Luxury Market Wakes Up To The Importance Of The Affluent Family

The affluent family is one of the new trends driving the luxury market. Research groups Ipsos Mendelsohn and Luxury Institute have each conducted an independent affluent survey and come up with similar findings. Their research shows that the affluent family is becoming a force to reckon with in the arena of luxury holidays. Luxury hotel brands and destination clubs have woken up to this fact. They have put in place marketing campaigns and special initiatives to attract the affluent family.

The 2011 Annual Affluent Survey by Ipsos Mendelsohn came up with a number of interesting discoveries about the affluent family. The firm found that luxury brands catering to the affluent family has greater possibilities for securing return on investment. This is because the family unit purchases several products at a time. This is particularly true in case of digital and consumer electronic goods. Ipsos Mendelsohn’s maiden survey of the affluent family covered the responses of 14,405 adults with an annual household income of over $100,000, thus effectively covering 58.5 million adults.

Ipsos Mendelsohn discovered that not only is the affluent family impacting the luxury sector, but it is also encouraging marketing initiatives. The wealthy family is now a separate marketing segment with its own range of dynamics. Gone are the times when the man of the house made the decision. These days, kids are involved too. The children’s tech-savvy influences the purchase of gadgets and associated accessories. But they are also influencing travel plans.

Luxury Institute’s September 2011 Wealth Report also mirrored Ipsos Mendelsohn’s discoveries. The Luxury Institute surveyed American consumers earning $150,000 and over. The report stated that the wealthy plan to spend more on two prime areas – travel and technology. The report also noted an increased interest in private jet travel. In 2010, 9 percent planned to spend in this niche area. This year, the numbers have risen to 12 percent.

In a bid to attract the wealthy family, Starwood Luxury Collection Hotels recently launched a new marketing campaign highlighting experiences over the usual luxurious features of the hotel. The tagline says it all, “Life is a collection of experiences. Let us be your guide.” The advertisements feature framed vignettes of Starwood’s luxury properties, alongside souvenirs and collectibles from the various travel locations. The idea is that the scenes are from the homes of Starwood’s well-heeled travelers.

Then again, Starwood is not alone in promoting experience over features. The luxury hotel chain has competition from another high-end hotel giant, Ritz-Carlton. The latter’s new advertising campaign is committed to encouraging its patrons to carry the Ritz-Carlton brand with them long after their holiday is complete. Their tagline, “Let Us Stay With You” is designed to persuade guests to take the memories from their stay at the Ritz-Carlton back home.

Finally, there are the destination clubs, a niche travel sector that has long been harping on the importance of targeting the affluent family. A case in point is Exclusive Resorts. The destination club saw a rise of 60 percent in new membership sales in the year ended 30 June 2011 compared to the corresponding period in 2010. With three new destinations (St. Andrews in Scotland, Doonbeg in Ireland and Montage in Deer Valley) and new partnerships with Delta Airlines and Delta Private Jets, the biggest of all destination clubs is profiting from the affluent family like never before.

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