Marketing To Affluent Consumers

Many business owners want to market to affluent consumers. Those that don’t mind spending more to get greater value so they get exactly what they want. It’s a topic that Audrey talks about frequently and has done quite a bit of research on for her customers. She shares her thoughts and insights about the particular market segment: who they are and how to find and market to them. She also shares how to brand your business to attract this market segment as well.

Links Mentioned In This Episode

Value based marketing Podcast Episode – https://inkyma.com/marketing-strategies-podcast/value-based-marketing-podcast/

Value Based Marketing article – https://inkyma.com/marketing/how-to-increase-sales-by-adding-value/

Marketing To Affluent Consumers Transcription

Announcer:
Welcome to Marketing Strategies with Audrey Kerchner sponsored by Inkyma. Taking your small business to the next level with proven creative solutions designed to grow your awareness and connect to your customers. Now here’s Audrey.
Audrey Kerchner:
Hi there. And welcome. This is Audrey Kerchner, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Strategist at Inkyma. Inkyma is a full service marketing agency and we bring that big agency process and feel and customer service to small business owners. We do marketing strategy, branding, website design and hosting content marketing, search engine optimization, social media, and digital advertising. To learn more about what we do, ask us a question or to schedule a marketing evaluation for your business. Go to our website inkycoma.com. That’s I-N-K-Y-M-A.com. So if this is your first time listening, welcome. We hope that you enjoy the show. If you’re a long-ish time listener, because we haven’t been on real long, but we’ve hit 20 and we’re still going, welcome back. Thanks so much for listening and enjoying the show and hopefully you’re sharing it. If you want to share it, or if you want to listen to more episodes, all of the episodes are on our website and we’re also on Podbean, Spotify, Amazon Music and Audible and we’ve got many more coming.
Audrey Kerchner:
So today I’m going to chat with you about marketing to affluent consumers. Folks with money, folks that like to spend money. So we’ll just call them affluent consumers. I talked to my clients, I talked to other business owners all the time who want to target affluent consumers, but either they’re not sure how, or they’re wondering if it’s a good business decision for their products and service, but they all have something in common, which is they want to work with people that appreciate what they do. They’re subject matter experts in their field. They’ve been doing it a long time and they don’t want to just cater to someone who wants something cheap and fast. They want to build relationships. They want to build partnerships with their customers who truly appreciate what they have to offer. And nine times out of 10, that’s going to be an affluent consumer.
Audrey Kerchner:
So I spend a lot of time researching and talking about this subject. So today I want to share with you my thoughts about who they are, what they do, where you can find them and the types of things you need to do with your business marketing to attract them so that you can have those wonderful relationships and not compete on price, but you compete on services. You compete on customer service and you’re truly wanting to build a relationship with folks versus just low cost and out the door. So let’s talk first about who the affluent consumers are. Let’s define them a little bit better. They’re not just people who like to spend money because there are people out there that love to spend money and they don’t have it. And those aren’t the people that we’re talking about here. So let’s make it a little more concrete.
Audrey Kerchner:
We’re talking about people with household incomes of $100,000 per year or more. And then the second part of it is the most important piece of it is they have discretionary income. So the two of those together are what really makes this market because you can have someone with discretionary income, but that income could not be enough for what you’re offering. So if you’re trying to build, find people who want 2 million dollar custom homes, someone who’s only making 50, $60,000 a year, even though most, if that’s discretionary may not be your client and vice versa. You could have someone who’s making a million dollars a year, but they’re sitting on the edge of bankruptcy. They’re not your client either because they don’t have any discretionary income. So the key to finding this audience, this real audience is the marriage of those two together. Income level and level of discretionary income.
Audrey Kerchner:
And so when you have someone who is making more money, has discretionary income that they can use, then you focus on their mindset. So how do they think? They do think differently than other people. And so the mindset of this type of person, the affluent consumer is they focus on value, not on the lowest price. They got their chops going up into whatever industry they’re in, whether they’re employed by someone or they’re business owners, themselves. And for them, what they want is they want good value for the money. It’s more important than the price. They are willing to spend more, if it is a good value. And if it is a good experience for them, if it’s what they want, if they can justify it, we’re talking about all those things because they do come into play when they make their decision.
Audrey Kerchner:
And so they’re willing to spend more, they know what they want, they’re doing research. And so what your job as the business owner, as the marketing executive for your company is help them justify the spend. They want good value for that spend. Your job is to justify it for them because they’re not worried about the price as long as it’s what they need and they want and what they expect. So let’s talk about how you justify a little bit and what helps them justify in their mind. First thing is quality. They’re willing to pay more for higher qualities, for products, for service. They want what they want. So a good example of this is grill. A lot of people spend a lot of money on grills. And the reason is why is they want the best. They want their food to come out great.
Audrey Kerchner:
And so one of the brands out there, the kind of exudes quality is Weber. And you can have two grills side by side, both got amazing ratings. People say, they’re both great. One’s a Weber and one’s not. And the Weber is three times as much because they have built that reputation. They can afford to charge that. And they’ve already dialed into that consumer group who wants a Weber because they know Weber means quality in the grill world. The next biggest thing is service. If they’re going to be spending more on these, because it’s something that they’re passionate about, they want really good customer service. And part of that service is knowledge. It’s probably the number one thing. You can be nice, but then if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re still not helpful. So you got to be knowledgeable. You have to be nice and you got to spend time.
Audrey Kerchner:
And I’ll use a personal example that I have from my past is I used to be a marathon runner. I run four marathons, countless training runs and so the most important thing to me as a runner were my sneakers, because the wrong sneakers made all the running horrible. You’d get shin splints. You’d hurt your ankles. Your feet would hurt. And granted, if you’re running 26.2 miles, your feet are going to hurt, but you can lessen that with the right equipment. I never went to places like Sneakers Plus, or even chains that sold running athletic sneakers. I never went to the Nike store. Where I used to go was I would go to very local running stores that serviced only the running community short, long-term. The owners and everybody that worked there were runners themselves. You’d walk in, they’d watch how you walk. They would pick out two to three shoes that worked for your gait, your foot size and the type of running you did.
Audrey Kerchner:
If you ran short distances versus long, different shoes. They knew all of this. So they catered to me and what I did. So that’s part of the service is catering to your niche and to that audience. And yeah, I spent 50 to $60 more per pair of shoes, but it was worth it. When you’re three hours into a four-hour run, you don’t want to be worried about what’s on your feet. So you got to start thinking in that mindset. And so the next piece that I’m going to talk about is value, good value. What is good value to someone that is not you? So we’re going to break that down a little bit, but what I want you to know is that value equals justification. So if you say, I need to justify this purchase, that’s the value of it. And when you use those words interchangeably, it makes it much easier to understand what value is. Its justification as to the why.
Audrey Kerchner:
And so in my example, that I just shared with you, my justification for spending $60 more on a pair of sneakers was because I didn’t want my feet to hurt. It was worth it. If I’m running for four or five hours and I stayed that pain off, it’s totally worth it to me. That $60 meant nothing. So let’s talk about the different types of values. Because there’s more than one and when you break them down, it’s easier to understand them. So first emotional value, that’s usually the easiest to understand. Does it make you feel good? Does it make your customer feel good? Will their friends and families feel good about it?
Audrey Kerchner:
Are they happy? And then insert the feeling that works for your product or service. Safe, secure, happy, important. Feeling of important. Find out what feelings your service evokes. And then that’s what you talk about. The next value is social value. Does it fit within their tribe? If you’ve ever read Seth Godin, he is the master on marketing to tribes and understanding how that works. And everybody has a tribe. I used to be part of the running tribe. You’re part of different tribes. Your consumers are and within your tribe, there’s a market to them. And so the tribe is really their social circle. That was kind of like the ’70s version of tribes and then status within the tribe is really, really important.
Seth Godin:
“That it’s tribe. Not money, not factories that can change our world, that can change politics that can align large numbers of people.”
Audrey Kerchner:
So if the tribe that your consumer is in, finds it socially appealing, then your consumers can pay for it. They’re going to want it and then they’re going to want to share it with the rest of the tribe. Then the last value I’m going to share with you, it’s a little bit of everything, but it kind of brings it into its own little compartment, social influence. Social, emotional, it’s really philosophical. Social influence, social justification. Does it better humankind? Every person has causes they believe in. Because of circumstances of life, you may be an air quality person. You may be a water person. You may be a support women person. Those are your causes. You’re philosophically bound to them. It’s the way that you think. And so if a business sells something, whether it’s shoes or water bottles that supports your philosophical beliefs, right there is your justification.
Audrey Kerchner:
So if you sell coffee mugs that are socially responsible, they’re made by certain people that help them make income in a third world country. And if that’s your consumer’s idea of useful and helpful, then right there, you hit social influence, social justification. A great example of a real life company is Bombas Socks. These socks are expensive. They’re somewhere between 15 and $20 for a pair of socks. But for every pair of socks they sell, they give a pair of socks to someone who needs it. Their whole marketing strategy is based off of social influence and it works. Bombas Socks are well-known and they sell really, really well. And by the way, they’re really comfortable socks too. So they’re a good product. They have good service and they have social influence. So if you can do emotional, if you can do social and social influence, the philosophical piece, all within your branding, you’ve just hit the justification trifecta or the value-based marketing trifecta.
Audrey Kerchner:
Now let’s talk a little bit about general demographics. I’m going to give you the generalities because depending on the tribe, the social circle, these demographics are going to be different. And where they hang out is going to be different. The age range is usually between 35 and 60. You got some buying power at 35, and then at 60, you get above that and while you can still have outliers that are going to be still lots of discretionary income that they’re willing to spend, you get into retirement mindset and maybe you don’t spend quite as much. Again, household income, 100,000 or more. The key to that is discretionary income to support that. And then brands that they already like and enjoy. I’ve already talked about a couple. I talked about Bombas. I talked about Weber Grills. And then from my perspective, there’s running shoe companies out there or running stores, people that are going to visit these running stores only, or go to the websites that are dedicated to runners.
Audrey Kerchner:
Some other brands are different high-tech products. Smartwatches, doesn’t matter if it’s apple watches anymore. Fitbit has one, athletes have their own brand, but you see them. They’re the bigger clunkier watches that have now become fashion statements. That’s a good indicator. If you’re going to try to target people, you can target them based off of that technology. Cars from a philosophical and social influencing perspective. If Tesla is really great, they’re up and coming, and then you’ve got SpaceX, their sister company that’s really up and coming. And then you’ve got the tried and true brands that you can’t go wrong with. Mercedes, BMW Gucci, find one for the industry that you’re targeting. Gucci for fashion, Gucci is still great. The other thing is subscription services, monthly subscription services, anything over $50 in your industry. So align it with your industry. I have a company that sells coffee, it’s luxury coffee, it’s high-end coffee.
Audrey Kerchner:
And so what we do is we look for the tribe that subscribes to Bean Box, which is also really unique, different coffee. But when you buy the coffee after sampling it, it’s comparative in price to the coffee that the company I’m supporting is selling. So we already know they’re built into that value-based. They love their coffee, they’re willing to pay for it. And then other things to think about are luxury brands in things like construction, faucets, countertops, flooring. So look at your industry and find out what the luxury brands are for you and people that surround themselves with that. Obviously you’re going to have partnerships with them, but think outside the box too, if you’re a service-based company, what are sister services and who in your area are considered the luxury brands already and work off of that. So let’s bring all of this together as an example, just so you can get a clear picture of it in your mind for the affluent consumer. Let’s talk about a kitchen remodel.
Audrey Kerchner:
The Jones’s are looking to do an entire kitchen remodel. They want to rip everything out and replace it all. They want high-end products and fixtures. And the reason behind this, their justification built in is they want to increase the value of their home because the best way to increase the value of a home is to redo the kitchens and the bathrooms. But not only do they want that, they want a wonderful place to entertain family and friends. So we’ve got an economical value and we’ve got a social value, entertaining. So they go and they do their research on brands, appliances and cabinets. What features they want to help make the kitchen efficient and useful. And then they look at trends like what are the trends right now in kitchens? Because that changes all the time. Because again, if they’re going to be entertaining, they want it to feel trendy.
Audrey Kerchner:
So as they’re doing all of this, they get on the radar screen of a couple of different contractors who are watching those industries and doing advertising and they see it and maybe they find a couple of articles. And so based off of finding those articles, seeing those Ads, they sign up for newsletters. And then they actually look at some Google reviews for those companies that they’re seeing. So then they decide on the top three contractors that they like from all of that research and from getting stuff pushed at them and finding it organically. The contractor that they’d go with actually provided them the highest bid, not the lowest. And the reason that that contractor got the business was one, they showed a digital rendering, a 3D model of what the proposed kitchen could look like before the client even signed. They wanted to visually show them what was in their head.
Audrey Kerchner:
He had references and testimonials from similar types of customers, meaning he’d done this kind of work before. He’s instilling confidence. So the reason the homeowners chose them, they felt like he understood them already. He listened to all of the attributes and what they were looking for. Their fixtures, the brands that they like and they showed it to them before they even bought. It’s easy enough to put a picture of a specific type of faucet into a rendering before you have to go out and buy it. And they love the service that they received during the bidding process. He also justified the return on investment saying, listen, if you build out this kitchen, it’s going to cost X. But when you go to sell your house in five or 10 years, this is the added value. He pre did the calculations for them so that they had less work to do on their side.
Audrey Kerchner:
And so that’s how he won it and justified the business. And he was the highest bidder. So think about how that could work in your industry. So now that you understand how it works, let’s talk about what you specifically need to do to attract these types of consumers. You’re listening to Marketing Strategies and I’m Audrey Kerchner. And we’re talking about marketing to affluent consumers to help you grow your business in that marketplace. So how do you set up your marketing to attract these types of customers? Well, you got to start from the ground up with this type of customer, with the affluent consumer because they have certain expectations. And so when we start from the ground up, not only do we go back and look at the marketing strategy, but we even take the very next step we look at is branding and imagery. They want high quality.
Audrey Kerchner:
They want high-end, you have to look high quality and high-end before they ever talk to you. If you remember back in my example, with the kitchen remodel, they were looking at these contractors and their websites and their content before they met anybody. That’s how they chose them to actually get them to bid. So you’ve got to put yourself out there and you have to look the part. So as I like to say it, you have to look like you’re wearing a three-piece suit for your industry. And not just you, your website, your cards, your vehicles, everything has to look on point. And what that means is clean and professional artwork, no clip art, nothing that you just kind of grab and put together. The colors have to resonate with the affluent consumers in your industry. So for example, finance and accounting, that’s a high trust industry.
Audrey Kerchner:
You’re not going to go out with oranges and reds and bright garish yellows. You’re going to go with a harmonious color palette, probably with a blue in it because blue is the highest trust color complemented by some type of green and you want it to feel sophisticated. Then the next thing you’re going to do is you’re going to use images that look like the consumer that you’re trying to attract. You’ve got to make sure that when they see your pictures anywhere or your video, they can see themselves. It’s got a mirror back. So you got to know your market really, really well. And so if this sounds a little overwhelming for you, a really good brand designer can do all of this for you. You can tell them, I want these people, I’m in this industry. I want my logo to feel like these emotional words that you’ve done research for or the marketing team can actually do all that strategy for you.
Audrey Kerchner:
And then come up with something that looks exactly the way it’s supposed to because of what you’re trying to project. So now let’s talk a little about copy and content. First of all, no matter what, make sure your language is clear, make sure it is simple. Everything should be at a fourth-grade reading level. I don’t care if you’re marketing to doctors and PhDs. When people are reading and scanning marketing information, a fourth-grade reading level is so much easier to digest and understand than something written for a post-doctorate then make sure that your product or service is solving their problem. Identify their problem first. Simple, clear language, how you solve it at an emotional level. Let’s go back to those values. The emotional level is the justification. To that point you want to use language that helps them justify the price.
Audrey Kerchner:
If you can give them the language that they can talk to somebody about, even better. So emotional, you deserve this. It will make you happy or insert your emotional word here. It will make you safe, important, secure, loved, like whatever that is. Social share with friends and family so they can benefit too. When someone can take something and give it to someone else and be helpful, there is an in measurable internal pride and satisfaction. Satisfaction is the word I’m looking for, that a person feels. And if you give them that language or the opportunity to do that, they’re going to be so much happier. And then of course, philosophical, not only is this good for me, but it’s good for the planet, other countries, whatever my cause is, whatever I’m philosophically bound to. It’s good for that too. Now let’s talk about materials.
Audrey Kerchner:
A lot of people that try to go after the affluent consumer thinks about all these other things, but then they forget about one of the simplest things. And that’s physical materials, business cards, postcards, any other type of print. You want something that feels good in the hand, something that’s a little luxurious. You think about what you’re wearing, that you present. Well, what you hand to them, what you give to them has to present well, too. So if you want them to look at a catalog of your items, up the quality of the paper a little bit, make it a little thicker, go ahead and pay extra for that. It’s going to be well worth it. And it’s subtle. But a lot of times they’ll actually say something like with my business cards, I do a 16 point suede stock. It is three times the price of a standard business card, but four out of five people touch it.
Audrey Kerchner:
The first thing they do is it comes in the hand. They look at me and they go, oh, that’s really nice. Then they look at the name of my company and they look at my name, guess what? Oh, that’s nice in that fraction of a second, just got associated to my brand. It’s worth the extra money for me to get that extra time. So not only think about that, but shirts, promotional items, your website, it’s got to look clean and professional and it has to be geared towards the audience that you’re trying to attract. So hopefully you have a better understanding of how to talk to affluent customers, how to attract them, what their mindset is. But now I want you to take some action because none of this information is going to be useful unless you use the information. So I’ve got a couple of things I’m going to share with you here.
Audrey Kerchner:
The very first thing is, decide if this is the type of audience that’s right for you. Every business is not going to want to market to affluent consumers. Yeah. Having the extra money is always nice, but it’s work. And then the other thing is, remember I talked about value. Your values have to align with their values. Way back in the beginning when I said, you want people that are going to appreciate you, appreciate your product or service, treat you with the understanding that they know your subject matter experts in your field. That’s why you market to a group like this because it’s not easy. It’s more time-consuming. It’s certainly more expensive. But those are the people that you resonate with. You share values with and you get joy from working with them, then it’s worth all of it, but make the conscious decision.
Audrey Kerchner:
Because if you try to fake it, they’re going to know, and then no one’s going to come. So let’s say you have decided this is the right audience for you. They’re part of your tribe. That value tribe, not the ones that solely decide that money is the end-all and be-all when it comes to buying things, look at all your existing marketing assets. Start from the ground up. Look at your strategy. Look at your branding, look at your website. And if it doesn’t match what we’ve talked about, you have to redo it. And if you have to redo everything, don’t worry. Where I want you to start is start with your logo, your business cards, and your website. That is a doable chunk. That is a doable thing to get done. And to get it done quickly, you hire an agency. Meaning if you hire an agency today within three to four months, it’s all going to be done and you’re going to be ready to rock and roll.
Audrey Kerchner:
And so it’s August as of this recording, which means you’ll be ready before the beginning of next year. So that’s not that far off in business time. Next thing is, look at your outreach programs, make sure you are targeting the right people in the right places. And this is where you got to look at your strategy. If you found your niche and you know who the affluent people are in that niche, figure out where they hang out, where the tribes at and not just online, but in person. Because you have the ability to go to events and meet and greets and those types of things. What other products or services are nice compliments to yours? Kind of like what we talked about in the construction and coffee industry. Who else is doing something similar to you? That’s really not a competitor that you can create partnerships with or learn from.
Audrey Kerchner:
Next, make sure you have processes in place to support affluent consumers. Is your product high quality enough? Do you need to do some tweaking there? Do you have really excellent customer service? And do you have a process in place for customer service? Do you have an onboarding process? Do you have a pitch process? In the example that I gave you for the contractor, he had a pitch process. He’s like I’m doing 3D renderings for everybody and probably wins the majority of his bids because he goes that extra mile. You got to have a process to do stuff like that. Next, make sure you have testimonials and Google reviews as a process in your business. When you complete a job, ask for a review, either have them put it up on Google, have them write you something, put it in an email. Those are going to help you win new business down the road.
Audrey Kerchner:
And then lastly, document your work so that you can use it as showcases for potential customers the next time. So if it’s easy to visually document, do videos, do pictures do before and afters. If you’re a service-based company, you need to do case studies. Here’s where the company was. They hired us, we did these things, and here’s where they wound up. And here’s the return on investment. That’s how you do catalog type of stuff for service-based industries. And so that’s how you find and attract and sell to affluent marketers. And so hopefully all of those things will be helpful to you and your business. Here at Inkyma, we like to give back to the business community. I provide a free 45-minute consultation to any business owner. Regardless if you’re looking for a marketing company, you want to talk about affluent consumers, maybe you want to talk about a different consumer group.
Audrey Kerchner:
That’s really specific to your niche. Maybe they do have discretionary income but at a lower level. How do you market to them? We can have that conversation. Just go to the website, inkyma.com. I-N-K-Y-M-A.com. And in the upper right-hand corner, there’s a button for you to schedule a marketing valuation. Just pick your date, your time and we are on the calendar. So I hope you found this episode inspiring, helpful. If you know of other business owners that are struggling with how to get to this demographic, please share the episode, share the podcast. The whole purpose is for us to grow as a business community together. Thanks for listening and have an amazing day.
Announcer:
Thanks for listening to Marketing Strategies sponsored by Inkyma. Online at I-N-K-Y-M-A.com. Listen to Marketing Strategies, now heard every Saturday morning at 9:30 on KPPF.

Share This Blog Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on email

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Join Inkyma’s email newsletter to receive a FREE copy of “4 Instant Ways to Improve Your Company’s Marketing Plan” with tips you can implement today to boost your business’ presence online.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Join Inkyma’s email newsletter to receive a FREE copy of “4 Instant Ways to Improve Your Company’s Marketing Plan” with tips you can implement today to boost your business’ presence online.