Affluent Consumers: Demographic Patterns and Spending Trends, 7th Edition

 
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Published Oct 6, 2017 | 137 Pages | Pub ID: LA15000101

Affluent Consumers: Demographic Patterns and Spending Trends, 7th Edition

Affluent consumers have enjoyed a post-recession bounce far greater than that experienced by their lower-income counterparts. Between 2010 and 2016, the aggregate income of affluent households more than doubled, while aggregate income attributable to all other households was up just 19%. 

This new Packaged Facts report, Affluent Consumers: Demographic Patterns and Spending Trends, 7th Edition, highlights cross-currents in the affluent consumer market in an era marked by this widening gulf between the affluent and everyone else.

Affluent Consumers Prioritize Customized Products, Services

Some affluent consumers cope with the psychological baggage of being wealthy in an increasingly winner-take-all economy by declining to think of themselves, or to project themselves, as being affluent or wealthy at all. Such evolving mindsets among affluent consumers comes are reflected in changes in how they prefer to spend their money. For an increasing number of affluent Americans, the endless and conspicuous accumulation of possessions has become less important than financial access to meaningful experiences such as purposeful or at least truly exotic travel. In another shift, more and more upper-income consumers would rather achieve status by promoting the right kind of social values, as opposed to purchasing products and services that reflect a material world mindset. 

Another kind of status now sought after by affluent consumers comes is the ability to buy time, a transaction increasingly seen as the ultimate luxury purchase. Marketers are focusing on how to provide unique services to their affluent customers that provide the kind of convenience, time savings, and outsourcing of mundane tasks and concerns that ordinary consumers can’t afford. Customized, personalized products and services also rank high on the priority list of affluent consumers. 

While opportunities for the pursuit of excess still abound, especially for the ultra-rich, many affluent shoppers remain intent on searching for value and hunting for bargains. For example, data cited in this report show that affluent households are actually more likely than households on average to respond to money-saving incentive offers (58% vs. 46%), especially those offering a rebate with product purchase (54% vs. 38%). 

Report Scope & Methodology

Affluent Consumers: Demographic Patterns and Spending Trends, 7th Edition focuses on the affluent consumer market defined as adults with a household income of $250,000 or more, and also looks at consumers with a household income of $500,000 or more. 

U.S. Government data sources include U.S. Census Bureau household income data based on the Current Population Survey and data compiled by the Consumer Expenditure Survey of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report also incorporates an analysis of the latest available data from the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances that was included in a January 2016 U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored report. 

A primary source of consumer data in this report is the Simmons national consumer survey for Winter 2016-17, which was fielded between January 2016 and February 2017. For trend analysis of affluent consumers in the post-recession U.S. economy, the report uses as a baseline the Winter 2009-2010 Simmons survey. On an ongoing basis, Simmons conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population. 

In addition, this report cites a number of studies of affluent consumers and the luxury market sponsored by private consulting firms, including Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, Knight Frank and Wealth-X. The report is also based upon data collected from a range of other industry sources, including company websites, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines and consumer blogs.

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