How luxury brands can market to ultra-high net-worth women
The portion of the world’s wealthiest people who are women is growing rapidly. Joanna Lewis of agency Relevance lays out how brands can reach them.
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The number of ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) women continues to grow, making this an essential demographic for luxury brands to target.
According to the latest Wealth-X World Ultra Wealth Report, there are now 395,070 ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) globally, with women now making up around 11% of the UHNW population, or around 43,457 individuals. For comparison, in 2016, UHNW women represented just 6% of the global UHNW population.
Women now also comprise 9% of UHNW entrepreneurs and 8% of career executives. Most UHNW individuals have created their own wealth, with North America boasting the largest share of self-made these entrepreneurs and corporate executives.
While UHNW women still represent a very niche global market, their numbers and wealth are growing. However, marketing to such an exclusive and niche cohort takes a tailored marketing strategy. For UHNW women, mass marketing strategies will not work, making luxury marketing an art and science that requires the expertise of an experienced luxury marketer. Here are some tips on how luxury brands can successfully market to UHNW women.
What is a UHNW woman?
UHNW women have a net worth of $30m or more – the second-highest wealth tier, surpassed only by billionaires.
The number of UHNW women is growing and they are beginning to redefine areas typically dominated by their male counterparts. There are multiple factors driving this increase, including new trends in global wealth distribution, intergenerational wealth transfers, and changing societal attitudes toward female equality.
The number of female billionaires is growing too, with women now making up 13% of billionaires globally.
While there is still a way to go until the ultra-wealthy gender split is equal, UHNW women are becoming an unstoppable force with more financial power than ever before.
Where do UHNW women live?
With such small numbers, it’s impossible to fully break down the geography of UHNW women and men, but the US boasts more UHNW individuals than any other country, with 129,665, followed by China (47,190), and Germany (19,590). The top UHNW cities are Hong Kong, New York, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Singapore, Paris, Tokyo, and Washington DC.
Famous UHNW women
When marketing to UHNW women, we must truly understand who we are marketing to. Noted ultra-wealthy women include French businesswoman and philanthropist Francois Bettencourt Meyers, the granddaughter of L’Oréal’s founder. She’s the wealthiest woman in the world, with an estimated net worth of $94.9bn.
Another is Alice Walton, the daughter of Walmart’s founder, US businessman Sam Walton. She is a passionate art collector with a reputed collection worth hundreds of millions. A third is Julia Koch, a US businesswoman and philanthropist who inherited her fortune from her husband’s stake in Koch Industries.
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Marketing to UHNW women
To market to UHNW women, you first need to understand the key differences between women and men in this category, so that you can tailor your marketing campaigns accordingly. Understanding the salient personality traits of these two groups can ensure your messaging resonates accordingly.
UHNW women are more emotionally aware than UHNW men. Luxury brands should, therefore, show women being successful and changing the world.
They also often have a strong appreciation for art, seeking out beauty and creative experiences. Luxury brands must, therefore, double down on their creative effort to appeal to this exclusive audience.
Another difference is that UHNW women show a greater concern for the welfare of others and can better appreciate their plight. Luxury brands need to focus on the collective gain of their service or product.
They’re also more cheerful than UHNW men (meaning luxury brands can experiment with a lighter tone of voice and creative assets), and more self-controlled and less easy to tempt than (meaning that messaging should convey a strong emotional voice, yet still be constrained compared with mass marketing strategies). They like to constantly challenge themselves, try new experiences, and learn new things – a hardworking, determined nature that brands can appeal to.
Finally, UHNW women are among the most outgoing and sociable of all audiences. Luxury brands can engage them through VIP social events and exclusive gatherings that enable them to network with like-minded individuals.
Content by The Drum Network member:
Relevance is a strategic and creative digital marketing agency specialising in profiling and targeting Ultra-High-Net-Worth-Individuals for the world's most exclusive brands and companies.
Our agency has been marketing high-value goods, services, and experiences to this audience for over a decade, successfully driving the world's wealthiest individuals to take action. From niche collaborations to 360° support, we can provide a full-service solution or work on a project-by-project basis.
Based in Monaco and the UK, our team of international and multilingual experts excel at building brand identities, delivering cutting-edge websites and creating innovative digital strategies with SEO, paid and social advertising, media buying, social media, influencer marketing, PR, content marketing, and CRM to help our clients grow their businesses.
We work with a select portfolio of clients within the ultra-luxury sector, including real estate and hospitality, private travel (yachts, jets and supercars), wellbeing, gastronomy, fashion and apparel, jewellery and accessories, and finance.