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Affluents in the US are estimated to make $335 billion in discretionary purchases this year, per recent YouGov data, making this a lucrative audience for brands. While research has suggested that higher-income consumers are more likely to be brand-loyal, most affluents themselves believe they’re less loyal to brands now than they were in the past, according to newly-released data from YouGov.

Indeed, that’s the case for 56% of affluents surveyed by YouGov, which defines affluents as those in the top 10% income bracket in their respective economies. The feeling of declining brand loyalty is consistent across regions, with North American affluents right on the average.

Part of the problem might be that affluents feel that brands are having a difficult time making connections with them: some 72% overall agreed that there are very few brands to which they feel they can personally relate. Yet for more than 6 in 10, the feeling of having a personal relationship with a brand is considered a factor in their loyalty.

Interestingly, affluents in North America are less likely to consider personal relationships a factor, but more likely to feel that there are very few brands with which have such a relationship. This suggests that brands are having a particularly difficult time connecting with affluents in this region.

By contrast, those in the Asia-Pacific region are more apt to consider personal relationships with brands a factor – and less likely to say there are few brands to which they personally relate. So connecting with these affluents might be less of a challenge.

How can a brand seem relatable? Perhaps by reflecting some of the qualities that affluents see in themselves: intelligent (74%); honest (72%); friendly (69%); practical (65%); and independent (59%). Brands who are able to embody intelligence and authenticity will likely be rewarded by the loyalty of another prized audience: Millennials, to whom those are top-5 brand attributes.

Another way to engender a stronger relationship with affluents? Recognition of their loyalty. In fact, almost three-quarters (72%) of the more than 5,000 affluents surveyed said that sometimes they just want a brand to show that they appreciate their loyalty.

This seems particularly important in North America, where stronger bonds with affluents seem harder to come by: respondents in this region were the most likely (76%) to say they want their loyalty appreciated.

Marketers, roll out the red carpet…

About the Data: The results are from the YouGov Affluent Perspective 2017 Global Study, which analyzes how more than 5,000 of the Top 10% of consumers around the world live, save, spend and manage their households. Respondents hail from the US, UK, France, Germany, China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Canada and Australia.

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