How does social class affect purchasing behavior?

Factors influencing buyer behavior

The behavior of buyers is influenced by the following factors:

Click here to expandCulture, social status, personal living conditions, psychology

Cultural factors

We saw in one of the first chapters that needs only arise through culture concrete wishes become. The culture therefore has a comprehensive influence on the purchasing decisions of the individual.
In a high-performance society, products with high status, such as expensive cars or jewelry, will be coveted. In very conservative religious cultures, however, you will likely have problems selling mini skirts. Cultural trends such as the fitness and wellness idea also influence the sales markets to a large extent.

Also Subcultures play an important role. In the hip-hop scene, completely different products are in demand than in the alternative scene, for example. Immigrants can also develop a subculture with their own consumption habits within a country. The Turkish drinking yoghurt Ayran is an example of this. It was not until the Turkish immigrants that this product became popular, at first only within this subculture and finally also among German consumers.
Another cultural expression is belonging to social classes . These classes result from factors such as income, education, wealth, etc. People from "lower" social classes ask for different products than people from "higher" classes.

Social factors

In addition to a culture, subculture and / or a social class, other groups also have an influence on the behavior of consumers. A distinction is made between Primary groups , for example the family or the neighborhood, Secondary groups , such as religious communities or associations and Reference groups , such as a famous music band or a soccer team.

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  • Primary group: intensive involvement, close contact, informal interaction
  • Secondary group: more irregular, less formal
  • Reference group: no own affiliation, role model function

Also the role or the status a person has an important influence. A person can be a father, son, grandfather, employee, club member and district council member at the same time and have different consumption wishes and decisions in each of these roles.

Personal factors

Continue to influence personal factors as the Age , the job or Habits etc. the purchase decisions. The own lifestyle for example, clarifies the question of whether branded products or rather no-name products are generally bought. The personality of the potential buyer is particularly important in product positioning. For example, if a car brand wants to position itself as young and vital because potential buyers see themselves that way, this has an impact on product design, advertising, the selection of sales channels, etc.

Psychological factors

To the psychological factors count the motivation ( Why does a customer want to buy something?), perception (e.g. selective perception when you want to buy a red car and suddenly discover red cars everywhere) or Settings (If someone strictly rejects animal testing, this will greatly influence their choice of product).

(Source: Kotler 2003)