Consumer’s culture

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Globalization has dramatically altered consumer culture throughout the years. Consumer tastes, purchase decisions, and demands have clearly changed over time. It is obvious that globalization has affected consumer choices and values, which has had an impact on market homogeneity. Consumer behavior in the market has substantially changed, necessitating the necessity for markets to comprehend market dynamics (Blythe, 2006 p.g 4). Marketers must understand the consumer's background and socioeconomic class in order to make sales. Class directly influenced the behavior and values of consumers, and it has been recognized as the major factor that motivates the consumption pattern (Cheryl, 2015 p.g 14). Consumers come from different backgrounds and social classes ad this means that they will have different preferences, lifestyle choices, and preferences. Marketers need to understand the impact of class on consumer behavior in order to make necessary sales.

Supporting Arguments

Developing a target market strategy involves a lot of planning and market analysis, and a lot of factors are taken into consideration. When a company decides to target their products to a specific market, it is evident that they have considered different aspects. The method of settling in a specific market niche is called target markets, and the strategy is always different from one organization to the next (Daniel, 2013 p.g 52)). One of the common elements that marketers look at is the class or social background of the consumers. The social class of the consumer has a direct influence on the culture, behavior and consumption pattern of the individual. The class has been recognized as the major factor that has an impact on the consumer’s purchasing power and motivation (Edward, 2000 p.g 33). The implication of this is that social class influences how individuals within a specific market segment. Social class is always considered an external influence on the purchasing and consumption pattern of a given target market. For example, people from a given social class will purchase products that meet specific criteria or production standard. As a marketer, it is required for one to be conversant with the product preferences of the upper, middle and low class because it influences the purchasing behavior. It is evident that people from the same class tend to have similar preferences and attitude to specific categories of products (Farrel, Lukas and Outi, 2012 p.g 13). For instance, people of the same social class dress alike and are loyal to specific brands and will preferably shop in the same type of stores.

The lifestyle of the consumer influences the culture and consumption behavior of an individual. Different classes of individuals adopt different consumption behavior based on the lifestyle characteristics that a particular target segment portrays. As a marketer, it is possible to segment the market based on individual consumer opinions, attitudes and preferences. The social class of an individual has an influence on the habits of the consumer in terms of spending (Kotler and Gary, 2015 p.g 235). For instance, for the upper class due to the high amount of disposable income their spending habits are more affluent compared to the middle or low class. The purchasing power of the upper class is slightly higher, and this means that they can purchase more consumer products compared to the low or middle class. In terms of quality, higher numbers of upper-class consumers have an inclination to high-quality products. There is a difference between the type of good that upper-class consumers who are more likely to purchase fine jewelry and are more likely to visit exclusive shops. The middle and low class are more inclined to purchase basic necessities which differentiate them from the upper class.

Globalization has changed the world market and as noted due to globalization different consumers are influenced by motivation, knowledge, beliefs and emotions. The listed issues are influenced by the social background of the individual. It is clear that the perceptions, motivation, and beliefs of the different classes of individuals determine the purchasing culture of the individual (Petya, 2015 p.g 53). As a marketer, it is necessary to understand that specific external factors like cultures, family background, and social class have an influence. In marketing, the common approach used is to predict the customer behavior based on the internal or external factors. Globalization has brought about different consumption patterns among the different classes of individuals, and this means that different brands are competing for the same markets. It is necessary for marketers to understand how the different market issues affect and influence the different classes of people and how they can effectively target the markets.

The purchase preferences of consumers from the different social backgrounds mean that marketers need to be aware of the role of marketers and the target market. If the marketer needs to appeal to a specific class of individuals, then it is necessary to modify the products and services to target that market (Shaz, 2012 p.g 23). The difference in preferences and choices that exist in different classes of the market means that the marketer needs to supply a product that meets the preferences and needs of the specific class. The products offered for sale to a specific class of individuals should meet the expectations of that group in terms of quality and quantity. The marketers should understand the dynamics of social class is determining the marketing strategy. For instance, the middle class is always ambitious, and this means that they are futuristic since they are a group of individuals who are economically empowered and are more inclined to luxurious products Kotler and Gary, 2015 p.g 56). For the upper-middle-class brand and goods that make symbolic meaning are more important to them, and marketers need to strategically target their products based on the preferences of this class.

Opposing Arguments

Although, the use of social class in marketing is desirable it is wrong for marketers to rely on social classes to target specific markets. Social class segmentation assumes that income distribution is skewed towards the upper social classes which can be wrong. Given the economic facts, it is clear that the low and middle-class form the largest share of the markets and targeting the upper class alone means the organization will be losing income from the lower market segments (Petya, 2015 p.g 22). Use of social class in segmentation is wrong since it will limit the sales to specific target groups and this will delay the profitability of the business in the long run. The reality is that the landscape of consumer goods is changing and this means the approach for consumer targeting has also changed. Diversity in terms of the target markets means that the marketer has greater access to a larger market and this diversifies the risk. Diversification to all classes means that the company has steady streams of income in case the purchase behavior in one segment changes.

Social identities in different classes have shifted, and this means that the consumption patterns among the different classes have changed. People have a different concept of self-awareness, and this means that a company will be taking more risk by specifying its marketing approach to a specific social class. For example, it is now very complex to classify people based on the three identified groups since the concept of class has changed immensely over the years (Jobber, 2009 p.g 5). The upward shift has seen a number of the lower class become upper-class citizens with a significant amount of people who belonged to the middle-class shifting to the upper middle-class social bracket. Also, there has been a significant change in the behaviors of the different social groups. For example, the expenditure among the upper classes has reduced significantly with the majority of the upper classes preferring to invest their disposable income (Farrel, Lukas and Outi, 2012 p.g 33). As a market, it is evident that targeting this market segment can be fatal because to the reduction in purchasing behavior. The motivation behind the changing consumption behavior among the upper middle class has been attributed to the increased financial literacy. The changing social dynamics have altered the common marketing approach used in targeting the different specific markets. As a marketer, it is required that one to take note the slight changes in the market based on the social classes.

In addition to the changing social identities, it is evident that consumer behavior has changed due to the limited social stratification. For example, the priority among the different classes in terms of the products that they purchased has changed significantly. It is evident that the belief system among classes has changed significantly which means that the members of the middle class are more self-conscious and due to the change beliefs most of the upper class does not view them as wealth a belief that has been replicated in all the other classes Kotler and Gary, 2015 p.g 45). The moral respectability means that it will be hard to markers to target people base on the social classes and unlike initially when the members of the low class tended to feel trapped and overlooked. Upper classes in the society are more sympathetic to the less fortunate and nowadays class is not defined by a number of things that one possess but rather the amount one give out to charity. It is evident that the upper classes are finding more satisfaction in giving rather than spending o expensive products. Also, the middle class has developed a strong sense and potential to develop.

Consumers are now more conscious about discrimination and due to the sensitivity consumers will avoid products from companies that they perceive to be discriminatory. Omitting other customers while promoting the marketing of products to other customers leads to some of the customers losing faith in the products due to discriminatory practices (Shaz, 2012 p.g 3). When customers from the other classes feel discriminated against, then it is likely that they will go for other products and this means that the business is losing on sales. In most cases when using the class as a strategy for discrimination, it can be possible that some of the customers will be misrepresented. Discrimination based on class can be costly to the business not only in terms of sales but also it can cost the company its reputation. There were some instances when discrimination of customers in terms of social classes led to companies and an organization being sued for discrimination of consumers is illegal, and business owners need to take the issue of discrimination seriously (Shaz, 2012 p.g 18). Marketers need to the issue of discrimination based on social class to avoid negative impacts to the company.

Discussion Argument based on the Motion

Market segmentation means that the marketer needs to segment the market based on the characteristics. Psychographic information based on social class is an important aspect of markets segmentation. Virtually all societies exhibit some aspect of class stratification, and this means that people are assigned specific social categories based on their economic status. From a marketing perspective, social classes refer to the homogeneous subdivision of the society into classes based on the purchasing power (Petya, 2015 p.g 55). It is worth nothing that social classes’ influences the purchasing behavior of individuals and this is important to marketers since consumers within the same class tend to have similar preferences, values, lifestyles and buying culture (Petya, 2015 p.g 10). Individual behavior influences the lifestyle and expenditure of an individual, and this is important indicators to marketers. Marketers have the obligation of targeting the right customers and gaining a better understanding of how different classes of people behave. For instance, in a lifestyle marketing perspective, the market needs to discriminate the different classes of people based on the things they like to purchase in their leisure time. Also, classes can be determined by how different classes of people choose to use their disposable income.

Lifestyle and behavior are synonymous and implying that the purchasing behavior of customers. As a marketer, the personal characteristics of individuals are the basic ingredients that reflect the class and sophistication. Different classes of people determine how one allocates resources particularly in regard to money and in essence the scope of lifestyle tends to cover issues of attitude and behavior elements (Angella, 2008 p.g 43). It is evident from the examination that class supersedes the individual brands. Although lifestyle reflects the basic elements of the consumer, it is not an accurate measure of the purchasing power. In some cases, a specific class of individuals can portray strong desire to acquire specific products, but their desire does not translate to purchases (Detleve, Samwel and Aron, 2008 p.g 20). The issue of desire brings about the issue behaviorist segmentation that classifies consumers based on their loyalty and the purchasing behavior. Some of the factors that can contribute to the consumer behavior observed among different customers. Class affects consumer behavior by modifying the individual’s behavior and changing their needs and wants. For instance, as noted, people of the same social class have the tendency of living in similar places and have similar preferences in terms of the goods and services that they consume. For the class system to have such control over people, then it is evident that it is a culture which is part of the way of life of people within a specific locality.

It is evident that social class remains an important market culture targeting factor that most marketers should be keen about. Class offers the consumers with the necessary information about a given market segment and how they view themselves and their expectations when it comes to purchasing (Blythe, 2006 p.g 23). The class offers important information to the consumer in regard to the life experiences and the income levels of a specific class of people (Edward, 2000 p.g 12). It is a good source of information if the marketer targets a specific class, for example, the upper class then there are specific sacrifices that he or she has to make to get a grip of this segment. In addition, it means that the marketer needs to maintain high-quality standards in ensuring the products meet the high expectations that are characteristic of this group. In another category products targeting the low-class need to meet the price sensitivity that is synonymous with this group.

Finally, class segmentation comes with its share of challenges and shortcomings. It is agreeable that using the class to target consumer cultures relies on the assumption that the distribution of money is skewed towards the upper classes which are not the case. The low and middle classes of consumers make the bulk of the economy, and any rational marketer needs to focus his or her marketing efforts to this category of consumers. Focusing on the lower class means getting more consumers who have a predictable purchasing behavior and this will enable the business to make more sales. Therefore, the issue of market segmentation should consider other fine details to avoid incurring losses because of ignoring specific segments of the market.


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May 02, 2023

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