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Marketing to Affluent Consumers - US - July 2010

In difficult economic times, recovery may depend on the willingness of more affluent consumers to spend. However, roughly two-thirds of affluent respondents to Mintel’s survey say they are cutting back because of the economy, demonstrating the breadth of the Great Recession. To survive this climate, luxury and aspirational brands must incorporate the key values to which affluent consumers respond.

In this report, Mintel takes a look at the demographics of the affluent consumer base and trends in their behavior as consumers.

Analysis and insights offered include:

  • the brand characteristics to which affluent consumers gravitate
  • how depictions of affluence are changing
  • which types of media show stronger reach among affluents
  • which online strategies are more effective for affluents
  • how can the affluent base be further segmented
  • what categories of products are affluents spending more on
  • which Internet channels are used most by affluent shoppers
  • how significant is the smartphone channel in reaching higher-earners
  • how much does corporate ethics impact affluent buying behavior

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Affluence strongly tied to educational attainment
                      • Whites, Asians, and married consumers overrepresented in the affluent consumer base
                        • Younger affluents constitute an important subsegment
                          • Television ads sell idealized visions of the affluent lifestyle
                            • Print media show relative strength for higher earners
                              • Online marketing critical for affluent shoppers hungry for information
                                • Affluent shoppers leverage the internet before purchase
                                  • Marketing through the emerging mobile channel targets early tech adopters
                                    • Successful brands for affluent tout stylish design, tech innovation, and simple intelligence
                                      • Affluent consumers also cutting back in some areas more than others
                                        • Green product claims ease the guilt of purchase
                                        • Insights and Opportunities

                                          • Intelligent messaging breaks from conventional narratives
                                            • Injecting emotion into brands offers an escape from the economy
                                              • Careful management of online media can facilitate a more personal connection with the consumer
                                              • Inspire Insights

                                                  • Staying Connected
                                                    • What's it about?
                                                      • What we've seen
                                                        • Specifics
                                                          • Implications
                                                          • Background Factors

                                                            • Affluence strongly tied to educational attainment
                                                                • Figure 1: Mean earnings of full-time workers, by educational attainment, 2007
                                                                • Figure 2: Incidence of affluence, by level of education, April 2010
                                                              • White and Asian households overrepresented in the affluent consumer base
                                                                  • Figure 3: Composition of higher-earning households, by race/ethnicity, 2008
                                                                  • Figure 4: Incidence of affluence, by race/ethnicity, April 2010
                                                                • DINKs represent a desirable subsegment
                                                                    • Figure 5: Incidence of affluence, by age, April 2010
                                                                  • Married consumers represent majority of affluent shoppers
                                                                    • Figure 6: Incidence of affluence, by marital status and children in the household, April 2010
                                                                • Television Advertising

                                                                  • Traditional luxury marketing promotes lifestyles of the rich
                                                                    • Rolex
                                                                      • Figure 7: Rolex— Roger Federer, June 2010
                                                                    • Everlon
                                                                      • Figure 8: Everlon—Snowy Proposal, September 2009
                                                                    • Mercedes-Benz
                                                                      • Figure 9: Mercedes-Benz—Performance, April 2010
                                                                    • Premium brands target younger affluents with modern values
                                                                      • Audi
                                                                        • Figure 10: Audi—I’ve Been Told, March 2010
                                                                      • Grey Goose
                                                                        • Figure 11: Grey Goose—Rooftop Party, May 2010
                                                                      • BMW
                                                                        • Figure 12: BMW—We Make Joy, February 2010
                                                                      • Complex messaging more involving for more educated viewers
                                                                        • Figure 13: Attitudes toward television advertising, by household income, November 2008-December 2009
                                                                      • Older affluents watch cable news, while younger ones watch sports, food
                                                                        • Figure 14: Selected cable channels viewed, by age, November 2008-December 2009
                                                                    • Print Advertising

                                                                      • Newspaper and magazines more likely to reach higher earners
                                                                        • Figure 15: Reach of various advertising media, by household income, June 2009
                                                                      • Newspapers vary in the age segment attracted
                                                                        • Figure 16: Selected newspapers read, by age, November 2008-December 2009
                                                                      • Online newspapers offer even more highly targeted channel
                                                                      • Internet & Mobile Marketing

                                                                        • Affluent consumers hungry for information turn to the internet
                                                                            • Figure 17: Selected online activities, by household income, November 2008-December 2009
                                                                          • Search engine optimization especially potent for affluent web surfers
                                                                            • Figure 18: Popularity of search engines and information databases, by household income, November 2008-December 2009
                                                                          • Search engine optimization
                                                                            • Affluent circles more likely to connect on Facebook
                                                                              • Figure 19: Popularity of social media sites, by household income, November 2008-December 2009
                                                                            • Online coupons more likely used by higher earners
                                                                                • Figure 20: Interest in online coupons, by level of education, June 2010
                                                                              • Smartphone apps emerge as marketing tool for luxury brands
                                                                                • Figure 21: Ownership of Blackberry phones and the iPhone, by household income, November 2008-June 2009
                                                                              • Marketing with apps
                                                                              • Brand Case Studies

                                                                                • Autos: Audi redefines luxury for a younger generation
                                                                                  • Technology: Apple makes tech fun, smart, and progressive
                                                                                    • Home Appliances: LG penetrates market with high-end marketing
                                                                                      • Jewelry: Rolex uses celebrities to stay relevant
                                                                                      • Corporate Ethics & Green Marketing

                                                                                        • Strong ethics justify more expensive purchases by the most educated shoppers
                                                                                            • Figure 22: Influence of corporate behavior on shopping decisions, by level of education, January 2010
                                                                                          • High-end fashion declares green the new black
                                                                                            • Luxury automakers strive to prove their green intentions
                                                                                            • Changes in Spending by Category

                                                                                              • Affluent lifestyles characterized by travel, organic products, and luxury apparel
                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Likelihood of purchase in categories of spending, by level of affluence, April 2010
                                                                                                • Most affluent respondents also cutting back but to a lesser degree
                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Cutbacks in categories of spending, by level of affluence, April 2010
                                                                                                • Organic products, electronics, and travel less impacted by affluent cutbacks
                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Increases in categories of spending, by level of affluence, April 2010
                                                                                                • Under-45s more likely to be increasing spending while younger Boomers hold back
                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Increases in categories of spending, by age, April 2010
                                                                                              • Internet and Mobile Shopping

                                                                                                • Affluents more willing to take risk with web-only retailers
                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Usage of online shopping, by level of affluence, April 2010
                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Usage of online shopping, by age, April 2010
                                                                                                • Affluents more likely to use smartphone shopping apps
                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Usage of mobile shopping applications, by level of affluence, April 2010
                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Usage of mobile shopping applications, by age, April 2010
                                                                                              • Sources of Information

                                                                                                • Recommendations more important in affluent purchase decisions
                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Sources of influence, by level of affluence, April 2010
                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Sources of influence, by age, April 2010
                                                                                                • Affluent buyers more likely to consult online reviews
                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Attitudes toward online product feedback, by household income, March 2010
                                                                                                • Affluent shoppers more likely to use online resources to compare prices
                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Popularity of price comparison sites, by household income, March 2010
                                                                                              • Credit Card Usage

                                                                                                • Affluents more likely to purchase by credit card
                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Usage of credit cards, by level of affluence, April 2010
                                                                                              • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                  • Savers
                                                                                                    • Demographics
                                                                                                      • Characteristics
                                                                                                        • Insight
                                                                                                          • Frugals
                                                                                                            • Demographics
                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                • Insight
                                                                                                                  • Spenders
                                                                                                                    • Demographics
                                                                                                                      • Characteristics
                                                                                                                        • Insight
                                                                                                                          • Characteristic tables
                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Affluent marketing clusters, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Cutback in spending due to recession, by affluent marketing clusters, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Spending in categories compared to last year, by affluent marketing clusters, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Usage of mobile shopping applications, by affluent marketing clusters, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Usage of credit cards, by affluent marketing clusters, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Usage of online shopping, by affluent marketing clusters, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Sources of influence, by affluent marketing clusters, April 2010
                                                                                                                          • Demographic tables
                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Affluent marketing clusters, by gender, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Affluent marketing clusters, by age, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Affluent marketing clusters, by household income, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Affluent marketing clusters, by race, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Affluent marketing clusters, by Hispanic origin, April 2010
                                                                                                                          • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                          • Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Incidence of affluence, by household income, April 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Increases in categories of spending, by household income and gender, April 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Increases in categories of spending, by household income and type of residential area, April 2010
                                                                                                                          • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                            • Advertising Research Foundation
                                                                                                                            • Amazon North America
                                                                                                                            • American Advertising Federation
                                                                                                                            • American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA)
                                                                                                                            • American Marketing Association (AMA)
                                                                                                                            • AOL
                                                                                                                            • Apple, Inc
                                                                                                                            • Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
                                                                                                                            • Audi of America Inc
                                                                                                                            • Bacardi U.S.A. Inc.
                                                                                                                            • Barneys New York, Inc.
                                                                                                                            • Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)
                                                                                                                            • Best Buy stores (USA)
                                                                                                                            • Condé Nast Publications Inc.
                                                                                                                            • Digital Media Association (DiMA)
                                                                                                                            • Dyson Inc.
                                                                                                                            • Ermenegildo Zegna Ltd
                                                                                                                            • ESPN, Inc.
                                                                                                                            • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                            • Ferrari S.p.A.
                                                                                                                            • Gap (USA)
                                                                                                                            • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                            • Gucci Group N.V.
                                                                                                                            • Home Box Office, Inc.
                                                                                                                            • HSN-U.S.
                                                                                                                            • Interactive Advertising Bureau (US)
                                                                                                                            • International Advertising Association (IAA)
                                                                                                                            • LG Electronics Inc (USA)
                                                                                                                            • LVMH Inc. (U.S.)
                                                                                                                            • LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA
                                                                                                                            • Mercedes-Benz USA
                                                                                                                            • Montres Rolex S.A.
                                                                                                                            • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                            • NexTag, Inc.
                                                                                                                            • Nike
                                                                                                                            • Overstock.com Inc.
                                                                                                                            • PriceGrabber.com, LLC
                                                                                                                            • QVC USA
                                                                                                                            • Research In Motion (USA)
                                                                                                                            • Target Corporation
                                                                                                                            • The New York Times Company
                                                                                                                            • The Stride Rite Corporation
                                                                                                                            • Tiffany & Co.
                                                                                                                            • Toyota Motor Corporation USA
                                                                                                                            • Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
                                                                                                                            • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                            • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                            • U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
                                                                                                                            • USA Today
                                                                                                                            • World Federation of Advertisers (WFA)
                                                                                                                            • Yahoo! Inc
                                                                                                                            • Yelp Inc.
                                                                                                                            • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                            Marketing to Affluent Consumers - US - July 2010

                                                                                                                            US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)