Who is the Affluent Millennial? 3 Things We Know

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
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affluent millennials

The Millennial 1%: Young, Rich, and Redefining Luxury

There’s a wave of new money in the consumer marketplace, and it’s coming from a group you might not expect: millennials.

While much of Generation Y is plagued by historic student loan debt and jobless woes, more than 6.2 million millennials ages 18-34 have household incomes over $100,000, says millennial marketing expert Jeff Fromm.

According to the 2014 Ipsos Affluent Survey USA, millennials now account for nearly a quarter of affluent U.S. households and counting. These are young, successful and savvy professionals who – as they enter their collective stage of wealth accumulation – are changing the way marketers and brands communicate their messages. While they only comprise less than 10 percent of their demographic, affluent millennials carry significant social and financial influence among their generation, which represents roughly one-third of the entire U.S. population.

Who exactly is the affluent millennial? What are their preferences and tendencies? How are they reached? Here are three things we know:

1. They’re Moving Fast
According to Fromm, 50 percent of affluent millennials are married, and six percent are engaged. Affluent millennials are also more likely than their non-affluent counterparts to be expecting a child within the next year.

Emerging from the challenges of the recession with confidence in their financial standing, affluent millennials are not afraid to make life decisions. They’re starting families, buying homes, making investments, running businesses and launching new ventures – all in their 20s and 30s.

2. They’re Redefining Luxury
Affluent millennials are rewriting the definition of luxury. In 2012, luxury advertising executive Duke Greenhill addressed their pull in a popular Mashable article titled, “How Brands Can Prepare for Affluent Millennials.”

Greenhill made three key points in the shift from the luxury baby boomer segment to that of Generation Y:

  1. Millennials appreciate craftsmanship and design.
  2. Their quest for status and achievement is ongoing.
  3. They see luxury value with a pack mentality that Greenhill describes as “inclusive exclusivity.”

Wealthy millennials are less driven by blind brand loyalty and more attracted to experiences, stories and adventures. More importantly, they’re expected to dominate the luxury marketplace within the next few years.

3. They’re Dictating the Marketing World
It’s no secret that millennials love social media. They invented it, and it’s their preferred method of communication between brand and consumer. 88 percent of affluent millennials visit at least one social network per week, with Facebook being the most prevalent. This explains why mobile advertising drove 73 percent of Facebook’s revenue in Q1 of 2015.

Social media is just the start, though. Fromm’s assertion that affluent millennials “feel more confident in their decisions and don’t require as much hands-on assistance from brands” aligns with the inbound marketing boom we’re seeing today. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 72 percent of B2C marketers were producing more content in 2014 than they were the previous year. To a similar tune, Curata found that 71 percent of surveyed B2C marketers said they would increase their investment in content marketing “without a doubt.”

In place of the traditional aggressive sales mindset, Fromm says the focus for marketers has shifted to a hands-off approach. This is particularly true in the financial arena, where he notes Charles Schwab and American Express as successful purveyors of content that affluent, inspired millennials find useful and engaging.

The Key Question for Marketers: Will You Reach Them?
The affluent millennial may seem like a needle in a haystack – an average looking 20-something at a hip bar in a big city. But with Wealth Window, you can gain direct access to this powerful group. Better yet, together we can generate sub-segments based on various attributes including net worth, home value, luxury travel, power spending and more.

The question now shifts from means to action. Are you ready to truly reach affluent millennials with your strategy and messaging? Contact me to learn how.


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