Luxury's Got a Brand New Style: How to Position Your Brand to the New Affluent Consumer Psychology
Think about the 'It" handbag carried by an ultra-fashionable, ultra-affluent consumer, and you may picture the Hermès Birkin or maybe the little NN14 number from Louis Vuitton. These iconic bags can top five figures in price and have often boasted a waiting list of hundreds of customers and a wait time of months or years.
But it is time for the Birkin and NN14 to step aside. Today's affluent consumer craves a whole new bag, and it is pretty much the exact opposite of a product from Hermès or Louis Vuitton.
"Today's affluent consumer is looking for a more understated expression of style, not the arm candy that ultra-expensive bags represent," says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of a new luxury trend report, Luxury's Got a Brand New Style: How to position your brand to the new affluent consumer psychology. Danziger explains the shifts in how affluents view their wealth and consumption, "There is a new kind of conspicuous consumption today required in a political environment that is demonizing income inequality and the excesses of the 1%. Rather than conspicuous consumption and status symbols that proclaim one's wealth, the affluent are embracing brands that give them bragging rights to how smart a shopper he or she is. For example, this past season's 'It' coat embraced by the wealthy wasn't one from a tony Madison Avenue furrier, but the Uniqlo Ultra-Lite Down Jacket which sold for less than $70. This jacket is cool and chic in an anti-status, smart-shopper way." , she explains the new attitudes affluents have toward the products they buy.
The new report profiles successful brands that have brilliantly captured the new psychology toward luxury goods. One such company is J.W. Hulme Co., a U.S.-based maker of handbags that is quietly taking the affluent world by storm.
"J.W. Hulme sells to a quality and value-based consumer who is willing to pay a premium for the old-fashioned American heritage values that the brand embraces," says Danziger. "You can see and feel the quality - so the bags aren't inexpensive - but there is a sense of paying for construction and heritage, not logo and prestige. And what's more a hallmark of the brand is lifetime guarantee of quality. Marketers can no longer assume that affluent consumers are willing to spend up without a compelling reason."
"The recent recession has reshaped the American economy in ways that will affect us for decades to come. Affluent consumers no longer feel like carrying a symbol of wealth on their arm knowing that the American middle class has been severely weakened coming out of the recession. Most affluents, both the HENRYs (income $100-250K) and Ultra-affluents ($250K+), would rather throw their lot in with the 99 percent and avoid the conspicuous consumption that characterized luxury in previous years," Danziger concludes.
Luxury's Got a Brand New Style: This trend report details this important shift
Targeting these new affluent consumers will take a completely different approach from that used in previous decades. Unity Marketing's new 100+ page trend report explains these new strategies.
Based on the most recent study of 1,335 affluent consumers in the top 20 percent of households by income, this report examines:- Affluents' shifting attitudes toward money.- Affluent shopping strategies.- How to position your brand to appeal to these consumers.- The role of discounts and special offers.- What purchases give affluents the most pleasure.- What companies are doing things right in this new affluent economy.- The psychographic profiles you will encounter, and how to talk to them.
Special feature: Find out how to sell more effectively to each of the five different types of luxury consumers
A special feature in Unity Marketing's Luxury Consumers' Attitudes and Motivations Report is a psychographic profile of five key types of luxury consumers, including how to identify each personality, where each personality is likely to be found and how to sell more to each personality. These include:
X-Fluents (Extremely Affluent) who spend the most on luxury and are most highly invested in luxury living. In the report you will learn how the share of X-Fluents is on the rise in the current market, as other personality types drop out of the overall luxury market.
Butterflies, the most highly evolved luxury consumers who have emerged from their luxury cocoons with a passion to reconnect with the outside world. Powered by a search for meaning and new experiences, the Butterflies have the least materialistic orientation among the segments.
Luxury Cocooners who are focused on hearth and home. They spend most of their luxury budgets on home-related purchases;
Aspirers, those luxury consumers who have not yet achieved the level of luxury to which they aspire. They are highly attuned to brands and believe luxury is best expressed in what they buy and what they own.
Temperate Pragmatists, a newly emerged luxury consumer who is not all that involved in the luxury lifestyle. As their name implies, they are careful spenders and not given to luxury indulgence.