Friday, December 07, 2012

What are upper-middle-middle class people like?

Will Barratt, Ph.D.

Work: Service, white collar, management, professional, retired

Education: high school graduate, some college, college graduate, graduate plus

Home: rent, mostly owners

Money and money management: income and assets are, moderate, above average, to high

Shop: IKEA, Bloomingdale’s, Eddie Bauer, Express, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Disney Story, buy educational toys,, Lands’ End, Ethan Allen Galleries, Costco, Office Depot, Gevalia Kaffe, Old Navy, Best Buy,, BMG Music, Sherwin Williams

Read: Wired, Tennis, Consumer Reports, Details, Scouting Magazine, Parenting, Macworld, Modern Bride, Harper’s Bazaar, VFW Magazine, AARP The Magazine, Black Enterprise, American Baby, Field and Stream, People en Espanol, Daytona 500,

Watch:  The Office, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, 24, Soccer, Gravity Games, The Sidney Channel, Discovery Health, Fox Sports Net, Maxim, MTV, BBC America, Inspiration Network, Antiques roadshow,  TeleFutura, Cartoon Network, X Games, Latin Grammy Awards, Bassmaster,

Drive: Acura TSX, Buick LaCrosse, Subaru Forester, VW Rabbit, Saturn Aura, VW Routan, VW Passat, Subaru Legacy, Nissan Xterra, Lexus LX, Mercury Grand Marquis, Chevrolet Impala, Lexus IS, Chevrolet Uplander, Chevrolet Silverado, Saturn Ion, GMC Sierra

Vacation, play, and travel:  Play racquetball, attend opera, own a timeshare, international videos, horseback riding, karate, listen to classical music, books on tape, travel by motor home, motivational tapes, attend high school sports, children’s videos, hunting,


I have aggregated information from the 17 PRIZM market segments classified as Upper-Mid by Nielsen to describe the upper-middle-middle social class.  This is the upper of the three middle groups described by Nielsen.

Market segmenting makes assumptions about consumption and creates clusters of people based on their consumer characteristics, age, and on where they live.  The Nielsen Company has identified 66 PRIZM market segments, 58 P$YCLE segments, and 53 ConneXions segments, and described them by demographics and lifestyle and media traits.


These are not stereotypes, these are consumer behaviors based on research on what people report about themselves.  These data are widely used by marketers in the US.  The underlying assumption here is that social class is reflected in consumer behaviors.  This consumer assumption about social class does not reflect social class as culture or social class as identity.


What are upper-middle class people like?

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