From October 23, 2013 – Engage: Affluent – A Refresher on Affluent Values
The wealthy consumer is coveted by luxury and non-luxury brands alike. However, it is important to remember that marketing to the wealthy isn’t as simple as pushing a brand message – regardless of the channel. Brands must align themselves with affluent values, which can sometimes be prioritized differently than those of other consumers.
Convenience is Key
A recent survey by Loylogic found that 60% of consumers consider convenience of a product over value. This can certainly be applied to wealthy consumers, especially since so many of them are entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives. This means that easy access to services and new technology like apps is essential. A good example of taking convenience to the next level is the Four Seasons’ Beverly Wilshire, located in Beverly Hills, Calif. The app gives guests the chance to virtually explore the hotel, make restaurant reservations, order room service and plan other aspects of their stay. While the concept of using an app for goods and services isn’t exactly the most novel idea, including an entire hotel experience (minus the bed) in one program is.
Customer Service Can Be a Make-or-Break
One of the reasons wealthy consumers value convenience is because many are often short on time due to demanding career schedules. Another aspect that leads to saved time is superior customer service. As a matter of fact, customer service was cited as a number one key attribute by 47% of respondents to a recent study by the Luxury Institute.
Whole Foods, a brand that has achieved favorability by not only offering a superior product, but also practicing transparency, has put a human face on customer service. This is achieved by assigning a community manager to every individual store. The community manager manages nearly all forms of consumer engagement on a local level, focusing on addressing the needs of actual customers, instead of a general population.
Pay Attention to Privacy
While celebrities and reality stars have never been shy about flaunting their wealth, many affluent consumers are understated and greatly value privacy. Another Luxury Institute study said that 68% of wealthy consumers ($150,000 per year or greater) are willing to share data online, but only when it is requirement-driven, such as a necessary step to make a purchase. The same survey also found that 82% of wealthy consumers have placed their names on a “Do-Not-Call” list and half have already disabled or edited tracking on their browsers. In addition, only 24% of respondents said they’d be willing to share contact information during an in-store experience.
So what does this mean for marketers? For one thing, the wealthy are constantly trying to make it difficult to be tracked – no surprise there. However, for those marketers looking to learn more about this valued demographic, opting for what is perceived as the “least invasive” form of tracking is best. For example, consumers are most likely to share their email address versus all other forms of contact information. This is because it is often construed as their “least sensitive” contact information.
While wealthy consumers don’t have completely different purchasing habits than others, it is important to remember that they often prioritize differently. Some brands, such as those listed above, understand what the affluent are looking for and have tailored the experience accordingly. With the growth in mobile and social adoption, this is an opportune time for other luxury brands to strike.