positioning, pricing, distribution, and communication strategies.

Upper-Upper Class

The upper-upper class consists of people from old, wealthy families, often with inherited wealth for at least more than one generation.

People of this group are very polished in their behavior. Members of this group often live in large homes in exclusive neighborhoods. They exhibit a sense of social responsibility and patronize fancy, expensive, and status shops.

Though upper-upper class people buy expensive items, they do not conspicuously display their wealth and properties. People of this group constitute a very good market for antiques, art, expensive and rare jewelry, luxury travel, and uniquely designed products.

While buying different items, they expect special services from sellers. Their incomes mostly come from inherited wealth. They are aristocratic and small in number and are considered elite by others in society.

Their children attend private, expensive schools and graduate from the best universities. They spend money in such a way that it appears unimportant, but they do not show off.

Upper-upper class people also provide leadership and funds for social activities. They serve as trustees for hospitals, educational, social, charitable, and religious institutions.

Lower-Upper Class

This group is similar to the upper-upper class in costly homes in the best neighborhoods and in lifestyles but lacks distinguished ancestry. Their behaviors are not as polished as those of upper-upper class people. In some cases, their incomes average somewhat larger than families in the upper-upper class. But their wealth is newer and is not inherited.

This is a newly rich class, composed of those who have recently arrived at their wealth and are not quite accepted by the upper-uppers.

Founders of larger businesses, lawyers, and wealthy doctors fall into this class. They imitate the gracious living of the upper-uppers.

Members of society term them as ‘new rich’ and the current generation’s new successful elite. The consumption pattern of this group is often more conspicuous. Their consumption pattern acts as a symbol of their social position.

They are the major purchasers of larger homes, more expensive vacations, clothing, food, and furniture, as well as luxury cars. As their wealth is earned during their lifetimes, not of second or third-generation wealth, they are not accepted in the upper-upper class.

Upper-Middle Class

The upper-middle class is composed of moderately successful businessmen and professionals and the owners of medium-sized companies.

Upper-middle class people are usually highly educated and have a strong desire for achievement. They are very career-oriented and give their children an environment so that they do well in their lives. Financially, they are less well off than the upper-middles.

Most of the upper middles either lack lineage or are not concerned much about it. Because of their educational attainments, they are often considered as the ‘eyes and brains’ of the society. They are respectable, achieving, solid citizens of high moral standards and personal integrity. Their incomes are basically derived not from invested wealth but from salaries.

The positions of the upper-middles are achieved by their career orientation and occupation. They are involved in a broad range of social and cultural activities. The purchases of upper-middles are more conspicuous than those

of the upper class. They usually buy socially significant and status-related items. They support social causes, live well, and interact heavily with members of their class.

People of this class are concerned about the quality of life, and as a result, they select homes and furnishings for entertaining and gracious living.

Lower-Middle Class

This class primarily consists of white-collar workers who earn respectable incomes and lead moderately comfortable lifestyles. People in this class are very careful in spending their money.

Small businessmen, teachers, technicians, salespeople, and office workers usually belong to this class. It is a relatively large class in any society. People in this class are home and family-oriented, morally serious, and religiously oriented.

They conform to cultural norms more than people in any other class. They strive for respectability by doing the right thing and buying popular items. They save money to provide better education for their children, thus improving their social class.

Since they have little confidence in their own tastes, they mostly buy standardized products. They put more effort into their shopping and consider purchase decisions demanding and tedious. They are highly price-sensitive.

Lower-Upper Class

This is the largest social class segment in many countries. It consists of solid working people who seek security and protection of what they already have. They have less education, lower wages, and work in semi-skilled or unskilled jobs.

They spend a large portion of their income on food and shelter. They are very concerned with respectability and have strong ties to family for economic and emotional support. They tend to live in smaller houses and lead routine lives. Their purchase decisions are often impulsive due to a lack of self-confidence.

They rely more on salespeople and advertising. People in this class are least involved in civic activities and have minimal interaction with others in society, except for members of their own class. They prefer to enjoy the pleasures of today rather than save for the future.

Lower-Lower Class

This class consists of unskilled laborers, people in non-respectable occupations, the unemployed, and those who rely on welfare.

They live below the poverty line and have very limited income to support themselves. They tend to live on a day-to-day basis. People in this class are poorly educated and live in substandard houses and neighborhoods. They lack ambition and opportunities to improve their circumstances.

Lifestyle Differences Among Social Classes

Social class study is important to marketers in the sense that lifestyles vary among social classes as their values, attitudes, and behaviors vary.

Because of these variations, people of different classes require different types of products, which requires different marketing strategies to be followed by the marketers.

These differences may be used as bases for market segmentation and development of communication strategies. We shall now develop a profile representing lifestyles of different social classes.

Lifestyles of the Upper-Uppers

They are international in residence, relationships, and friendships. They live graciously, uphold family tradition and reputation, care for the community, contribute heavily in charity, belong to and lead prominent socio-cultural organizations, and reflect through their behaviors that they are blue-bloods.

Lifestyles of the Lower-Uppers

People of this class display a lifestyle that is a blend of the upper-uppers’ pursuit of virtuous living and the upper-middles’ success drive.

They conspicuously use their newly earned wealth. They display their status through many material symbols. They also like to give others, the idea that, ‘they are innovators’, by buying and using late model products.

Lifestyles of the Upper-Middles

People of this class are highly achievement motivated, and career oriented. They display it by achieving rapid success in their careers. Their achievement motivation is also displayed by their heavy participation in civic and cultural activities.

They are also found to be heavy socializers. People of this class have keen interest in obtaining better things in life. They display their lifestyles through the houses where they live and by making conspicuous purchases.

Lifestyles of the Lower-Middles

People of this class desire to life in well-maintained houses. They furnish and decorate their houses neatly. They usually prefer to life in road-side houses.

hey always try to perform their jobs better both at homes and at works. As this group’s main focus is their homes, they spend much time in home centered activities such as keeping homes clean and tidy.

They always want their children to be well-behaved. They are found to practice religion heavily. They are not found to be innovative in their lifestyles.

Lifestyles of the Upper-Lowers

They are oriented toward living well. They enjoy life on day to day basis. People of this class are preoccupied with stable human relationships in their day-to-day lives. They look horizontally for their norms and standards of behavior.

Women in this class give enough time to their families and family-related activities. Their social, psychological, and geographical horizons are found to be restricted, and they do not accept changes easily. They are more likely to seek security and protection from what they already have. They exhibit a routine life and live in dull areas of the city in small houses.

Lifestyles of the Lower-Lowers

They view the environment as the controlling force and themselves as pawns acted on by the environment. They often reject middle-class morality in their lifestyles. Most members of this class are found to purchase on credit. They treat their children poorly and often live on a day-to-day basis. They are fatalistic in their outlook and behavior.

Analyzing Social Class For Effective Market Segmentation🔍👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

Mastering Social Class & Consumer Behavior: 🔐Key To Marketing Success🎯

By this time, you have understood that individuals within social classes develop and take on common patterns of buying and consumption behavior.

People belonging to the same group tend to have similar attitudes, values, language patterns, and possessions. Therefore, an individual’s social class is likely to influence many aspects of his life. It may affect, for example, one’s chances of having children and their chances of surviving infancy.

One’s social class may also influence his occupation, religious practices, childhood training, and educational attainment.

As social class affects many aspects of a person’s life, it also influences his buying decisions. It determines the type, quality, and quantity of products that a person buys and uses/consumes.

It also affects an individual’s shopping patterns and the types of stores he patronizes. The following table shows in summary form, the buying behavior of persons in various social classes.

Patterns of Buying Behavior of Persons in Various Social Classes

ClassPatterns of Buying Behavior
Upper-upperPeople of this class are not conspicuous buyers/consumers. They purchase or inherit large houses. They buy conservative clothes. They patronize exclusive shops.
They avoid mass merchandisers. They travel extensively. They purchase expensive and unique products.
Lower-upperThey pursue a gracious living. They spend their wealth conspicuously in purchases.
They purchase large houses and luxury cars. They buy more expensive clothing, food, and furniture. They spend substantially in foreign travel.
Upper-middleThey buy expensive houses to indicate their social positions. They purchase products such as insurance to achieve financial security.
Though their consumption may be conspicuous, they are found to be cautious to ensure that their purchases are socially acceptable. They usually buy high-quality products in pursuit of gracious living.
Lower-middleThey usually rent houses.
But, sometimes, they are found to buy houses to be respectable in the society.
Their houses are usually well maintained through the purchases of decorative items.
They usually buy standard design and moderately priced one piece of furniture at a time.
They are usually price sensitive, and shop covering a wide variety of stores and shopping areas. Joint shopping by husband and wife is more common in this class.
Upper-lowerThey live in small houses or flats. They favor national brands, are usually more brand loyal. They spend less on housing and more on household items. They spend smaller proportion of their incomes on travel.
They usually prefer to shop at nonexclusive stores. They are attracted more by the promotional offers and inducements. They also prefer credit purchase facilities.
Lower-lowerTheir purchases are impulsive in many cases rather than planned. They spend larger portion of their incomes on daily necessities.
They spend very less on their children’s education. They prefer to shop at local stores where they know the owners and can get easy credit terms.

Marketing Implications of Social Class as a Determinant of Buying Behavior

Marketers are particularly interested in social class as it is related to consumers’ purchasing patterns. The majority of marketers believe that there is a high correlation between purchasing patterns and consumers’ social class. Therefore, they use the concept of social class to explain consumer behavior. Several studies have been conducted on the relationships between social class and consumer behavior. The findings of these studies provide valuable insights to marketers, some of which are discussed below for reference:

Social Class and Shopping Behavior

Social class is a useful predictor of buying behavior, especially when it comes to store selection for people from different classes. There is a close relationship between social class and store selection. Members of different social classes may purchase the same product or brand from different outlets.

The majority of women from all classes enjoy shopping, but the reasons for enjoyment differ among classes. Studies on social classes have found that lower-class women enjoy acquiring new clothes and household items.

On the other hand, middle and upper-class women enjoy a pleasant store environment, attractive displays, and the excitement of shopping. It has also been found that middle and upper-class women shop more frequently than lower-class women.

Middle and lower-class people spend more time shopping and also enjoy window shopping, while upper-class people prefer to shop quickly.

Lower-class people avoid high-status stores and prefer shops where they can get discounts and other facilities such as credit and friendly service. People from upper and upper-middle classes are very organized in their purchases.

They are more knowledgeable about different aspects of the purchase process.

Middle-class people put more effort into their shopping as they are value-conscious and seek out the best value for their money.

The purchases of lower-class individuals are mostly routine, and they rely more on in-store information sources.

Social Class and Media Usage

There is a relationship between social classes and media usage. Different studies have found that higher-class individuals spend more of their leisure time reading magazines and books, listening to the radio, and going to the movies. They spend less time watching television.

Higher-class individuals read more news and analysis magazines, informational books, and editorial materials in newspapers. On the other hand, lower-class individuals read more fiction books, general women’s magazines, and general news stories in newspapers.

Lower-class individuals also tend to subscribe to newspapers less than middle and upper-class individuals. Lower-class individuals spend more time in front of the television than upper-class individuals.

They are attracted to quiz shows, comedies, magazine programs, and variety shows on television, whereas upper and upper-middle-class individuals enjoy watching programs on contemporary issues, TV talk shows, documentaries, late-night movies, and dramas. Lower-class individuals mostly subscribe to publications that depict romance and the lifestyles of TV and cinema artists.

Social Class and Decision-Making Process

Engel, Blackwell, and Miniard found that the amount and type of information search undertaken by an individual vary based on social class. Since lower-class individuals have limited information sources, they are at a disadvantage when filtering out information. They engage less in information search related to purchase decisions. They rely on relatives and close friends for information about purchase decisions. On the contrary, middle-class individuals rely more on commercial environments such as media information. They are also more likely to conduct overt searches.

Social Class and Response to Advertising and Promotional Messages

Advertising and promotional messages are perceived differently by members of different social classes. Lower-class individuals do not understand advertising and promotional messages containing connotative meanings, and, as a result, they do not show interest in such messages.

Symbols and words used in advertising messages are also interpreted differently by people of different classes due to differences in orientation and experiences.

Voice and speech patterns are also perceived differently by people of different classes. For example, speakers with upper-class voices and speech patterns can appear more

credible to higher classes than speakers with low-status sounding voices. Advertising that portrays day-to-day life and offers solutions to practical problems can attract lower-class people more.

Advertising messages offering incentives such as “price cuts” or “buy two, get one free” can influence lower-class people more. Middle-class people want to ensure that the incentive is worth the effort and they try to be rational when responding to such appeals.

On the other hand, upper-middle-class people view such incentives negatively and they tend to be skeptical of advertising claims and suspicious of emotional advertising appeals. Upper-class people may be attracted by different, sophisticated, stylish, witty, and individualistic appeals.

Social Class and Purchase of Expensive Items

The social class of individuals also affects the brands of hard goods (such as furniture, appliances, and automobiles) they purchase.

Upper-class individuals tend to buy renowned, expensive, and unique brands, often in larger sizes.

They are more concerned about the image associated with buying hard goods. The upper-middle class tries to imitate the upper class by purchasing hard goods to convey the idea of their achievements to others. Middle-class individuals are more interested in brands of hard goods that give them social acceptance.

On the other hand, lower-class individuals consider factors such as price, durability, ease of operation, and functional performance when selecting brands of hard goods to purchase.

Social Class and Leisure Activities

The way people enjoy their leisure time and their choice of recreational and leisure activities are also influenced by the social classes they belong to.

Lower and middle-class individuals enjoy their leisure time by engaging in indoor games and activities, watching television, and visiting friends and relatives.

In the lower and upper classes, husbands and wives tend to enjoy leisure activities independently. In the middle class, on the other hand, husbands and wives tend to enjoy leisure activities together.

Upper-class individuals mostly enjoy their leisure time through outdoor games and activities, such as organizing social and cultural events and attending meetings of different civic organizations.

Marketing managers must consider the influence of social classes on the areas mentioned above. They must recognize that social classes influence consumers’ selection of products and services.

They should also note that advertising and promotional messages are perceived differently by people of different social classes.

As social classes influence purchasing behavior, media selection, information search, and leisure activities of people, marketers should pay attention to these factors when formulating strategies for marketing activities.

Different segmentation, product design, pricing, promotion, and distribution strategies are required for different social classes for marketers to be successful in this age of customer affluence and consciousness.

Conclusion

Social class influences store selection, with different classes choosing different outlets. Media usage varies by class, with higher classes reading more and watching less TV.

Decision-making processes differ, with lower classes relying on personal networks and middle classes conducting more searches. Advertising appeals are perceived differently across classes, with lower classes responding to practical incentives and upper classes being attracted to sophistication.

Purchase preferences vary, as upper classes prioritize renowned brands, middle classes seek social acceptance, and lower classes consider affordability.

Leisure activities differ, with lower and middle classes engaging in indoor activities and upper classes participating in outdoor events. Marketers should consider social class’s impact on consumer behavior for effective strategies.

  1. Store Selection: Social class influences where people shop. Marketers should consider the store environment and experience when targeting different social classes.
  2. Media Usage: People from different social classes have different media preferences. Marketers should tailor their advertising strategies to align with the media habits of their target audience.
  3. Decision-Making Process: Social class affects how people gather information for making purchase decisions. Marketers should provide relevant information channels based on the social class of their target customers.
  4. Response to Advertising: Advertising appeals differently to people from various social classes. Marketers should use messages and incentives that resonate with the values and experiences of each social class.
  5. Purchase of Expensive Items: Social class influences brand preferences for durable goods. Marketers should consider the reputation, social acceptance, or practicality of their products based on the target audience’s social class.
  6. Leisure Activities: Social class influences how people spend their leisure time. Marketers should align their offerings with the leisure preferences of their target audience.
  7. Marketing Strategies: Social class significantly affects consumer behavior. Marketers should adapt their strategies to the characteristics and preferences of different social classes to be more successful.