The Quest for Connection with the Elusive and Mysterious Ultra High Net Worth Consumer Continues
Over the years, my post about finding and connecting with this group has remained one of the most popular. And a topic I often discuss with clients and colleagues in the high-end home space.
A few years ago, there was a surprising trend brought to light by Wealth-X, a smart global research and prospecting firm that specializes in providing insights and intelligence on UHNW individuals to global private banks and luxury brands. When Wealth-X polled corporate decision-makers across several categories, they uncovered a surprising bias against deploying digital marketing strategies to reach UHNW consumers.
That mentality has changed in many cases. Marketers are more comfortable reaching this audience digitally, but genuine connection often eludes them.
To that end, it’s a good time to re-visit this topic.
Globally, affluents (HNW and UHNW) continue to increase their digital connectivity.
In a recent study by Global Web Index, nearly 100% of affluent consumers own smartphones (96%), and tablet ownership is on the rise.
Affluents have, on average, two more social media accounts than the average consumer, and they spend more time on social media than average. In fact, 99% of affluents reported visiting social media sites over the past month.
When it comes to the UHNW segment, Spectrem Group finds that 69 percent of UHNW investors use some form of social media.
While it has become easier to reach this audience, the marketer must also make a genuine connection with them. Research shows that UHNW consumer needs and desires continue to evolve.
According to the annual Ultra Wealth report from Wealth-X, technology, experiential luxury and personalization will continue to be driving forces shaping the marketplace for UHNW individuals over the next few years.
High-end home brands ought to use these insights to create a deeper and more relevant connection with this audience.
Let me briefly unpack them:
Technology – While affluents are often early adopters of technology, they are also very concerned with their online privacy. AR and VR experiences are the wave of the future. Show this segment that you are on the cutting edge, while being overly transparent about how their privacy will be handled.
Experiential Luxury – The experience trend is not slowing down. Consumers are more interested in unique experience than consumption. The UHNW customers are even more experience-focused – good news for high-end home brands.
Wealth-X notes: “This shift is stimulating demand for other out-of-home luxury experiences….as well as in-home indulgences linked to high-quality design, architecture and fine art.”
Personalization – Exclusivity and uniqueness are paramount to this audience, as is quick and personal customer service. In fact, Global Web Index found that affluents are more likely to use customer service chat features, provide ideas and feedback for new products and interact with a brand on a messaging service or app.
“Affluent consumers want to be more than just consumers; they like to have a direct say in the products that are made for them and advertised to them.” (Global Web Index)
As a high-end home brand, there are opportunities to craft messages that better meet this elusive customer’s desires and build long-lasting relationship with this audience.