Social Stratification, the divison of memebrs of a society into a hierarchy of distinct social classes, exists in all societies and cultures.

Social class usually is defined by the amount of status that members of a specific class possess in relation to members of other classes. Social-class membership often serves as a frame of reference for the development of consumer attitudes and behaviour.

The measurement of social class is concerned with classifying individuals into social class groupings. These groupings are of particular value to marketers, who use social classification as an effective means of identifying and segmenting target markets.

There are 3 basic methods for measuring social class:

  1. Subjective Measurement
  2. Reputational Measurement
  3. Objective Measurement

Subjective Measures rely on an individual’s self perception.

Reputational Measures rely on an individual’s perceptions of others and 

Objective Measures use specific socioeconomic mesures, either alone or in combination with others.

Composite variable indexes sucha s the index of status characteristics and the socio economic status score, cominbe a no. of socio economic factors to form one overall measure of social class standing.

Class strucutres range from two class to nine class systems. A frequently used classification system consists of 6 classes: Upper upper, lower Upper, upper middle, lower middle, upper lower, and lower lower classes.

Profiles of these clases are reflected in differences in attitudes, in leisure activities, and in consumption habits. That is why, for the marketers, social class based market segmentation is of high importance.

Geodemographic clustering is a technique that combines geogrpahic and socio economic factors to locate concentrations of consumers with particular characteristics. Particular attention currently is being directed to affluent consumers, who represent the fastest growing segment in our population; however, some marketers are finding it extremely profitable to cater to the needs of non affluent consumers.

Research has revealed social class differences in clothing habits, home decoration, leisure activities, as well as saving, spending and credit habits.

Thus, smart marketeres tailor specific product and promotional strategies to each social-class target segment.

Which Social classes are your customers from? How are their behaviours impacted by these various factors?