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Marketing to the Ultra-Wealthy: Leave the Generics Aisle for Your Luxury Brand

ByMark Stanich,
business.com writer
|
Dec 08, 2017
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> Marketing
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You can't target ultrahigh net worth individuals the same way you would anyone else.

It may seem like an obvious statement: Effective marketing should not consist of a broad one-size-fits-all approach, since each brand has its own unique value proposition to current and prospective customers.  

However, with the advent of massive distribution and marketing scale through ad technology platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google, many brands get lulled into marketing via the exact same methods and channels that virtually every other company does. Replicating only what has worked for others, without giving constant thought to your unique ability to engage and delight customers, causes a brand to miss many creative opportunities to reach new business customers and resonate with them outside of the commonplace channels.

For those working to reach the small but powerful luxury market, it becomes even more imperative to take a strategic approach to brand building and awareness, as consumers interested in very high-end products and experiences are not easy to find using traditional mass platforms. As the world's population of ultrahigh net worth individuals (UHNWI) increases at significant year-over-year rates, there is more reason than ever for global luxury lifestyle brands to pursue a thoughtful and selective marketing strategy.

Ultra-wealthy purchasing power increasing

A recent World Wealth Report by Capgemini found that the number of UHNWI has increased significantly across the globe, with North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific setting new UHNWI population and wealth records. In 2025, it is estimated that global UHNWI wealth will exceed $100 trillion, giving this niche market previously unseen purchasing power. Several nations in both developed and developing regions in Asia and Europe have booming wealth sectors that have grown 10 to 20 percent from last year.

While many ultra-wealthy individuals are still interested in the classic luxury purchases that we typically associate with affluence (fine art, jewelry, wine, sports vehicles, luxury travel, etc.), there is a growing market opportunity for a "new" luxury of artisanal and curated products that reinforce an individual's meaning of an affluent and empowered lifestyle.

Supporting a new venture that has a clear positive societal impact is also an increasing practice among those with the most spending power. For that reason, many UHNWI are seeking to expand their global network, identifying new products and trends that more precisely match their lifestyle.

The importance of trust for UHNWI

As the brand or entrepreneur, you must first consider that the ultra-wealthy are often targets for businesses trying to solicit interest for products and services that have no benefit to their lifestyle or interests, simply because they have wealth. This is why trust is so crucial within the luxury market. Brand and business leaders must establish clean, sophisticated brand attributes and communication to attract the ultra-wealthy as a customer base.

One way to build this trust is by utilizing networking ventures focused on engagement and relationship building. There is no denying that LinkedIn, for example, is a critical networking tool, but only when used correctly. We all know how many daily requests we get from people trying to connect, only to disappear or spam us after we click that accept button. Affluent consumers are not looking to simply add as many contacts as possible; they require discretion and a high level of trust with businesses and individuals that understand and appreciate their niche interests.

For the affluent market, creating an exclusive and valued experience is also critical. The power of supplementing online interaction with in-person networking events is immense, especially if your product or service has an experiential component that can be shared. Those interested in a luxury lifestyle want to be able to see how your brand fits in their everyday life. Can they imagine their friends enjoying a weekend ride in this boat or vehicle? Does drinking this craft microbrew under the summer sun evoke tales of camaraderie and adventure? Do your member concierge services deliver exactly the things they are looking for in their busy lives?

The effort to bring together like-minded individuals as a network unto themselves also builds trust between the potential consumer and your brand. By hosting an event that provides high-end hospitality and the opportunity to meet fascinating new people, you provide your selective audience with long-lasting benefits and connections that will live far beyond that extraordinary bottle of wine.

Thought leadership in the right places

Affluent consumers are typically not searching on Facebook or scrolling through LinkedIn in hopes of finding a good product or service provider.  But such digital marketing outreach is still extremely worthwhile, which has led to the current complex ecosystem of social networks.

When searching for your ideal platform, try to share your business benefits and insights in a strategic and nuanced way. Use tailored outlets that affluent consumers trust and offer desirable connection experiences. Join social discovery networks and sites directly targeted to the ultra-wealthy or similar niche audiences, and work to get your message across in engaging and sophisticated ways that you know your potential clientele values.

Reaching the affluent where they feel most comfortable – among those who share their personal and professional goals – will make your brand stand out from the countless others trying to approach luxury lifestyle consumers by strolling down the generics aisle.

 

Mark Stanich
Mark Stanich
See Mark Stanich's Profile
Mark Stanich is currently the President and CXO of Eleqt Group, which empowers members to achieve both business and personal success via a connected social discovery network which supports small business passion, ideation and growth; funding and member services; and exclusive affluent lifestyle benefits and services -- both online and offline at events around the world. Mark has experience as an executive/non-executive board director, and in a broad range of senior management roles including President, Managing Director, & Chief Marketing Officer for both Fortune 500 company divisions and early stage / growth companies.
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