Insights Briefs are generally downloadable for a month after they are published. Listed below is the current month’s Insights Brief that is followed by a listing of previously published Insights Briefs.
As shopping continues to evolve into an omnichannel experience, this month’s brief focuses on how consumers search for and then actually buy products and services; where they shop (in particular, affluent and wealthy consumers); and to what extent they are involved with Amazon.
To obtain a copy of this month’s brief, Segmenting Shoppers in an Evolving Omnichannel Marketplace, please fill out the form below.
Archive of Shullman Pulse Insights Briefs
These briefs are generally downloadable for about a month after they are posted, but occasionally we make past briefs available. Please inquire to discuss if you have a particular interest.
The Generational Paradox
The Millennial generation, the up-and-coming consumers whose lifestyle preferences are now shaping marketers’ approaches, will soon outnumber Boomers as the largest generational segment of adults 18+ in age. This brief highlights significant demographic characteristics of the Millennials as a whole compared with the older generations. It also profiles their concerns, financial goals, and luxury purchasing in the past 12 months.
The Millennial Generation — Different in Many Ways
While the marketing community is currently enamored of Millennials, who are now its future long-term customers, it is critical that marketers understand that Millennials are decidedly not all alike. Given the 20-year age span of this generation, from 15 (in high school) to 34 years of age (with many now married or partnered), their buying power varies dramatically depending on their age and current schooling or work status. This brief differentiates and describes adult Millennials as they evolve by three age groups.
Changes in Luxury Buying Patterns from 2014 to 2015
Now that 2015 is over, our January brief focuses on how luxury fared in America during 2015 compared with 2014. The changes that occurred may be surprising.
The Five Senses—Part 2: 25 Advertising Platforms’ Reach and Engagement Levels
Our November Insights brief focused on our five senses (i.e., sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste). The December brief, the second in a series we are releasing about the five senses that responds to questions we received as a result of our first brief on the topic, focuses on how marketers and their agencies can reach and engage consumers who are sight-centric compared with those who are not.
Attn: Marketers and Media: Come to Your Senses… All Five of Them!
With the 2015 holiday shopping season well advanced and Black Friday over, the November brief focused on some food for thought for 2016. Our most recent Shullman Pulse survey addressed some new topics through the eyes of the consumer. One of the topics that we covered relates to our five senses (i.e., sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste). Virtually all marketing and advertising today is delivered to consumers through either their eyes or their ears. Where do the other three senses fit in, if at all, according to the ultimate judges, the consumers? Are different senses more important to some consumers than others? The very short answer is yes. This brief is the first in a series we are releasing on the topic of the five senses, and it focuses on which senses are important for a number of key market segments.
Millennials Lead the Way on Holiday Season Luxury Buying Plans
With the 2015 holiday shopping season in full swing, the October brief focused on luxury buyers’ holiday shopping plans by the three following adult generations: Millennials, Gen X-ers and Boomers. That’s what the October Insights brief covers in great detail.
What Are Luxury Buyers Planning to Buy This Holiday Season?
Our September brief focused on the 2015 holiday shopping season that is already under way. Yes, a good number of consumers, especially luxury consumers, have already started shopping for their holiday gifts. What’s on luxury buyers’ holiday shopping lists, at what types of stores are they going to shop, how much are they planning to spend, and will their holiday spending be more, about the same, or less than last year? Finally, how much are they planning to spend online? That’s what this month’s Insights brief covers in great detail
Amazon.com Today Vis-à-vis Luxury
Our August brief focused on Amazon’s current positioning to market luxury goods to consumers — assuming, of course, that it can induce many luxury brands to work with it. Although that hasn’t yet happened, one never knows, as in many respects Amazon has been operating by a different set of business rules.
Luxury Purchasers Part 3: What Do Extremely High-Income and Wealthy Consumers Buy
Our July brief — the third and final part of our recent series focusing on who buys luxuries and their interests – focused on the top 1% of consumers (those with household incomes of $500,000 or more) and those who are wealthy — the millionaires, etc. — who are in many respects the prime targets for luxury marketers
Luxury Purchasers: Who Are They and What Are Their Interests? Part 2
Our May brief provided many insights about all purchasers of many luxury categories. Our June brief — the second part of “Luxury Purchasers: Who Are They and What Are Their Interests?” — continues to address these questions, this time based on the following three household-income segments that tend to be of interest to all luxury marketers, their agencies, and consultants, as well as retailers that sell luxuries:
- Mass-market consumers (household incomes of less than $75,000: 59 percent of all adults);
- Affluent consumers (household incomes of $75,000 or more: 41 percent of all adults); and
- Very affluent consumers (household incomes of $250,000 or more: 3 percent of all adults).
- Following Bob’s article in the April issue of Admap, “Insight into US luxury consumers,” readers of that article have asked for more insights about the purchasers of the seven luxury “super-categories” addressed in that article. Who are those purchasers? What are their interests? What makes them different from the average American consumer?
Affluent Generations and Their Travel Plans
Our April 2015 brief focused on affluent consumers’ upcoming vacations, as well as how and where they will travel. Are there differences in how the generations travel that marketers need to know?
Where The Buys Are — Shopping by the Affluent Generations
Our March 2015 brief, Where The Buys Are — Shopping by the Affluent Generations, answered the following two questions that marketers have been asking:
1. How are the affluent shopping today?
2. Do shopping behaviors and preferences vary by generation?
Luxury Through the Eyes of the Affluent Generations
Our February 2015 brief focused on three questions we recently had been asked to address:
- How do affluent consumers describe “luxury” in their own words based on their generations?
- What is the #1 “luxury” brand in the world according to affluent consumers by generation?
- Do affluents’ descriptions of “luxury” and the #1 “luxury” brand differ by generation?
- Luxury Through the Eyes of the Affluent
Our January 2015 brief focused on three questions we recently had been asked to address:
- How do all affluent adult consumers describe “luxury” in their own words?
- What is the #1 “luxury” brand in the world according to affluent consumers?
- Do affluents’ descriptions of “luxury” and the #1 “luxury” brands differ by gender?
- ‘Listening’ Pays!
Our December brief, ‘Listening’ Pays!, took an in-depth look at a business capability we know is incredibly important — indeed, one that we strive to do every minute of the day; i.e., listening to our subscribers and others who are interested in what we publish and who engage us to conduct custom research surveys for their organizations or produce customized insights briefs from our syndicated data sets. Earlier this year, we conducted an important survey in collaboration with The Luxury Marketing Council and Peppercomm that focused on the many benefits of businesses listening to their customers, both formally and informally.
- Communicating with Upscale Generations in Today’s Cross-Media World
Our November brief, Communicating With Upscale Generations in Today’s Cross-Media World, took an in-depth look at what we learned in our most recent survey regarding 68 platforms that marketers can potentially use to reach upscale consumers according to their generations with messages about their offerings in today’s evolving, cross-media world.
- Communicating With Luxury, Affluent, and Wealthy Consumers in Today’s Cross-Media World
Our October brief, Communicating With Luxury, Affluent, and Wealthy Consumers in Today’s Cross-Media World, took an in-depth look at what we learned in our most recent survey regarding 68 platforms that marketers can potentially use to reach consumers (both mass-market and upscale customers and prospects) with their messages about their offerings in today’s evolving, cross-media world.
- Holiday Shopping Plans are Generations and Incomes Apart
Our September brief, Holiday Shopping Plans are Generations and Incomes Apart, took an in-depth look at consumers’ 2014 holiday spending plans two ways — by household incomes with a focus on the upscale consumer, and by the generations to which they belong.
- Gen-X’ers Are the Generation You Can’t Afford to Ignore
Our July brief, Gen-X’ers Are the Generation You Can’t Afford to Ignore, looked at the Gen-X generation among upscale consumers and, again, among mass-market consumers, to analyze if the average Gen-X’er has the highest spending power of all the generations.
- For Upscale Marketers, Millennials are the Future, But Boomers Are Today
Our June brief, For Upscale Marketers, Millennials are the Future, But Boomers Are Today, focused on affluent as well as mass market consumers by total spending power by generation, and then focused on the generation with the largest total spending power, the Boomers.
- Where and How the Wealthy Shop
Our May brief, Where and How the Wealthy Shop, focused again on affluent consumers, not by their household incomes, but by their wealth and the many stores (both brick and mortar as well as digital) at which they shop.
- Reaching the Wealthy Consumer
How does a marketer reach these wealthy consumers? What media channel should a brand consider using to reach its very desirable consumers? Do millionaires use the same media as those who have not been as fortunate? Are millionaires into Facebook and other digital channels, or do traditional media still attract them? Our April Insights brief, “Reaching the Wealthy Consumer,” addresses these questions as well as others that marketers asked.
- Reaching The Wealthy Consumer
Our March brief, Millionaires Have Their Own Generation Gap, focused on affluent consumers not by their household incomes, but by generation. This generation-oriented view of the wealthy led readers to ask: How does a marketer reach these wealthy consumers? What media channel should a brand consider using to reach its very desirable consumers? Do millionaires use the same media as those who have not been as fortunate? Are millionaires into Facebook and other digital channels, or do traditional media still attract them? The Insight Brief, Reaching the Wealthy Consumer, addresses these questions as well as others that marketers asked.
- Millionaires Have Their Own Generation Gap
Our February brief, Millionaire Men And Women Agree: They Truly ARE Different!, focused on affluent consumers not by their household incomes, but by their gender. This gender-oriented view of wealth induced a fair number of readers to ask how millionaires differ when they are segmented another way — by generation (age) instead of by gender. Do millionaire Millennials have the same points of view regarding the future as Gen-X’ers or Boomers? Do they have the same financial goals? Are these three generations planning to buy the same products and services, especially luxury products and services, in the near future? The Insight Brief, Millionaires Have Their Own Generation Gap, focuses on these questions and others.
- Millionaire Men and Women Agree: They Truly ARE Different!
This brief focuses on how the wealthy, i.e., millionaires, differ by gender. Do female millionaires share the same financial goals as their male counterparts? Do they have the same worries or concerns? Are they planning to buy the same upscale products and services? Millionaire Men and Women Agree: They Truly ARE Different!, addresses these questions as well as others that marketers have been asking.
- Targeting Upscale Consumers in 2014: High Income or Millionaires
This brief concerns two types of upscale consumers: those who earn or obtain a lot of money on an ongoing basis; and those who have accumulated money or possessions of value. These high-income and high-net-worth consumers tend to have different financial goals — and different worries or concerns — from the average American. With their having more money to spend on those products and services they value, they are more optimistic about the economy looking towards the future and have different saving and investing plans as well as plans to buy luxuries. Marketers need to focus on the differences between high-income consumers and wealthy consumers and target accordingly.
- Amazon.com and the Luxury and Affluent Marketplaces
Whether marketers and retailers are aware of Amazon’s positioning in the luxury and affluent marketplaces or not, they need to start thinking about how they are going to compete with Amazon as it continues to penetrate these marketplaces, offering upscale consumers more shopping-related benefits such as Sunday deliveries, which were introduced in selected major cities in late 2013. The majority of American adults have shopped at Amazon in the past 12 months and, as household income increases, so does Amazon’s penetration of the upscale household segments. Other retailers must determine how they will compete with Amazon when Amazon starts making a concerted effort to target these upscale consumers with luxury and affluent products.
- Goliath versus Goliath
America is rapidly becoming a digitally-based economy, as the majority of consumers now research what they are planning to buy online while many are now comfortable actually buying products and services online. According to our survey, Amazon reaches more upscale consumers than any other single retailer in America, except for Walmart that reaches the same large number of consumers. And beyond being upscale, these Amazon consumers are younger and more comfortable with digitally-enhanced lifestyles; however, our research has shown that, for many luxury and affluent consumers, the shopping experience at brick-and-mortar stores still counts.
- Generational Differences In Luxury Consumers’ Use Of And Engagement With Media Platforms
Traditional media platforms still rule throughout the affluent and luxury worlds, but generational differences in usage and engagement levels of the many platforms available to consumers today must be taken into account by advertisers, media, and agencies regarding how to reach these diverse consumers. While still loyal to traditional media, the younger set is more attuned to newer platforms than are their elders, so this is a movement that warrants tracking as the media world continues to evolve.
- Generational Differences in Luxury Consumers’ Attitudes and Buying Plans
One thing is very clear based on how the three generations profiled in this brief currently think and behave: the luxury consumer marketplace does not march in lockstep, as younger Millennials are more optimistic about the U. S. economy and their own personal financial situations than their older counterparts. Equally significant to marketers, that same positive attitude holds true when it comes to Millennials’ current spending plans, while affluent Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are taking a more cautious view overall. For luxury marketers, these generational differences present both a challenge and an opportunity to maximize the strong upside evident in the Millennials generation, while also emphasizing quality and service for older luxury consumers.
- Social Networking Among Luxury Purchasers
The forecast for the luxury market is excellent, as the likelihood of adults buying luxury products or services is strong. That intention to buy luxury crosses all household income segments, as one third of those adults with household incomes of $75,000 or more are joining their better-heeled counterparts as luxury purchasers. Luxury buyers are much more committed to using a wide variety of social media than non-luxury buyers. Despite the growing and more diverse use of social media, the traditional ways of communicating — via telephone or in person — remain alive and well, especially in the affluent and luxury marketplaces.
- American Consumers and Their Travel Plans
Compared with the average American, affluent Americans are adventurous souls, as high-income consumers are frequently “on the go” to both domestic and foreign destinations. And when they do travel, they spend according to their means, which increase as their household incomes rise… all of which bodes well for airlines, cruise lines, hotels/resorts, car rentals, and more.
- Reaching the Luxury Purchaser
With all the buzz about digital platforms dominating the advertising landscape, our recent survey findings indicate that, when it comes to reaching that incredibly valuable target, the luxury consumer, traditional media channels are alive and well. Television remains at #1 and magazines a strong #3 for potential reach, and ranked #3 (television) and #2 (magazines) for potential effectiveness. These luxury consumers are avid shoppers, but they are also avidly seeking relevant and engaging information, and readily process that into planning to buy luxury goods and services. The lesson to be learned for advertisers and agencies, as well as the media targeting this key audience, is that, while digital is certainly “cool”, traditional is still “hot”.
- Small-Business Ownership and Luxury
Small-business owners with $250,000+ household incomes have mixed feelings: a strong majority (two thirds) are “very optimistic” or “optimistic” about their own businesses, while only 39% have that same optimism about the U. S. economy. At the same time, those business owners are markedly more satisfied currently with their own personal financial situation than their non-business-owner counterparts, and the same positive feelings hold true about their outlook s. That same “feel-good” attitude extends to buying luxury goods and services.
- Social and Business Networking By Very High-Income Consumers
When it comes to communicating with family and friends as well as business associates, the “good old days” of telephone and in-person contact among very high-income consumers are being supplanted by social media as well as other Web-based ways. That pattern holds true among all age groups and gender, with Facebook leading the way for social media among family and friends. In the business world, LinkedIn is a major factor, following e-mail at the head of the pack. Although Web-based networking is becoming the prime choice of upscale consumers, traditional means are still important for older consumers and women.
- Very High-Income Consumers Are Still Shopping
Very high-income consumers continue to shop. At the same time, where they are shopping strongly suggests they are becoming more comfortable with online retailers, with Amazon (#1), eBay (#7), Groupon (#15), and Zappos (#23) being among the “Top 25 Stores Shopped In The Past 12 Months.” And, with considerable age and gender differences, all Affluents are not alike in their shopping habits.
- Ads, Electronic Devices and Apps Attract Very High-Income Consumers
America’s 6.7 million adults with household incomes of $250,000 or more are all avid users of electronic devices and apps, and are attracted to ads in a wide selection of media platforms, ranging from health clubs/gyms to magazines, newspapers and television. At the same time, there are several surprises in these new insights demonstrating marked differences between the various age groups. But the overall impact is that these very-high-income adults are committed consumers with an appetite for innovation, representing a huge opportunity for marketers, agencies, and media.