Share this content

Altruism the key to marketing to the middle classes?

27th May 2015
Share this content

It’s a can of worms to merely attempt to define what represents the globe’s “affluent middle classes”. Marketing’s Giles Hedger categorises it as the “1% elite whose wealth has emerged austerity-proof from the recession of 2008”, while contrastingly, the World Bank projects somewhere between 25-30% of the population currently fits into the middle class bracket.

Whatever the stance, one thing that is certain is that the middle classes have historically always provided marketers with what Hedger calls “a perfect storm”; combining socio-economics and demographics with inflated levels of aspiration to give marketing professionals the necessary canvas to paint on.

However, while aspiration and material possession have always been seen as the defining motivational characteristics of the middle classes, new research from Collinson Group suggests this is now changing.

Classing the affluent middle class as the top 10-15% global income earners, the research house analysed over 4,000 consumers in Brazil, China, India, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, USA and the UK to find that today’s population is shifting more towards prioritising family, altruism and enriching experiences ahead of luxury products and short-term satisfaction.

The study found that 72% of people in this demographic now prioritise spending time with their families over anything else, while 62% prioritise providing for their families, 64% saving for the future and almost a third prioritise giving back to the community and protecting the environment.

Great news for global ethics. But what does this supposed shift in conscience mean for marketers?   

“The research clearly demonstrates that there is real value in securing a more in depth understanding of your customer, given different motivations," says Christopher Evans, director for Collinson Group. "For the mass affluent consumer, digital has a key role to play in securing customer engagement and loyalty, but brands need to ensure they cater for the distinct preferences of how people want to use and benefit from technology.
"Advances in technology have transformed how consumers behave, empowering them with information, giving them more choice and a voice that is amplified through social media. At the same time brands have significantly more access to information about customer behaviour and opinions. Companies who harness this information and the multiple delivery channels digital provides will be those who secure engaged and loyal customers. Those that don’t, risk being left behind by both their customers and the competition." 

Collinson’s research also shows a strong between the most active users of technology and willingness to recommend and endorse brands they trust. 

A group of ‘technophiles’ spend over 20 hours a week of their leisure time on the Internet and are avid users of apps, social media, online shopping and streaming of digital content.  Within this group, 72% are willing to make a repeat purchase from a brand they feel loyal to, while 70% would recommend that brand to friends and family and 53% will choose this particular brand even if it is more expensive. 


Replies (0)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

There are currently no replies, be the first to post a reply.