Given the purchasing power of wealthy buyers, it has to be worth taking the time to figure out why they buy and how to reach them. A good number of your own customers will fall into the wealthy/upscale category.
Wealthy buyers typically own assets in the millions of dollars and earn more than $100k per year. They’re characterized by their luxury home in a nice neighbourhood, expensive car, travel habits, and they likely dine at the best restaurants.
It’s not that the wealthy are arrogant or hateful; it’s only that they like to associate with people of their own class and capability. These are their wealthy relatives, the people they live near, play golf with, and perhaps do business with.
They live within their circle and this is important to remember if you want them to hire you as their builder, landscaper, financial advisor, investment manager, auto/rec vehicle salesperson, home renovator, or their real estate agent or mortgage broker.
According to an American Express and Harrison Group study, affluent and wealthy households represent 10 percent of total U.S. households, but account for 50 percent of all retail sales and 70 percent of all retail margins.1 With more than $100,000 per year in earnings, and liquid assets
over $250,000, this high-value audience can have a definite impact on the bottom line. — from http://advertising.microsoft.com/en/ad-network/audience/affluent
They’re Not All Alike
The wealthy are often portrayed in the media as married, own their own business, have several over-educated and over-privileged children in a giant house in the best neighbourhood. Profiles drawn of the wealthy actually show much more diversity in lifestyle and family. You can see these profiles using the Claritas Profile Explorer website.
Figure 1 Screen capture courtesy of Nielsen, My Best Segments
It’s a handy tool to help list and identify the most important lifestyle and financial characteristics of your wealth target audience.
Wealthy people aren’t so different from us. They have their struggles, challenges, fears and upsets just as we do. They likely will not buy a 1brm condo, compact car, get auto repairs at Walmart, nor will they hire someone to renovate their house or manage their investments unless they are certain of that person’s integrity.
They’re more often pestered by shysters and criminals, so you must ensure that your marketing communications respects their needs and pains.
If you don’t appear to be digitally savvy (website, social media, blog, etc), they may have trouble believing you possess the resourcefulness to work with them. Something to think about.
What Do the Wealthy Want or Worry About?
Before targeting any specific type of wealthy customer/client, consider what their goals, fears and needs might be:
- Safe, secure retirement
- Protect their wealth insurance/hedging
- Minimize taxes they pay
- Expert consulting
- Saving time
- Luxury travel
- Luxury gifts
- Health and well being
- Wealth and privilege for their kids
- Cash flow problems
- Fears of theft/embezzlement/catastrophe
- Entrepreneurial opportunities
- Best awareness of economy/technology change
What sort of services and products do the wealthy buy? They buy the highest quality they can afford. They expect their new boat, TV, car, or geothermal heating system to work well without breaking down. They are more sensitive to who they buy from and wiser about who is trying to scam them.
They look for integrity, consistency, and quality workmanship. For the extra amount they pay, they are paying to ensure trouble-free repair or replacement of a defective product.
For high involvement services, they will check a person/business out more. And this is where your brand messaging is so important. Quality and integrity are what they’re buying. You need to prove you will stand behind your work, claims and statements.
The Right Brand Image
Your business needs to integrate your marketing messages, how you promote, where you promote, and what you get others to say about your business. Much of your copy should be done in a way that gives an impression of you and your business as a thought leader in your sector. The rich want to have experts working with them so demonstrate your expertise.
Ensure your web properties and social pages have an elegant, tasteful, and clean appearance. Show being tech savvy is vital to good business today.
Take note of your brand image and ensure that everything you do resonates to the tune of integrity and quality. Don’t be shy or modest because they want to know you.