Marketing: The Male Factor

By Christopher Zoukis

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.  Image courtesy itbusinessimage.com

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.

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The Arcane Art of Influencing People

By Christopher Zoukis

Forbes reports that the next big luxury purchase among rich, single men may be the $12,500 leather belt, which has a 14-karat gold buckle and princess-cut diamonds. Why? Because as Todd Rauchwerger of J.W. Cooper says, “Besides a watch, most men don’t wear a lot of jewelry. They’ll wear a $20,000 or $30,000 watch and a $3000 or $4000 suit and a 25-cent belt buckle. Why not wear a belt buckle that goes with the rest of the wardrobe?”

The Luxury Institute (LI), a research firm in New York, did a study of rich, single men in the U.S. The LI discovered the average net worth of these men to be $2.7 million. They had an average income of $270,000 and held 45% of the aggregate annual income in the U.S. There are 4.5 million men in this category in the U.S., according to LI. They live what LI calls the “360 degree luxury lifestyle,” which means they are rolling in money. They know the difference between value and price. This means they want value and will pay top-dollar for it. In other words, they want luxury goods and services.  Image courtesy getf.org

Sellers of luxury goods and services wishing to target rich, single men have to be flexible, altering their products and marketing to target this segment.

For example, Thomas Cook Select, a luxury travel company, offers holiday travel packages classed as Premium or Luxury. Many of these packages are targeted at rich, single men. In recent years the average age range for this market has dropped from 45 and over to 25 and over, bringing about an avalanche of growth and opportunity. Many of the packages cater to rich, single men who prefer to vacation in a place where there are no children, because they want a quiet and relaxing experience.

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Tall, Dark, Handsome, and Affluent

By Christopher Zoukis

Traditionally, the marketing of luxury products and services has targeted older men, because they had the money. Things are changing. Not only are women being targeted more and more, but young rich single men are a growing market that is often neglected.  Image courtesy zillowblog.com

In their book, The Affluent Consumer, Michman and Mazze state that the singles market accounts for $600 billion in spending power. Of course, the number contains both male and female singles. Nevertheless, the number is impressive. According to Michman and Mazze, wealthy single men spend their money on dining out, alcohol, transportation, entertainment, tobacco, and retirement investments. They spend more on housing than any other segment of the wealthy, are educated, fashion conscious, and pursue their hobbies intently. They are more likely to indulge themselves than any other segment of the rich or ultra-rich.

Teasley, a Manhattan-based firm that specializes in data analysis to improve marketing, did a survey to find out where single, rich men live. The results were published by Cathryn Conroy under the title of Top 10 Cities to Find Rich, Single Men.

Here they are:

San Francisco Bay area, including Oakland and San Jose.

Anchorage, Alaska.

Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland area.

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