Reaching and Connecting with the New Affluent Consumer
In the past you could identify an affluent customer just by the clothes they were wearing. But in today’s world of teenage millionaires, thanks to the tech boom, you don’t know if the kid in a hoodie is actually your target audience, nor can you afford to make that judgment. Here are some tips for ensuring that you are strategically managing your brand by reaching and connecting with this group we call The New Affluent.
The new affluent consumer expects brands to deliver experiences that show why they should purchase from that brand, instead of simply stating “we are better.” The new affluent is quick to say “prove it.” High-end fashion boutiques have mastered this thinking and are known for providing a comfortable, personal experience for their shoppers. For example, they may offer a glass of champagne while guests are shopping or place new items that they may like in a reserved dressing room. This experience doesn’t change the price or quality of the product, but it delivers an experience the customer will appreciate and increases the chance that the customer will continue to shop at that store.
New affluent consumers choose brands that represent their personal style, regardless of price. They may choose a $10 sweater from a discount chain because it represents their style more than the $200 sweater from a high-end department store. The trend of pairing an expensive item with a lower-priced item is important for brands to understand if they are to connect with the new affluent shopper.
Some of the trends gaining focus with the new affluent are:
- Thinking Local: buying from local businesses and eating locally sourced foods
- Design Dominant: design must be functional, beautiful and simple
- Research Savvy: they may know more about your brand than you do
Let’s look at the Research Savvy shopper for a minute. This group demands authenticity from brands. Fancy advertising campaigns are no longer enough to attract a major purchase. A brand strategy must be authentic with its audience and must consistently stay true to the brand messaging being delivered. If your company says it’s eco-friendly, make sure this holds true from the lighting used in your offices to the packaging used to deliver the product.
Some brands that are doing it well include:
- Ann Taylor
- Toyota (which overcame a horrendous PR nightmare following a major recall)
What are these brands doing better than the others? Showing real-life use of how their product fits into the lifestyle of their customers. Gone are the days of telling the consumer why your product is better; it’s time to start showing and creating great experiences.