How Affluent Consumer Behavior Has Changed

Just a few months ago, we had everything figured out. We knew so much about our clients and our target consumer and it made our marketing and outreach effective and easier. What a difference today, right? Everything has changed in the face of a pandemic and economic shutdown. Even our reliable clients - the ones we really love - are stressed and irritable. People who would never think of shopping us in the past are looking at every penny in the budget. I got a sneak peek at a major consumer spending survey recently, and it shows some incredible changes in how our clients have been impacted by current events, and how that's affecting their needs and wants. Here are some of the highlights!

The Economy

When asked how they feel about the economy, 90% of respondents said they think there will be 18-24 months of "pain" from more coronavirus outbreaks as well as economic impacts. They believe it will be a U shaped recovery, not a V, and some sectors will take a long time to recover, like retail. They are concerned about what will happen when people start losing their unemployment benefits at the end of this month. Although this is an affluent group, the "ripple effect" is very much on their minds. That makes them nervous to spend, even if they have the money.


Affluent consumers are stressed, but are pretending everything is fine. Easy decisions for them (grocery store, getting gas, childcare) now have a lot of complexity. We're all feeling it - and that means your clients could be much more irritable or pushy with you. They have changed at their core, and people are finding it hard to decide between what they should do and what they want to do. So that is creating "behavioral rebellions" like overeating, drinking too much, snapping at others, and gathering in places they shouldn't. More importantly, or those surveyed 78% said they will create a permanent change to something significant in their lives. What they say they will change includes (in order of importance):

  • More time with family/loved ones
  • Living within a budget (even at this luxury level) is VERY important and they will stick to it
  • They will no longer spend indiscriminately or without an eye to the future
  • Increased moment-based living
  • More celebrations and shared experiences
  • Lots of leisure time
  • More emphasis on bio-protective surfaces in the home

What This Means for YOU

Your clients may have the same emotions and thoughts right now, and that is going to impact how you market to them and how you do business with them.

The study shows that these affluent consumers do not want to leave their homes for entertainment. So that means they will want home entertainment rooms, kids' play spaces, and home pools and spas. Home gyms and meditation spaces also ranked very high on their lists.
They want more technology - home theater, security systems, music technology, large screens for communication, and more.

Home offices and separate desk spaces for kids are key. They want home offices that are stylish (think Zoom backgrounds!) and that will really work for them. And remember that the survey specifically mentions bio-protective surfaces, so anything antimicrobial or that includes touchless technology will be key.

Keep these survey results in mind as you work on your marketing plans. And remember that your clients' behavior may be more about how they're feeling than how you're doing your job. You want to communicate even more than you normally would and you want to give them a feeling of collaboration and control. To help you with that, download my FREE Collaboration Tips! They'll help you work with your clients in a way that will make them feel supported and secure!





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