The question of what’s rich came up again this week when Gallup this week published the results of a new survey. From my perspective, it once again underscores the precarious position for luxury marketers who don’t have comprehensive marketing strategies to target the Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) consumer (Think Household Income of $1 million +).
My experience is many of the biggest and brightest believe marketing to the Super Rich is about having some private dinners, sponsoring a few cultural events, perhaps a polo tournament, and that’s it. Few, if any, have a separate media strategy to target consumers who make over one million dollars a year. Instead, it is assumed that general media plans are effective in reaching this target.
But back to Gallup:
Thirty-seven (37) percent of Americans making over $240,000 a year said they are “cutting back on how much money” they spend on a weekly basis. For those making $180,000 to $239,999, 42 percent are cutting back. In the $120,000 to $179,999 household income range, the percentage cutting back rises to 44 percent. From $90,000 to $119,999 it rises further to 52 percent, and continues to rise as you go lower.
Gallup believes that consumers are skittish about the future, and would rather bank money than spend it.
Of course, a Washington Post story revealed that in major metropolitan markets, a $250,000 household incomes leaves little wiggle room to begin with. With no new silver bullet markets such as Russia, China or Brazil to take the place of mass affluent American spenders, the Gallup numbers are a good sign that luxury marketers should be crafting a stand alone strategy to gain share of the over $210 billion the global Super Rich spend annually on luxury goods and services.