Just because you buy luxury doesn’t mean you’re rich…

Just because you buy luxury doesn’t mean you’re rich…

— Nilus Mattive (link)

A few years ago Boston Consulting Group published a report that found five types of luxury consumers.

The report looked at the spending habits of these five types in six luxury markets – the U.S., Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and Europe. What they found was interesting.

5 Types of Luxury Consumers

The Aspirationals: Aspirationals have $85,000 or more in annual income in developed markets or $29,000 in emerging markets and account for four out of every five luxury purchases. They aren’t big spenders individually, but together they account for a third of all luxury spending, says BCG.

Rising Middle Class: This group has incomes of $170,000 or more in the U.S. and $55,000 in emerging markets – which makes them far more affluent than the real “middle class.” They account for 25% of luxury spending.

New Money Households: New Money has investable assets of $1 million or more, and they spend about $90 billion a year on traditional luxury, or about a third of the market. New Money tends to like fashion and clothes.

Old Money Households: The Old Money group inherited its money and is far more frugal, accounting for only 7% of luxury sales, says BCG. There are one million of these households in the markets studied.

Beyond-Money Households: This group is self-made but unlike New Money it eschews status and tasteless spending. There are about a half million of these households. When they do spend, they spend on watches, jewelry, furniture and decorations.

The takeaway for me was summed up nicely by Luca Solca, head of luxury goods at BNP Paribas in a different article:

“If luxury spending was indeed driven by the rich, the luxury industry would be a niche sector serving a fortunate few, rather than a dynamic, global business selling to a consumer market measured in millions.

“Sophisticated ‘old money’ consumers may be relevant to European luxury goods brands when it comes to endorsement, but they are largely irrelevant when it comes to share of contribution to revenues and profits.”

In other words…

Just because you buy luxury doesn’t mean you’re rich.”

Leave a Reply