What do the Super Rich do when they aren’t overseeing their various business interests?
Luxury marketers have long tried to figure it out, trying to craft partnerships with groups and organizations that they felt would effectively position their offerings to Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) consumers.
One thing I’ve always warned is there are no silver bullets. The Super Rich are highly diverse, and their interests vary, not necessarily to the highfalutin pursuits that are sometimes assumed.
Recently, wealth researcher Wealth-X released a survey based on the “interests, hobbies and passions” of billionaires.
Leading the way is philanthropy with 56 percent of the Super Rich saying that in their free time, they pursue philanthropic goals. One thing that should be warned that I have personally seen is UHNW philanthropy is about their interests, not yours.
In fact, I have interviewed several executives who said when promoting corporate philanthropy initiatives, it elicited high spending UHNW to bounce back soliciting support of their own charities.
Travel is second in popularity, and certainly with private jets on hand, it makes traveling to places near and far much more pleasurable.
While luxury brands flock to cultural events, only 12 percent of billionaires share that interest, and more interesting to me, is the combination of football, soccer, fishing and hunting draws interest from some 30 percent of the Super Rich.
If you have any question about that, check out the private jet traffic in Austin, TX, South Bend, IN, Athens, GA, Norman, OK and other major universities on college football Saturdays in the fall. For that matter, the growth in luxury boxes at football and baseball stadiums that can run as much as $500,000 to $1 million per year is largely built on renting them to UHNW fans. One travel agent who deals with Super Rich clients in Silicon Valley tells me the first thing she does is get the home schedule for the San Francisco 49ers so she can make sure her customers are there for the games.
One other laggard is fine dining, with only 1 in 10 UHNWs having an interest in the category, behind other pursuits such as reading, golf, auto collecting, boating, wines and even politics. I suspect the lack of interest in fine dining is probably related to the enormous travel, and interest UHNWs have in health and wellness. So yes, they eat at nice place, but they are not going out of their way to study up on them.
So what does it all mean?
While partnerships and sponsorships around these categories are all nice, they only resonate with a small fraction of this fragmented market. What it means for marketers targeting UHNW, is that they need to focus on platforms that hit the widest number of this high-yield market with the least possible waste. One such place is private jet owners who are as likely to be football fans as collectors of fine art.
In launching last year DG Amazing Experiences, my weekly CEO-style travel-focused e-newsletter for private jet owners, I have gained readership from investment bankers and auto dealers to distributors of carbonated beverage, citrus farmers, military defense contractors, entertainment honchos and manufacturers of everything from packaging to ships.