One demographic group might be starting to shake off the recession, but with a decided difference in their connections to brands.
One demographic group might be starting to shake off the recession, but with a decided difference in their connections to brands. More than eight out of ten six-figure-plus households (86%) express a willingness to pay more for quality brands they believe in, indicate findings of a Dwell Strategy and Research study, The New Face of Affluence.
That insight alone may be powerful in this economy, but in our view at The Lempert Report it represents an early sign of a return to normalcy for these consumers. What is different - and what we believe our CPG and retailer readers could find relevant for their business - are insights into the kind of relationships that make brands ‘preferred’ with these consumers today.
It doesn’t matter, in our estimation, that this research of more than 1,000 consumers nationwide dealt primarily with the world of luxury brands and upstairs retailers. What people want is interaction, involvement, a feeling of inclusion. That happens, for example, when stores like Saks Fifth Avenue personally invite women to special designer events and allow them to meet the creative force behind the clothes they will hopefully buy.
Food could be romanced just as effectively. Why couldn’t supermarkets cross-promote with local restaurateurs, and bring in chefs for tasting events, and classes around pairing wines with fresh seafood and meats? Or lower key, an articulate butcher could hold an evening session on which cuts of meats go best with certain dishes and vegetable accompaniments.
CPG could get in on the action too, building on the insight that these consumers assign traits such as originality, authenticity, integrity and innovation to brands they consider prestige. Consider that mail and e-mail promotions to targeted consumers (by zip code or purchase history) could tell a compelling brand story about these characteristics, and incentivize trial or incremental purchase.
To succeed using these lessons, it seems to be more about brand experience than the brand itself. Think social networking and Web couponing that reach people on the fly, as they prefer. The right connections could happen in center-store too. How about personalized M&M’s for a memorable occasion, or Turkey Hill ice cream flavors with New York Yankees game ticket giveaways for diehard fans?