Perfume has been around a long time. The oldest written record of perfume comes from Assyro-Babylonian texts of around 1800 BC. The perfume was called qanu tabu. Canaanite texts from Ugarit, circa 1400 BC, speak of a perfume designated smn mr – a liquid myrrh. The Egyptian queen Hatshepsut had ‘white’ trees brought to Egypt around 1490 BC. From these ‘white’ trees, her perfumers made frankincense, which was the “perfume that deifies.” To the ancient Egyptians, perfume was the medium for wafting the soul to heaven and for putting demons and evil spirits to flight.
In the 1880s, Crown Perfumery produced a delightful fragrance distinguished by the image of Queen Victoria’s crown on the bottle. The crown was meant to convey British superiority.
Perfume fit for a queen is still around. Clive Christian has resurrected the concept of ‘divine essence.’ Just in case you don’t know who he is, Clive Christian is a British designer whose claim to fame resides in his designer kitchens and his perfume – called simply No. 1 – which is the world’s most expensive perfume. According to British tabloids, Christian is a fan of the hit television show The Office, to which he is so devoted that he owns an exact replica of the green fisherman sweater from The Office episode ‘The Boat,’ where Andy buys a sweater from a red head on a boat.
It’s no secret that Google is intent on world domination. Apple maintains the same aspiration. Other than their similar ambition, Google and Apple have little else in common. The two companies approach the marketplace differently. And their corporate cultures sit at opposite ends of the spectrum. Yet Apple and Google are focused on the same goal: technological hegemony.
In their battle for total world domination, neither Apple nor Google pulls any punches. There’s nothing subtle about the conflict. It’s like watching Monster Zero clash with Godzilla.
Recently, Apple announced that it would allow Verizon access to the iPhone, which had been the exclusive property of AT&T. It’s safe to say that the thinking behind the move was market share and profit. So in that sense, the move was understandable, especially since Android-based smart phones are outselling iPhones by leaps and bounds. In another sense, the move might have been a mistake, because by allowing Verizon’s customers the iPhone option, Apple may have diminished the iPhone’s exclusivity, which makes it hard to justify the smart phone’s price tag.
Historically, Apple has had a tendency to price its products right out of the market. Witness Apple’s computers, which are not even an alternative for the average consumer. If I can purchase a Dell laptop for half the price of an Apple laptop, it’s a no-brainer. I’m going with the Dell. And pretty soon, Apple will have the same problem with its iPad, because Samsung is ready to rock n’ roll.
But things are about to get even more interesting. Microsoft has elected to become a device company. The first step in their strategy is to buy Nokia.
Together, these three categories of affluent customers control the bulk of the wealth in the United States, which means in the world. They represent untold buying power. What is even more interesting is how they handle their money. Their perspective of money is as different from the average person’s as their wealth is greater.
For one, the wealthy insist that their money work for them. They utilize their money to make more money. The wealthy want the money they deposit in the bank to draw interest. But they do not view the interest the bank pays as an investment. The same holds true for CDs. CDs are not an investment. To the wealthy, CDs and bank deposits are nothing more than a place where they keep their money until the money can be truly invested in a much more profitable venture. Image courtesy elephantjournal.com
Wealthy people invest in stocks. They study the stock market and do not depend on hot-tips or touted stocks. Discipline and management are vital aspects of their stock investments. Their risk of loss is low because they buy cheap and sell high, and they accomplish that through sound information and research.
The Money Times, November 2012, reported that rich executives bought the following stocks: Allscripts-Misys, which yielded a 52-week return of 73.1%. Cincinnati Financial, which yielded 25.8% at the end of 52-weeks. Dow Chemical, which provided a 52-week return of 35.2%. Exelixis, which returned 62.9%, and Fortune Brands, which returned 50.4%.
What makes a customer affluent? How much money does someone have to make or have to be considered affluent? How is wealth defined? For the sake of convenience, this book defines three categories of wealthy customers.
The moneyed customer.
The rich customer.
The ultra-rich customer. Photo courtesy gawker.com
Later on, each of these categories will be divided into sub-categories, such as women, men, same-sex, baby-boomers, and the self-made. But generally speaking, the three basic categories are defined as follows.
Moneyed customers. The people in this category make $200,000 to $1 million dollars per year. They are usually young professionals, what used to be called “white-collar workers.” More often than not they are highly educated, having graduated from colleges or universities. However, this is not always the case. There are many exceptions. Some have graduate degrees, and many attended professional schools, where they received specialized training in a specific discipline. This group includes doctors, lawyers, computer sciences and dentists. Others graduated from professional business schools. Some are entrepreneurs, who hope to grow their small-businesses into large corporations. In reality, this category is difficult to define, other than the fact that they are motivated to succeed.
Another area that is vital to understand when marketing to women is their method of communicating. Women use more detailed and descriptive language, relying on qualifiers, disclaimers, apologies, and explanations. Whereas men prefer to come right to the point, which means men begin at the end. While women start at the beginning and move toward the end.
This means a marketing campaign for women should proceed logically from origin to conclusion. Additionally, research demonstrates that women dislike overly pushy and aggressive marketing. Avoid condescension when marketing to women. They immediately reject it. Image courtesy discovertheroad.com
When making investments, women’s attitude toward money is different than men’s. Women exhibit more caution and are uncomfortable with high financial risk. They are, however, more open to accepting investment advice from an expert. Which means women appreciate information when making investment decisions. They want to be included in the process. So rather than giving advice, the seller should make suggestions presented as responses. For example, “You asked me about whether you should sell now rather than sit tight and see what the market does. Let me give you the pros and cons of each position, and then we can discuss it.” This approach includes the female client in the decision making process.
According to Forbes and CNN, women make up 50% of the population and control 80% of consumer purchasing decisions. More importantly, women now own 30% of all businesses in the United States, and this number is growing. Women directly control over $7 trillion dollars. By the year 2010, it is predicted that women will control private wealth in the amount of $13 trillion. This fantastic growth in income is changing the face of marketing. Women are being targeted. Charles Schwab, Citibank and Merrill Lynch now have marketing aimed specifically at women. Image courtesy realestatetheband.com
Although married couples lead the way in home buying, the number two-position is held by single women. Women buy homes. Women invest their money. Women take luxury vacations. Women buy investment properties. Ignoring the affluent female customer is a mistake that no seller can afford to make.
The psychology of affluent female customers is different than that of affluent male customers. Now do not interpret that statement to mean anything more than what it says. For ultimately, affluent men and women purchase luxury goods and services for the same reasons, which will be discussed later. What is different between men and women is the way their brains actually function. Newsweek reported that brain-imaging technology has demonstrated definite distinctions between the functioning of male and female brains. Here are some of the distinctions:
Selling to affluent men means using language they can relate to psychologically. This translates into talking in the language of the customer. If this is accomplished, the affluent male feels comfortable.
For example, if an affluent male customer enters a jewelry store saying, “May I help you?” is a mistake. Why? Because most men do not enter a store to shop, they enter to buy. They know what they want to buy or at least think they do. Therefore, they do not require help. A more appropriate approach, psychologically speaking, would be to wait until the customer stops to look at something. Then say, “You certainly have excellent taste. This is our highest quality.” This approach opens the door to communication. By listening to verbal cues, the salesperson can then guide the customer in making a purchase.
When selling to affluent men, it is important to know the product. Men are impressed with someone who knows what they are talking about. Since men like to get right to the point, it is necessary to ask questions to provide excellent service. Be direct and specific. Only ask for the facts. Then proceed to the bottom line. Affluent male customers tend to tune-out if too much background information is given.
Most men are interested in business, money and sports. Therefore, using analogies and terminology from those areas provides psychological comfort. A confident tone appeals to the male psychology. For it establishes a business-like atmosphere, a zone with which affluent men are familiar.
Affluent men are status conscious. So are affluent women. According to American Demographics, men and women perceive status and status enhancement in different ways. Men compete with other men for status. It is a competition based on pure comparison. The comparison takes place at every level. Cars, houses, watches, clothes, yachts, cigars and yes, athletics. When an affluent male sees another affluent male, who appears to have more status, the game is on. It is not about the game, it is about winning the game. Which explains why Larry Ellison ordered a new yacht to replace his old one. While cruising the Mediterranean, Ellison pulled into Monaco for the night. To his dismay, his yacht was the second longest in the harbor. The longest yacht belonged to Paul Allen, who founded Micro-Soft along with Bill Gates. Larry Ellison had to have the biggest yacht in the harbor. And his yacht had to have the finest and most luxurious appointments. So Larry Ellison immediately ordered a new yacht to be custom-built for him. It would be fifty feet longer than Paul Allen’s yacht.
For affluent men, status is a “gut” reaction and involves what they perceive as a “winning image.” This winning image is established by marketing in popular media outlets: magazines, the internet, television. Affluent men see what other affluent men are buying, so they buy too. In other words, they buy what they see everyday, because what they see everyday is what they come to desire. To validate themselves and their status, affluent men want what their peers have and, if possible, something a little bit better.
U.S. Census numbers indicate that gays and lesbians live in every part of the United States. Most of them are intelligent, educated, and technologically attuned. Many of them are wealthy. They enjoy spending their money on travel and luxury goods.
For example, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants did a research survey, because they wanted to attract gay and lesbian customers. The result? Lesbian businesswomen, who take frequent vacations and stay in luxury hotels, have the same values, lifestyles and hobbies as their heterosexual counterparts. They enjoy spas, exercise facilities, tasteful interior décor, and personal services, such as massages and facials. Lesbian customers prefer to spend their money at businesses that support feminist causes and other non-profit organizations.
Kimpton now offers getaway packages to lesbians and heterosexual women, both of which are a steadily growing source of revenue for Kimpton.
Another example is Budget car rental company. Budget instituted a marketing campaign targeting gay men. It was quite simple, but very effective. Budget treats gay partners as if they were married. There is no surcharge for another driver. Gay customers like this kind of treatment. They remember it. Whenever they travel, they come back to Budget.