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Class Differences in Consumer Behavior

Harrods and Sharper Image

Two firms that seem to have successfully targeted the upscale consumer are Sharper Image at http://www.sharperimage.com and London-based Harrods at http://www.harrods.com. Sharper Image specializes in cutting-edge electronics and gadgets that you cannot find in traditional electronics retailers. Harrods is a world-famous department store. After reviewing the above Web sites, decide:

Which company is best positioned to appeal to (a) middle class consumers and (b) downscale consumers?

How would social class differences influence (a) product lines and styles, (b) advertising media selection, (c) the copy and communication style used in the ads, and (d) payment policies?

Would expansion be a good idea for both or either of these two firms? Explain.

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Solution Preview

The company best positioned to appeal to a middle class consumer is the Sharper Image. Even though the Sharper Image has cutting edge technologies, it is more likely to appeal to the middle class. Why? Techies, even middle class techies, are willing to pay anything at any cost for the latest and greatest technologies. Look when Apple introduced the Iphone. People waited in lined for days to buy this product. This would never happen at Harrods. Harrods is a truly upscale department store catering to the upper class. Pursuant to ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses Harrods and the Sharper Image and how different classes of consumers shop at these stores.