The New Rich?

Wealthy people were considered to be less hurt by the economic downturn than the poor and middle class were, yet a new study from marketing consulting firm Harrison Group suggests that consumer habits have changed in the aftermath of the economic downturn. In a study of Americans with an average annual income of $275,000, Harrison Group found that wealthy consumers were less willing to pay for the large markups on name-brand goods in the first quarter of 2011 than they were in 2010. While the survey found decreasing brand consciousness and increasing use of sales across the survey, the largest change came in response to a question on willingness to spend on stylish brands. In 2010, 51% agreed that they were willing to "spend more for designer brands because they [were] the most stylish and fashionable," compared to only 32% of consumers in the first quarter of 2011. The survey results represent only one financial quarter of each year, and seem strange since the economy actually improved between 2010 and 2011. If the trends continue, this would represent an important change in the behavior of high income consumers and, as a result, in the ways that high-end companies market to reach them.

ZM cf
SSDAN Office

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