BB Chapter Fifteen : Social Class


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BB Chapter Fifteen : Social Class

  1. 1. Chapter Fifteen: Social Class 15-1
  2. 2. Chapter 15: Social class 1. Concept of social class 2. How social classes are measured 3. Measurement problems marketing managers face 4. The effect of social position on the consumption process 5. How marketing managers can use their knowledge of social stratification to develop marketing strategies 15-2
  3. 3. Social Stratification We are all familiar with the concept of social class, but most of us would have difficulty explaining our class system to a foreigner. Social rank is one’s position relative to others on one or more dimensions valued by society, also referred to as social class and social standing. A social class system is a hierarchical division of a society into relatively distinct and homogeneous groups with respect to attitudes, values, and lifestyles. "Pure” social classes do not exist in the U.S. or most other industrialized societies. 15-3
  4. 4. Social class • Social class and consumption • Social class – Cultural differences – Components of social class – Measurements of social class • Social class and consumption differences – Global similarities – Segmenting the affluent • Status symbols 15-4
  5. 5. Social standing and behaviour 15-5
  6. 6. Concept of social class Traditional viewpoint assumes that social classes must meet the following criteria: • Bounded • Ordered • Mutually exclusive • Exhaustive • Influential 15-6
  7. 7. Not all behaviours are unique 15-7
  8. 8. Behavior and social class • Unique behaviors – Product: fine china – Situation: entertainment e.g. Opera subscription • Not all behaviors are unique: • Shared behaviors – Situation: entertainment e.g. Football match 15-8
  9. 9. Status crystallization • Degree of consistency on status dimensions – Occupation – Education – Income – Ownership • Status crystallization is low in Australasia 15-9
  10. 10. Social class in Australia* • Upper class – 10% of population • Middle class – 60% • Lower class – 30% *Source: ABS 15-10
  11. 11. The functional approach to social-class structure 15-11
  12. 12. The reputational approach to social-class structure 15-12
  13. 13. Positioning within social class 15-13
  14. 14. Upward-pull strategy targeted at the middle class 15-14
  15. 15. Ad aimed at repositioning the meat pie to a different social class 15-15
  16. 16. The Measurement of Social Class There are two basic approaches to measuring social status: - Single-item index Single- - Multi-item index Multi- Since an individual’s overall status is influenced by several dimensions, single-item indexes are generally less accurate single- than are well-developed multi-item indexes multi- indexes. 15-16
  17. 17. Measurement of social class • Single-item indexes – E.g. education – E.g. occupation • Multiple-item indexes – E.g. Hollingshead Index of Social Position 15-17
  18. 18. The Measurement of Social Class • Single-Item Index Single- Education Occupation Income • Marketers generally think of these as direct influencers of consumption behavior rather than determinants of status that then influence behavior.
  19. 19. Occupations of the employed Australia 15-19
  20. 20. Occupations of the employed New Zealand 15-20
  21. 21. Measurement of social class and its application to marketing strategy • Uses: – Differences in product consumption instant coffee snack foods imported wine 15-21
  22. 22. Income Income has been used as a measure of status • Poses a number of measurement problems – Individual or family income? – Income before or after taxes and allowances? – Salary or total income? 15-22
  23. 23. Multiple-item indexes e.g. Hollingshead's Index • Two-item index using occupation and education • Designed or measure overall a family’s overall position in society Exceptions could arise from someone with: – Only secondary schooling and running a successful small-medium business – Doctor or lawyer working with charities 15-23
  24. 24. Consumption differences across the Hollingshead Index of social position strata 15-24
  25. 25. The Measurement of Social Class Demographics or Social Status? Social status is largely derived from demographics; that is, demographics one’s income, education, and occupation go a long way toward determining one's social class or status. Should marketers use an overall measure of social status (a multi-item index) or a demographic variable such as income? Unless the marketer is interested social standing per se, he/she will most likely focus on demographic characteristics as direct influencers on consumer behavior! 15-25
  26. 26. Which scale to use? • No one scale is suitable for measuring all status dimensions Hollingshead’s multi-item index could be used for measuring personal status in a study of opinion leadership Studies of intellectually oriented activities, e.g. magazine subscription & TV viewing could consider using education Occupation could be used for studies on leisure-time pursuits 15-26
  27. 27. Social Stratification and Marketing Strategy While social stratification does not explain all consumption behaviors, it is certainly relevant for some product categories. You can clearly see this by visiting a furniture store in a working-class neighborhood and then an upper-class furniture store. A product or brand may have different meanings to members of different social strata, for example, a watch. Likewise, different purchase motivations for the same product may exist between social strata. 15-27
  28. 28. Social class and marketing strategy • Relate status variables to product consumption – Usage, motivation, symbolic meaning • Target social status – Actual lifestyle, desired lifestyle, media, etc. • Develop product position – Select desired position (based on actual/desired lifestyle) • Marketing mix decisions – Develop mix 15-28
  29. 29. Using social stratification to develop marketing strategy 15-29
  30. 30. Individual’s income may be more restricting than purchase motivation for target market appeal 15-30