We New Englanders recently endured our largest blizzard in recent memory; providing much of the region the rare luxury of spending extended time at home with family. As Dad to both a toddler and infant boy, this extended time with the kids provided many moments of euphoria, melt-downs, exuberance and tantrums (thrown more by yours truly than I’m proud to admit.)
For me, Blizzard ’13 reinforced the timeless parenting truism that raising children is very much a 24/7, on-demand job. In many ways, this is very similar to how we service affluent consumers. They have insatiable needs and desires that must be immediately met or they too will throw a tantrum.
To successfully connect with affluents (and/or your kids), ensure that your communication or service simultaneously delivers:
Kids personify mankind’s most primal desires; the majority of which center on feeling rewarded, special, unique and superior. This same mentality drives affluents to secure the best job and home, and more and more material possessions each and every day. To affluents, “brand counts.” And while they certainly shop for deals (see last week’s post), they also need to be reassured that their purchase will provide certified societal accolades and recognition.
The mainstream way to raise a child in the 21st century is to provide them a coordinated and organized network of parents, teachers, coaches, and friends. In the same vein, the affluent rely on a personal network of advisors, confidants, and service providers. Marketers can successfully contribute to this trusted network by offering meaningful and helpful customer service, content, incentives, and readily available and trustworthy referrals.
Every child has unique demands and appetites. My 3-year-old son has playfully renamed “Pepperoni Pizza” to “Hippopotamus Pizza” and, as a result, eats exponentially more pizza than a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (please don’t judge my wife and me) (and for those not familiar with these reptilian super heroes I give you Wikipedia). As digital proliferates, affluent consumers’ ability to customize their purchases and experiences has increased. As a result, brands need to become more flexible, nimble, and willing to offer their customers the (relatively speaking) “Hippopotamus” experience.
Jeff Jones, CMO of Target, recently stated that we are living in the “Age of Impatience.” Whether dealing with a toddler mid-tantrum or a consumer considering your offering, your audience is likely to demand what they want, when they want it, how they want it – now! For parents, in these situations, we have the right to sometimes say “No.” For marketers, we rarely have that option. Instead, we must continually explore new applications and platforms that ultimately provide affluents the convenience and utility they demand.
My home has become a virtual obstacle course filled with hundreds (if not thousands) of expensive technologically advanced, unused toys left only to collect dust and cause yours truly to trip over each day. A daily pastime for my son however, even in midst of a blizzard, is to spend hours hitting one plastic golf ball around the house and yard with his one plastic golf ball. In many ways, affluents also only need a simple club and ball. In their fast-paced, 24/7 connected lifestyle, they aspire for the simple pleasures in life that provide release, peace and serenity. As marketers, we tend to complicate things by cramming too many bells and whistles into the proposition. By doing so, we risk losing potential customers. A more simple pleasure can provide greater reward to a customer and efficiency for the marketer.
Brands owe their best and most affluent customers their full attention, just as parents do their children. Treat them right, understand their needs, and show them that you care and they will, in exchange, give you an even greater reward – love and loyalty.