Ipsos today introduced the concept of an ‘affluencer’ in Asia, a target group that the consulting firm calls “a dream come true for marketers”.
Affluencers are defined as “wealthy, successful people with refined tastes, [who are] highly informed, connected people with the willingness and ability to influence others”, according to Janaina Costa, executive director of Ipsos in Hong Kong, speaking at the launch of the 21st Affluent Asia report.
This group was identified as a subset of the larger pool of well-off people surveyed as part of Ipsos’ annual study across 11 markets in Asia. The company conducts interviews about spending habits with over 24,000 25-64 years olds from the top 18% of the population by household income, which equates to 20.6 million affluent people in the region.
This latest survey features the set of results from June 2017 to June 2018. It found that compared to the previous year, affluent people in Asia-Pacific are seeing their monthly household incomes rise from an average of USD$4,952 to $5,369. They are travelling abroad for work more often, investing more frequently in premium economy, business and first class tickets when they do. They are also spending more nights in hotels for business abroad compared to last year; taking more leisure trips, which are up 6.7% year on year; and spending more, particularly on luxury items. They also own more credit cards (up 4% from 2017) and 39% are now regularly using an e-wallet.
Meet the affluencers
Among this pool of well-off people, whose mean personal income in Asia is now €33,123, the group termed 'affluencers' stand out for having a unique attitude and approach to life, according to Ipsos. Not only are they the top spenders across different categories, they’re also the “loudest voices” among their peers with a "disproportionate impact on others' opinions and behavior." Many are regularly interviewed in the press, have a professional blog or Twitter handle, write published articles or attend and address conferences or public meetings.
Their technology habits include engaging more regularly than other affluent people on Twitter and LinkedIn, and they use all types of media to gain education and information, including international media. “These are the people you want as advocates of your brand” says the report. Reaching them is about identifying their values: according to the survey, 240 of these affluencers say they have expensive tastes, 173 are willing to pay for products that are more environmentally friendly and 169 say they prefer premium to standard goods and services.
Asia's wealthy versus the world
This year’s Affluent Asia report also revealed some key similarities and differences between the behaviours of well-off people in Asia compared to Europe and the US. Asia’s wealthiest are making an average of three return international flights per year, the same number as those in Europe and one more than those in the US, who tend to make more domestic flights. 41% of APAC’s affluent have made air trips for both business and pleasure in the last 12 months, more than those in Europe and the US. Three-quarters of those identified as affluent in Asia will fly at some point in the year, whether for business or pleasure.
Asia’s wealthy are also among the most technology savvy in the world. Over half already own a smart TV and 92% own smartphones, more than in Europe and the US.
Asia’s wealthy are also heavy users of both traditional and digital media. Compared to 2016-17, in 2017-18 the amount of time affluent people spend every day reading newspapers and magazines is up by two minutes and four minutes, respectively. TV watching is down by four minutes; time on apps is up eight minutes and time spent on websites remains the same. “Affluent people [are] embracing advancements in the digital world without losing sight of the value of traditional media” notes the report. APAC also has significantly more ‘heavy’ TV viewers and internet users than Europe.