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.
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.
Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland area.
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.
Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
China has the fastest growing population of rich, single men in the world. According to WPP, a luxury marketing firm, rich, single Chinese men focus on luxury brands. There is peer pressure to wear the latest styles in clothing and accessories. If they do not, they are treated differently. Why? Because luxury brands define status among rich, single men in China. Most of these men begin by shopping for all the big-name luxury brands, but soon tend to focus on a few brands that suit their personalities, status, and lifestyle. WPP reports these affluent men spend 30 to 40% of their salaries on luxury products.
This new market of rich, single men ranges from 25 to 35 years of age. Many of them tend to dress in luxury business suits during the day. At night, they switch to what is referred to as “rock chic.” During the day, the statement being made is one of status. During the evening, the goal is to stand out. Luxury brands play a primary role at both times, for they are the measuring-stick used to calculate each man’s success. Success implies the individual is “cool.” Cool is attained through luxury brands.
When these rich, single men shop, the shopping environment influences the brands they purchase. This means the better the “experience” provided while shopping, the more likely they are to buy. The best experience is the one that shouts, “Look at me, I’m rich.” For this reason, many luxury stores and websites have turned to what are called “Brand Temples.” Brand Temples are designed to provide shoppers with a religious-like experience. A place where wealthy customers can worship their elite status as they browse with other elites.
For these rich, single Chinese men wearing a Rolex and an Armani suit can mean the difference between landing a deal or not, because business partners gauge ability and financial strength by the luxury brands being worn. In other words, these men use luxury brands to signal talent and discernment.
The idea of Brand Temples is interesting and has already sprouted up in the U.S. Apple, Nike, and Abercrombie & Fitch are examples of brands that have opened such stores. It will be fascinating to see if this marketing concept can be successfully translated to websites, and whether or not other brands follow along.