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Source: Word Inequality Report (2021) and World Economic Forum
To better understand the disparity, image on the right showcases the differences in lifestyle for basic necessities among different income classes.
Old Socio-Economic Classification System
One of the primary ways marketers define their target audience beyond age and gender is through income levels and socio economic classes. As per the World Inequality Report released in 2021, there is extreme income disparity in India. The average national income for an Indian adult was INR 204,200 in the 2021. While the top 10% and top 1% population earn 57% & 22% respectively of the total national income, the bottom 50% population earns a mere 13% of the income.
Source: Income Levels by Gapminder
NATIONAL CONSUMER CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM
Marketers have developed short hands to better understand the different socio economic classes in India, one of which is the National Consumer Classification System (NCCS). This system uses a combination of occupation, education and durable ownership to categorize households into different socio economic segments.
There was an older short hand called the Socio Economic Classification System (SEC) which categorized households on the basis of education and occupation. However, it had limitations as it focused on a few key factors, possibly missing the complexity of modern socio-economic dynamics. Read here to know more.
Source: Media Research User Council India
To deeply understand your target audience, their motivations and their category goals, consider immersions or primary research.