A Touch Too Much? No Such Thing!

By Christopher Zoukis

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.

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Attraction Marketing

Image courtesy miniwatts-email-marketer.com By Christopher Zoukis

According to the Luxury Marketing Council, the regular retail mass market experiences a 4% to 6% growth annually. Contrast those numbers to the annual growth of the luxury retail market, which has averaged growth of 20% to 32% each year for the last fourteen years (from 1998 to 2012).  Forecasters predicted the luxury market would approach $2 trillion per year in 2014. 

Who is purchasing all these luxury products? There are 2.7 million customers in the United States with liquid portfolios of $1 million or more. Of those 2.7 million affluent customers, 1.2 million have a net worth of over $5 million. And their numbers are increasing at the rate of 100,000 per year. Add to that the fact that there were 215 million people in the United States over the age of 50 in 2010. This means over the next 20 years $12 trillion in inheritance will change hands. 

The rich are definitely getting richer

Of those getting richer, 10 million of them are self-employed women, entrepreneurs who are running and growing their own businesses. In fact, at least 20% of the people in the workforce are self-employed, and they control a whopping 70% of the wealth. Of those classified as ultra-rich, 50% are self-employed.

The U.S. Census reports provide much interesting information about the affluent self-employed. Seventy

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