Challenging Assumptions About Affluent Audiences

The Affluent Audience Profiler is one of Ipsos Affluent Intelligence’s most popular tools—for very good reason. We’re able to bring affluent audiences to life in ways no one else can. Roughly twenty-five thousand consumers respond to the Ipsos Affluent Survey each year, allowing us to carve out statistically significant samples of some of the most sought-after and hard-to-reach audiences in America. Whether we’re profiling C-Level Executives or Millennial Luxury Auto Owners, IAS data gives us unparalleled insight into who they are, how they think and what they intend to purchase or do in the year to come.

Experience tells us that every consumer portrait will reveal not only insights—but also more than a few surprises. IAS data has a way of challenging stereotypes and assumptions. Even audiences we think we know well often have characteristics and quirks few of us ever expected.

For instance, a recent profile of Skin Care and Cosmetics Affluencers revealed that 37% of the most influential consumers in the category are male. And that was hardly the only surprise. Stereotypes would have these beauty-loving Affluencers focused on their external appearance above all else. As it turns out, that’s not the case. The women (and men) driving the Skin Care and Cosmetics category are career focused (I strike to get to the top of my career: Index 130), creative (I consider myself a creative person: Index 128) and more interested than the average affluent in starting their own business in the next twelve months (Index 181).

Our profile of the consumers driving the Smart Home category uncovered unexpected insights as well. The Smart Home Affluencers who spend more, experiment more, and influence their networks aren’t typical tech guys. Instead they’re more likely to be men and women with young families. They index 176 for having kids under eighteen and index 257 for planning a baby in the year to come. Though they’re tech enthusiasts, family-focused messaging may be more likely to catch their eye. As much as they love technology, our psychographic data shows they’ve reached a stage in life when their hearts are at home.

Yet another recent IAI project that challenged preconceptions focused on Travel Affluencers—the most influential consumers in the Travel category. We profiled three different generations of Travel Affluencers—Millennials, Gen-Xers and Boomers. We found a reality that upended our expectations. The Boomers turned out to be the most adventurous travelers—with vacation schedules packed with activities from scuba diving to cooking classes. The Millennials, on the other hand, were far more likely than their elders to spend their downtime relaxing, eating well or getting in a round of golf.

In each of these examples, IAI discoveries had clear implications for our clients’ messaging strategies. We were also able to dive into their targets’ media consumption to help determine where and how best to reach them. Ipsos Affluent Survey data offers the most detailed portraits of affluent American audiences available—and in those rare cases when clients have questions the IAS can’t answer, a custom re-contact easily fills in the gaps.