Market to a Millionaire

May 1998


Market to a Millionaire

Frugal and low-key in their lifestyles, America's newly rich are tough to target

It's easy to spot a millionaire – just look for the Henry Dunay cuff bracelet and Judith Lieber handbag, right?

Well, not exactly. According to an article in Marketing Toolsmagazine, most millionaires are harder to draw a bead on. The problem is they look, and spend, like the rest of us.

The ranks of the affluent and super-affluent are growing at a brisk pace, thanks in large part to the long bull market on Wall Street. "The number of U.S. millionaires is increasing at roughly 20 times the rate of the population as a whole," says MT.These new millionaires tend to be frugal and value-conscious – more interested in saving than splurging. (This is, after all, how they got rich in the first place.) The result: the typical millionaire doesn't pay more than $399 for a suit or $140 for a pair of shoes, the article says.

So what are luxury-goods marketers to do? How can they reach the elusive audience of wealthy but wary consumers? MThas a few bits of advice.

Make sure you send them the right advertising messages. While the free-spending rich tend merely to respond to advertisers' promises of status, the more tight-fisted millionaires are a different story. They're more likely to bite when the message is about value retention, quality and practicality. A prime example of this approach is Patek Philippe's recent print campaign portraying its watches as future heirlooms (see photo at left).

Explore some of the less obvious (and less splashy) media you can use to reach your audience. Ivy League alumni magazines, for example, have a high percentage of affluent readers, the article points out. The alumni generally have good feelings about their schools and are in a receptive mood when they read the magazine. Other vehicles worth considering are trade journals that go to high-income professionals. They're cost-efficient and are read by the practical, business-minded audience you want to reach.

Note that consumers who are reasonably well-off or wealthy are more likely to respond to direct mail than the rest of the population. One study showed college-educated consumers with an income over $50,000 who own equipment such as a compact disc player or VCR are 50% more likely to respond to direct mail than the average household. But note they also receive more mail – six pieces per day as opposed to four for less-well-off consumers – and that 57% of them know how to get their names removed from direct mail lists.

Patek Philippe's campaign appeals to a sense of quality and practicality, factors that help to impart an heirloom quality to a product.








Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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