From February 26, 2014 – Engage: Affluent – Why Money Isn’t Always Everything
During an age in which endless information is readily available at consumers’ fingertips, it is more important than ever to highlight your brand’s value – even in the eyes of the affluent. According to a recent study by Unity Marketing, about 75% of wealthy consumers plan to make apparel purchases in the next year. However, the way they evaluate their purchases may surprise you.
Believe it or not, the days of money being no object may be gone. According to the survey, which consisted of over 1,000 respondents with an income of over $100,000, 35% of affluent consumers consider price the most important factor when purchasing apparel. In addition, 54% said that they actively look for sales when planning to make a clothing purchase.
This trend suggests that expensive labels aren’t quite what they used to be; therefore, brands must place extra focus on how to communicate their value. While some brands may elect to invest substantial time and resources into how to do this, there are a few basic principles that, if followed, will set brands on the right track to standing out above competition and gaining affluent consumer loyalty.
Keep Track of Online Attitude Toward Your Brand
At this point, marketers are well aware of the power of online reviews. However, when viewed formulaically, the necessity to pay attention to online conversation about your brand becomes even more apparent. Unfavorable online reviews reveal to consumers exactly what they are paying for (no matter what paid media is telling them). For example, if an expensive restaurant is listing their menu items at top dollar, but the average review on Yelp is, say, two out of five stars, then the pricing does not line up with the quality, and many consumers will look elsewhere. At this point, the restaurant can take two paths: lower prices or improve its product. Which leads us to the second point…
Product Quality Means More Than Ever
Affluent consumers have high expectations when making a purchase. Not only that, but if a product does not live up to expectations, the news can literally be spread in seconds to thousands of people. This means that brands cannot afford to slip up, particularly when peer opinions are more trusted than most advertising.
Convey Substance to the Audience
During this year’s Super Bowl, many viewers noticed that the commercials skewed more toward serious than humorous. Luxury brands such as Alex and Ani, Maserati, and Jaguar, among others, all elected to go with campaigns displaying deep undertones, rather than lighthearted humor. This is a telling sign in that in each of these cases, brands aimed to highlight substance over slack-jawed writing. This was perhaps in an attempt to enter the American psyche via a different route, conveying company values over a cheap laugh.
While affluent consumers will always be able to aim higher than the average consumer market, it is important to remember that this group has its limits and preferences, as well. Having the hottest name is not enough for a brand anymore. Marketers must show value and connect with wealthy audiences emotionally in order to create a meaningful, and profitable, relationship