The Affluent Consumer
Marketing and Selling the Luxury Lifestyle
by Ronald D. Michman, Edward M. Mazze
September 2006, 208pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-99282-8
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-0-313-08651-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Explains the dyanmics of today’s affluent consumer and shows marketers how to effectively develop, promote, and sell their products and services to this rapidly growing market.

By any measure, the affluent sector is growing exponentially, and is far more diverse (in terms of ethnicity, education, location, and professional background) than any time in the past. This market represents lucrative opportunities for companies that understand how these customers think, act, and make purchasing decisions. Applying primary research, including demographic and economic data, and expertise developed from decades of studying, teaching, and consulting in marketing and consumer behavior, Ronald Michman and Edward Mazze present a comprehensive approach to analyzing the affluent consumer—and creating, promoting, and selling innovative products and services to them. Illustrating their principles through dozens of examples, including Armani, Mercedes Benz, Brooks Brothers, Neiman Marcus, Merrill Lynch, Tiffany, and even discounters, such as Target and Wal-Mart, the authors deconstruct how a complex market segment works. Dispelling popular myths and misconcpetions about the composition and behavior of this segment, they provide not only a practical guide for marketers and students of marketing, but a fascinating glimpse into a culture driven by materalism, status, and aspirations to luxury.

By any measure, the affluent sector is growing exponentially, and is far more diverse (in terms of ethnicity, education, location, and professional background) than at any time in the past. In 2004, there were 8.2 million households in the United States with net worth over $1 million, excluding primary residence. Meanwhile, between 1995 and 2001, the number of families filing tax returns for income exceeding $200,000 doubled. This market represents lucrative opportunities for companies that understand how these consumers think, act, and make purchasing decisions.

Reviews

"Michman and Mazze describe the affluent consumer according to income and value of assets, and trace the growth of this segment, comparing past profiles to present trends. The increase in dual-income households in the past decade has contributed to this expansion. At one extreme are those confident about the future and concerned with their image, owning large homes and fancy cars; at the other, those who do not see themselves as affluent, maintaining modest homes and cars. The authors provide a wealth of statistical information to underscore the changes in the affluent sector over the years. They also address the impact of stereotypes in targeting the affluent, and the influence of various cultural factors and relevant myths. The affluent market today has blossomed into a global phenomenon. Marketers sorely need an improved understanding of this profitable segment to promote their products and services more effectively, which this book provides. Targeting requires customer cooperation coupled with the use of myriad research sources, via the Internet, telephone, and the traditional library. Eminently readable and highly interesting, this book is directed primarily at practitioners present and future, hence useful to upper-level undergraduate and graduate students as well. Recommended. Academic and professional library collections."—Choice, March 1, 2007

"While a single profile no longer fits all affluent consumers, the market for luxury goods is a global one in which shoppers seek relevance, value, and fun. Drawing on their own research, Michman and Mazze examine this booming market, who constitutes it, and how businesses can meet lifestyle-based desires. They examine the strategies of companies from Tiffany to Wal-Mart for attracting wealthier seniors and others in the segmented market who cross-shop at both."—Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2007

"[T]he 194-page book is the first of its kind, according to Mazze, because it includes economic and demographic data, and the authors' expertise developed over decades from studying, teaching and consulting in marketing and consumer behavior. Mazze and Michman's book examines the affluent sector's growth and its increasing diversity, in terms of ethnicity, education, location and professional background....Unlike others, this book examines market segments, such as professional women managers, the African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and the gay and lesbian markets, as well as the aging population."—US States News, December 8, 2006
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