Study Examines Purchasing Decision-Drivers Among The Affluent
A new report examining the factors that shape purchasing decisions among mass-affluent households, those earning more than $100,000 annually, has been released.
MasterCard International said it sponsored the study in response to the "continued emergence of the mass-affluent demographic." The report is based on the Yankelovich MONITOR 2004, an annual study of consumers.
Among the report's key findings, said MasterCard, was that the self-confident and demanding mindset of the mass-affluent consumer means that customization is becoming a necessity, not simply an added convenience, for companies across a range of industries. At the same time, financial services companies are creating new product offerings designed to meet the needs of this market by offering more choice and convenience.
* The mass affluent want to fashion their lives their way and celebrate their own style. For example, 42% want to be seen by others as people who are willing to defy convention, up from just 19% in 2001. More than three-quarters of mass-affluent consumers want to be perceived as being in control of their life, an 11 point increase since 2001.
* The mass affluent are demanding heightened levels of customer service. According to the findings, 85% of mass-affluent consumers say they will speak up when experiencing bad service. Nearly three-quarters will walk out of a store if mistreated, even if the store has exactly what they are looking for. More than half have refused to buy a particular product or service over the past year as a form of activism.
* The mass affluent are embracing the Internet as a means of getting things accomplished. The data indicates that 77% of mass-affluent consumers believe that the Internet has enabled them to do more without the help of others. Among those online, the most popular activities are getting travel information (67%, up from 51% in 2000), shopping for products or services (63%, up from 44%), and purchasing airline tickets (52%, up from 37%).
* The mass affluent place more importance on experiences and relationships than material possessions. For example, 84% think it's important to be seen as someone whose integrity is beyond question, up from 74% last year. The top three signs of life success and achievement cited by mass-affluent consumers were: being satisfied with your life (83%), being in control of your life (80%), and having a good marriage (77%).
* The mass affluent do not consider themselves wealthy. Only 12% of mass-affluent consumers describe themselves as having "a lot of money."
Reluctance To Compromise
"This analysis illustrates that mass-affluent consumers have become increasingly reluctant to compromise and settle on products that do not resonate with them personally," said Ann Clurman, senior partner at Yankelovich. "As a result, we are witnessing the demise of the one-size-fits-all model and the climb of customization. Smart companies realize it's more important than ever to offer innovative products and solutions that are tailored to meet individual wants and needs."