How brands can get more bucks for their bang from their promotions

Attracting high earners isn't a gamble. 

Want to attract high earners to your latest brand promotion? Here’s how you can do it...

As consumers tighten their belts, it makes sense for brands to turn their attentions to high earners – the question is, what makes for an enticing hook to lure them in?

The Sodexo Consumer Promotions: What Shoppers Think in 2017’ survey reveals interesting insights for marketers with affluent customers in mind.

Recognise the importance of value

As we know, Aldi is driving growth in wine sales with its portfolio of world premium wines. And it’s high earners who are flocking to buy these by the crate loads.

Affluent consumers have, and always will be, aware of the importance of the value of money.

We even have it on good authority that one in three shoppers at Aldi and Lidl are middle or upper class.

As we’ve seen with the British airline debacle this summer, service is key to providing a quality experience and without it, it doesn’t matter if you’re the British Airways or the Ryanair of cakes, cars or computers.

It seems that value and experience need to come hand in hand, whether you’re target audience is Mr Banks from Mary Poppins or Dick Van Dyke.

Amazon’s Whole Foods, once Kensington’s go-to delicatessen, is now driving growth by lowering prices – but they’ve always appealed to a high earning audience.

People across the board want premium experiences with added value and the omni-channel retail world feeds this hunger.

Shoppers are savvier than ever before – online purchasers are consistently armed with a plethora of discount codes and a steely look in their eyes, regardless of their earning potential.

Premium now has mass appeal

We’re also seeing more people reaching into their wallets to enjoy premium tonic water like FeverTree, premium popcorn like Joe and Seph, premium tea brands like TeaPigs and even organic cola like Karma Cola

Instagram leads this growing trend for ‘showing off’ brand choices that promote a certain lifestyle.

‘Premiumisation’ is on the rise and it feeds from the expectation that consumers are becoming more demanding in every way.  

In pursuit of the premium, you can attract high earners, yes, but you should also find opportunities to grow your customer base across the board.

Luxury goods are yesterday’s news unless you’re Chinese – today’s high earners want more bang for their buck. Part of this change is down to the demand to be first to try new things and share these experiences on social media.

Millennials might have started it, but even granny is on Facebook these days, and like most baby boomers, there’s every chance she’s wealthier than your average customer.

It's great to know what appeals to consumers, and with our free consumer insights report you can get to grips with exactly that. What does it cost? Absolutely nothing other than a click of the button below...

Free ebook: Savvy Cynics  They're smart, cynical, and thirsty for a bargain! Find out what today's  shoppers are thinking in our 2017-18 consumer insights report. Click to grab yours today!

Inspire and ignite shopper curiosity

Our research shows if you can understand what consumers think about your brand's promotions, you can market to them more effectively. Plus, we've also found that shoppers remain savvy cynics, but they are now socially savvy cynics too, increasingly using social media to engage with brands in competitions and promotions.

With 93% of marketers using Facebook to advertise regularly – or should we say, 3 million businesses, 70% of which are outside the US – it’s no wonder that shoppers are making purchasing decisions based on what they see in this space.

Instagram’s beautifully styled photographs offer a dream playground for retailers with big ranges of products to show off – IKEA’s Instagram feed has 384,000 followers compared with Habitat’s 102,000 followers.

Who hasn’t used these accounts to decide what rug will go with their new sofa or which coffee table will look best against leather upholstery?

No? Well maybe you will now.  

PwC’s Total Retail Survey 2017 tells us that 39% of shoppers say that social networks provide their main inspiration for purchases.

If you haven’t got an active Instagram feed, now’s the time to get busy.

The more you share, the more chance you have to create active conversations online and drive traffic up your brand’s street faster than a John Lewis Christmas ad goes viral.

Ok, maybe not that fast, but still.

Brand competitions with added allure

Social media is certainly providing shopping and sales promotion inspiration to savvy and cynical consumers by the bagful, and brands that want to capitalise on this could do worse than to add a competition or promotion into their social media strategy.

Because, guess what? People are now entering more and more brand led competitions on social media networks too.

Hashtag: time to get in on the act.

  • Last year 26.9% of respondents to our consumer survey said they used Facebook to enter competitions promoted by a brand either ‘very often’ or ‘sometimes’.
  • In 2017, the figure rose to over 37%, a rise of over 10%.
  • Twitter and Instagram are growing in popularity with competition entrants too.
  • In 2017, 5% more people entered competitions via Twitter, up 15% from 20%.
  • Instagram also saw a jump with over 14% of people stating they used the mighty photo sharing network to enter giveaways.

It seems that people are getting used to seeing and entering promotions on Facebook, finding them less annoying than they used to.

Consumers, we’re hearing are entering and winning more.

Nearly a quarter of respondents told us they won last year – 24.95% in total.

This year the figure doubled from 20% to 43% saying they’d won a brand competition.

So, are we getting luckier or are people getting into giveaways in a big way?

We think it’s partly because competitions are easier to enter than ever before and then there’s the allure of being able to show off once you’ve one big.

Brands are also wising up to the social aspects of competitions.

They drive engaging consumer content with great viral potential.

We're in. Now, what's the prize?

There are lots of brilliant prizes that can draw those all-important likes and shares. Last year those earning £50-60k (29.79%) said they were most attracted to sales promotions and competitions within the automotive industry.

In 2017, it’s changed – who wants to win a new set of wheels now?

Yep, it’s those earning £80k+ (34.62%). They clearly like life in the fast lane. Sorry.

Of course, we’ve seen in the press a lot of talk about the gender pay gap this year.

The research doesn’t tell us if the prize incentive split is towards men or women, but what we do know is more men are becoming aware of promotional offers.

Far more men responded that they were engaged by marketing messages on product packaging in 2017 – 51.22% compared with 43.62% in 2016. 

Where millennials want to win a far-flung luxury holiday, high earners also want a big impact prize.

On that note, there’s been a shift towards a slightly older demographic who are sharing prize promotions on social media platforms, and as we know, earning power increases with age.

Instagram is the most popular platform for people sharing competitions and promotions in the 35-44 year old age group. In 2016, it was most popular amongst 25-34 year olds.

High earners want good returns

If you want to attract wealthier customers, your brand competition needs to seem like a good bet. Our research shows that it needs to have low odds to have any hope of attracting high earners.

If it seems like there’s a good chance of winning, high earners will be drawn into entering your promotion. For all else, there’s the lottery.

Last year, the group most attracted to buying a product with the chance to win a high monetary prize but with low odds of winning, was people earning £25-30k (14.35%).

This year, it is the high earners who are attracted by this, with those earning £60-70k (28.57%) coming out on top, closely followed by those on salaries of £70-80k (25%).

It’s unsurprising that this often educated bunch want a return on investment.

They’re likely to be time poor, so why waste moments entering something that looks like a lost cause? It’s a strategy that’s paying off for this earning group, as they’re also the ones continuing to win the most competitions (35.71% last year and 75% this year), suggesting the rich are getting richer, but you have to be in it to win it.

Leisure time is important

When you’re cash rich and time poor, leisure is increasingly important. It’s also one area that can unlock potential opportunities for brands to reach a more affluent audience. The Sodexo Consumer Promotions: What Shoppers Think in 2017’ survey also revealed that the cinema still has massive pull for consumers, with one in five people claiming to have visited the cinema in the last three months.

Yet brands targeting richer customers will have to work hard to make cinema promotions stand out. It wasn’t that long ago that luxury brands were falling over themselves to be a part of the James Bond franchise, with the likes of Omega, Barbour and Land Rover dominating the marketing mix.

If you can tailor a promotion to an actual film or genre, so much the better.

Sodexo’s report tells us that there’s a particularly opportunity to reach high earners with big screen promotions. Last year, the group ‘much more likely’ to buy if it was part of a free cinema tickets promotion was those earning £70-80k (14.29%). In 2017, it had the greatest appeal to those earning over £80k (15.38%).

The word from the cinema multiplex, supermarkets and high streets across the land is that high earners offer huge potential as a receptive audience for competitions and promotions.

That’s an odds-on winner in our book.

Ready to learn about what the UK's consumers, high earners and more are after?

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Free ebook: Savvy Cynics  They're smart, cynical, and thirsty for a bargain! Find out what today's  shoppers are thinking in our 2017-18 consumer insights report. Click to grab yours today!