Yesterday’s New York Times published a story about Shinola, famous for its ‘Made in Detroit’ watches, bicycles and leather goods. It profiled how the company kickstarted a renaissance of growth and prosperity in Detroit.
Reporter Alex Williams wrote:
As recently as a few years ago, when Mr. Kartsotis started his company [Shinola] known for its “Built in Detroit” watches, bicycles and leather goods, these blocks were on the fringe of an infamous skid row, the city was sliding toward bankruptcy, and the words “luxury” and “Detroit” were rarely paired outside the executive suites of Cadillac.
Things are changing. The blocks surrounding Shinola’s hangarlike retail outpost are now brimming with Brooklynesque designer housewares shops, selvage-jeans boutiques and farm-to-table restaurants, to the point that the upper Cass Corridor has become “the luxury retail mecca of Midtown Detroit,” as Curbed Detroit put it, “basically Shinola City.”
HENRYs crave luxury in a brand new style
Obviously Kartsotis and the Shinola brand have tapped into a consumer market craving luxury in a brand new style. Not elitist or exclusive luxury, but an expression of luxury that is relevant to the younger generation’s eclectic and inclusive lifestyles. They want brands that are vibrant, individualistic and that reflect their core values.
Young HENRYs don’t want their grandma’s luxury brands, but their own
That customer is HENRY (high-earners-not-rich-yet). The HENRYs are young, highly-educated professionals, engineers, artisans, designers, managers, and entrepreneurs on the road to affluence.
Young HENRYs don’t want their grandma’s luxury brands, but their own — like Shinola and the other brands profiled in my new mini-book What Do HENRYs Want?
HENRYs are an emerging demographic that every business in America needs to learn about
Today American businesses are stuck in a slow-growth mode, desperate to find growth and opportunity. Rather than go overseas, they need to meet the HENRYs. HENRYs are the customers that hold the key to America’s economic future.
The HENRYs are the mass affluent who think of themselves as ‘middle class,’ but with household incomes $100k-$249.9k, they are doing better than nearly 80% of all U.S. households. Yet they remain below the Ultra-affluent income levels of the top 2-3%, on which the luxury brands traditionally focus.
There are about 24 million American HENRY households, less than 20% of the nation’s 123.2 million households. Yet they control nearly 40% of total U.S. consumer spending. With the traditional middle-class market shrinking, HENRYs are a growing, dynamic customer segment with discretion to spend.
HENRYs, especially the younger HENRYs, are the new target customer for mass-market brands and the future for luxury brands, as most people start on the road to affluence as HENRYs.
Get 2016 off to a good start by targeting the HENRYs, an important new consumer segment primed for growth.