Reaching the luxury consumer has never been more important

At the flagship Media360 Conference in June, brands in the luxury marketplace, including chocolate makers Rococo and ethical luxury brand accreditor positiveluxury.com, emphasised the importance to consumers today of trust and emotional engagement with premium products and services. With consumers spending again, communicating effectively to those willing to pay a premium has never been more important.

The importance of the ‘Luxury Addict’

Latest insights from Kantar Media TGI reveal that 29% of British adults (aged 15+)  are what we might call ‘luxury addicts’* (equating to just under 15 million of them) who agree with various luxury-themed attitudes such as ‘I have expensive tastes’ and ‘Sometimes I treat myself to something I don’t need’ (see below for full definition of this group).

In fact, Brits are more likely than their western European counterparts to hold such views. In Germany and Spain the figure is 21% and in France 16%.

High earners with few responsibilities

This is a group which is a third more likely than the average British adult to be found in the highest (AB) social grades. They are also 80% more likely to earn £75,000 or more. Of course, in order to adequately indulge their luxury desires, they need to be at the higher end of the earning spectrum.

Whilst there is no significant age bias to this group, they are 29% more likely to be found in the ‘Nest Builders’ TGI Lifestage group (aged 15-34, married or living as couple, not living with children), highlighting their predilection for being high earners without the responsibilities of parenthood draining their income.

Luxury is only worth it if you can show it off

This is a group that likes to stand out, be seen and convey the ‘right’ impression. They are over twice as likely to wear designer clothes, to like to go to trendy places to eat and drink and to keep up with the latest fashions. Image is everything to them and this is important for marketers to bear in mind when evaluating the most effective way to communicate with this audience.

It’s not all about money, it’s just as much about taste

Luxury addicts are particularly likely to be heavy consumers of cinema, 39% more likely than the average adult be amongst the top fifth of cinema goers. They are particularly likely to favour art house films, as well as romantic comedies and crime/gangster films.

This liking of art house cinema suggest this is not a group purely driven by the trappings of financial success but also by aesthetics. Indeed, TGI’s ‘Social DNA’ measure,  that reveals the subconscious combinations of economic and cultural forces driving behaviour, reveal that this group is particularly likely to have high levels of both economic and cultural ‘capital’ (for economic e.g. purchasing power, savings; for cultural e.g. cultural practices, education) influencing their behaviour at a fundamental level, compared to the average adult.

Our luxury addicts then are a desirable target for many breeds of marketer, with their high spending power and willingness to pay for whatever will enhance their image in the eyes of others. Understanding their consumer behaviour and what prompts their decision making is thus invaluable to brands, agencies and media owners seeking to tap into this lucrative audience.

Appendix:


Definition of ‘Luxury Addicts’

* To focus on a group really interested in luxury (who we call ‘luxury addicts’), we took six luxury-related attitude statements on the Great Britain TGI study and created a group of consumers who agreed with any four or more of them. These are the six attitude statements used:
  • ‘I enjoy splashing out on a meal in a restaurant’
  • ‘I enjoy owning good quality things’
  • ‘It is worth paying extra for quality goods’
  • ‘I can’t resist expensive perfume/aftershave’
  • ‘Sometimes I treat myself to something I don’t need’
  • ‘I have expensive tastes’


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