Marketing to Millionaires: Exploding 10 Myths Disrupting Success in Marketing

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By any measure, the number of Americans that can claim millionaire status is rising, and rising rapidly. No matter how it is measured, whether by total net worth (including homes and other assets) or by financial assets alone, there are many more people living the life of luxury, or at the least, a life free from the worries that plague the less financially endowed.

On the surface, with millionaires being thick on the ground, it should be easier for marketers to sell to them. Yet with the millionaire class more numerous, they also are becoming more diverse, distinguished by greater diversity in gender, marital status, age, ethnicity and other demographic characteristics, but more importantly in consumer behavior, values and lifestyles.

It is complicating the marketers’ job to identify them and communicate effectively with them. More millionaires is both blessing and curse for marketers today.

10 myths about millionaires that are disrupting your marketing

Before it was fairly easy to target millionaires in a marketing campaign. You simply identified publications that aimed at the high-end market or bought lists in high-end residential zip codes and voila, you could reach your target. But not anymore. “Not all millionaires are created equally,” states a recent report from WealthEngine, a Bethesda-based firm that compiles detail data about more than 240m US consumers. “As the millionaire population has exploded and wealth has spread across multiple generations, there is no longer one millionaire persona.”

As the wealthy have become more numerous and diverse, the old ideas based upon the popular images of how the rich live and what they want have changed. Shows like the recent CNBC Secret Lives of the Super Rich and reality shows like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and Real Housewives, present an idealized and romanticized vision of the wealthy.

How well do you know and understand the wealthy? Is your brand’s marketing plan based upon the ‘conventional wisdom’ about the wealthy that you’ve seen on television and in magazines and newspapers?  If so, your marketing program may well be filled with misconceptions, misunderstandings and myths that will derail your plans for growth.

This 50+ page report, Marketing to Millionaires: Exploding 10 myths Disrupting Success in Marketing, will correct your misunderstandings. Presenting factual data about the top 10% of US households based upon net worth from the nation’s authority on wealth, the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Survey of Finance, this report unpacks 10 popular myths that hold marketers back from marketing success with this most powerful and important market segment.

Don’t let these 10 myths about the wealthy derail your marketing

If you market a premium or luxury product, or retail such products, and you believe any of these 10 myths about millionaires, your marketing program and sources of data need to be revisited and refined. Over 15 years of research by Unity Marketing refutes each of these common myths about millionaires.

This most common of myths needs to be dispelled:

Millionaires live the lifestyles of the rich and famous, or aspire to do so

The reality is that millionaires still live next door, as Drs. Stanley and Danko revealed in their best-selling book, The Millionaire Next Door. Their research shows, as well as the most up-to-date statistics included in this new report, that there are certain important attributes that most millionaires share. These attributes include:

  • Millionaires live within their means.
  • They are careful shoppers who look for good quality and value.
  • They are aggressive savers. Stanley & Danko call them PAWs- Prodigious Accumulators of Wealth.
  • They have limited experience with true luxury retailers and brands.

You need the facts about millionaires contained in this report to set your brand on a course to succeed where you might be failing. In the new experience economy, brands that need to cultivate the wealthy need to tell a ‘new stories’ and connect in an authentic way with this consumer segment that has the wealth and ability to spend.

And it isn’t the kind of brand messaging we see from brands like LV, Hermes, and Chanel focused on status and featuring young, beautiful, thin people.

To create a positive impression brands need to connect with the wealthy through stories that have meaning to them at their life stage.  These will be messages that educate the affluent about why the brand and its products or services represent good value and merit being purchased.