The Ultra High Net Worth individual comprises an extremely small group of the world’s population, 0.004% to be exact. In sales and marketing terms, they are often treated as one homogenous group, when in reality they are extremely diverse, with differing backgrounds and ambitions that influence their decision making.
This can make this group somewhat of an enigma for luxury brands trying to address their unique set of needs. Despite their differences, one universal truth can be agreed upon, they demand products and services that suit their specific lifestyle and exceed their high expectations.
When you are in the business of private aviation, the vast majority of your customer base belong within this exclusive demographic. At Volare we pride ourselves in taking the time to understand our customers’ lifestyles, challenges and desires in order to provide a service and product that matches their incredibly discerning tastes and distinctive mindset.
The most noteworthy insight, arguably, is that 72% of UHNWIs are entirely self-made, with only 20% resulting in inherited wealth. Hard work, huge drive and unrivalled ambition has rewarded them with extreme success, making them incredibly savvy regarding the value of money and also more inclined to take risks or see opportunities that would pass most of us by.
A common misconception is that the uber wealthy don’t care about value for money, but in fact they are more concerned about this than most. They are naturally defensive about the dangers of being targeted simply because of their worth. However, value for money is not defined in the same way as it would be the average consumer, who might be motivated by deals or discounts. Wealthy consumers’ concept of value for money lies in the perceived value of what they are buying; often defined by rarity, human stories, exceptional craftsmanship and longevity.
Service level is absolutely key, as a group accustomed to being catered to and looked after, their standards of service certainly exceed most. Many companies or brands overcompensate in this area, providing over-the-top methods that make this group defensive and suspicious of being targeted. Instead service should focus on the basics of speed, discretion and quality, which in turn establishes brand trust and loyalty.
They seek simplicity but are so often served vulgar excessiveness and over complication. The personal approach is more desirable, and with this understanding you are more likely to appeal.
Another set of defining characteristics of the UNWI is their desire to conquer, leave a lasting legacy and be regarded as pioneers. Conquerors are drawn to conflict resolution or overcoming a challenge, legacy seekers want to change the world and make a lasting impression, whereas pioneers are driven by “being the first”. They seek to be different from everyone else, to own unique things, visit unusual places and have money-can’t-buy experiences.
“Pioneers are not satisfied with having ordinary lives and therefore they engineer tools to reach a life in the stratosphere of existence” (Winston Chesterfield, Barton Report, Spring 2022).
Being in the business of luxury is a complex thing, which must be navigated with a lot of thought, attention to detail and care. Taking the time and effort to understand and define a customer based on their values and motivations rather than their wealth, however, is a universally beneficial approach that will positively impact the way we all operate and create brand trust.