How useful is social class as a variable for segmenting consumer markets? Explore

Essay by jaine82University, Master'sA-, May 2004

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How useful is social class as a variable for segmenting consumer markets? Explore.

In the early days of segmentation, according to Schiffman, it was not unusual to apply only one segmentation criterion, e.g. demographic segmentation. Today marketers have realized that it is to simplified to apply only one criterion for segmenting complex markets. Therefore, it is common to combine several criteria to create rich and comprehensive segmentation profiles in order to find the most beneficial target markets for one's product. Shortly, it can be argued that geographic and demographic variables help to locate a certain target market, whereas psycho-graphic and socio-cultural variables help describe who its members are, how they think and how they feel.

Demographic is segmenting customers based on age, income, gender, etc. Geographic is based on the region or country they live in. psycho-graphic is based on their personality and socio-cultural segmentation is segmenting the market based on their subculture, religion, social class, family lifestyle/life-cycle (single, married etc).

Currently, we will focus on the importance of segmenting the consumer markets based on their social class.

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Almost every society has some form of a social class structure. According to Kotler, Social classes are society's relatively permanent and ordered divisions whose members share similar values, interest, and behaviors.

Society is mainly divided into three major classes, Upper, Middle and Lower. But social scientists have identified that society can be classified into seven social classes. They are the Upper Uppers, Lower Uppers, Upper Middles, Middle Class, Working Class, Upper Lower, and Lower Lowers (See Appendix I).

Companies need to consider social class as a variable for segmenting the consumer markets because it is useful for them in determining their target market. It helps them in setting the different marketing mix for different target market based on...