Do you know which segment of your affluent consumer base is nearly 50 percent more likely to purchase luxury goods over the next 12 months?
According to recent research by the Shullman Research Center, the answer is men. Men are more likely than women to plan on buying many of the luxury items tracked by Shullman. Specifically, 52 percent of affluent men with a net worth of $1 million or more expect to spend more during the next 12 months, compared to only 22 percent of affluent women. By contrast, women are nearly twice as likely as men (48 percent vs 27 percent) to expect to save more during the next 12 months.
How might this trend impact your current marketing efforts? I can think of several high-end home brand marketers who have geared their marketing communications almost exclusively towards a female prospect. Not only that, but they’ve also built a media plan aimed squarely at women. But if more of their female prospects plan to save, while more of their male prospects plan to buy, shouldn’t the brand re-think its strategy?
As Shullman points out in its study,
“All millionaires do not think and behave alike, and averages do not tell the whole story. Except for the common denominator of their wealth, millionaires’ views on a broad variety of topics differ widely by gender. These gender differences certainly impact their financial goals, their concerns or worries, their optimism about the economy, their own personal financial situations, their spending plans, and more.”
The attitudes and spending patterns of affluent consumers never cease to amaze me. That’s why I regularly try to dispel the myth that they are a homogenous group who can be marketed to in the same way. For example, many marketers don’t realize that the tenure of a consumer’s affluence can be a more important predictor of spending than his or her net worth. Here’s another: the vast majority of affluent Americans maintain the middle-class values they were raised with. They are middle-class “at heart.”
Marketers of high-end home brands need to study their customers and prospects constantly. Buying and usage habits are constantly evolving, as are media habits and the path-to-purchase. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that the moment I think I have consumers figured out, they surprise me.
I encourage you to check out the insight brief from Shullman Research Center at this link.