Affluent millennials are a coveted set for luxury brands to capture, but they are anything but homogeneous. Here, FutureCast looks at the ‘Calculated Go-Getters’ segment as the final instalment in its four-part series on the generation.
It is officially the New Year. That means brands aiming to connect with a modern generation of consumers must plow head first into a completely different type of market. If 2015 was the year of the millennial, 2016 will be the year of the affluent millennial.
Young adults making an annual household income of more than $100,000 are quickly becoming a significant group within the millennial population and their influence is increasing every day. Already, there are about 6.2 million millennial households that report an annual income of more than $100,000 and a quarter of all U.S. adults making more than $500,000 annually are millennials. These powerful consumers are constantly generating new buying trends that will serve as the foundation for the market in 2016.
“ These powerful consumers are generating new buying trends that will serve as the foundation for the market in 2016 ”
Over the past several weeks, I have been exploring the different segments of affluent millennials as discovered in our latest report from FutureCast, Money Matters: How Affluent Millennials Are Living The Millennial Dream. After conducting extensive research, we identified four clear segments of affluent millennials: Active Influencers, Family Forward, Big City Bachelors and Calculated Go-Getters. Today, let’s dive into our last segment of affluent millennials, Calculated Go-Getters, and discover what motivates these pragmatic consumers.
The Calculated Go-Getter segment is one of the more puzzling at first until we realise their complexity comes from their regularity. Calculated Go-Getters are one of the more predictable groups within the affluent cohort. They place high value on utility and look to brands to answer the question, “How can you make my life better?”
As the name suggests, these millennials are all about function. We often talk about the influence of pragmatism within the millennial generation and that comes out in full force within the Calculate Go-Getter segment.
“ Different from the common millennial trend, these consumers care much less about keeping up on fashion trends ”
Calculated Go-Getters are the most educated of all four segments; nearly half of them have a four-year degree, and 27% hold a graduate degree. However, they also report the highest unemployment rate at 21%. A curious insight until noting that 12% of affluent Calculated Go-Getters said they were homemakers (72% of millennials in this segment are married), while another 6% claimed a student status.
What we realised was that Calculated Go-Getters are the most likely affluent millennial group to portray similar qualities and trends as affluents from previous generations. These young adults have already established themselves in their careers, gotten married and bought their first home (71% already report home ownership).
Now that these young adults have checked all the boxes, many of them reported that they have either recently had their first child or are planning to have a child in the next year. Calculated Go-Getters also tend to embrace more traditional values, as 36% of millennials in this segment currently belong to a church, synagogue or mosque.
Different from the common millennial trend, these consumers care much less about keeping up on fashion trends or expressing themselves through their clothing, suggesting that they will not spend large amounts on major fashion brand names, even though they can afford to splurge.
Calculated Go-Getters agree that many similarly priced brands look alike, so these millennials are more likely to frequent department stores and specialty stores where the shopping experience is most efficient.
Overall, Calculated Go-Getters are following trends rather than experimenting with them. They index well below the average when asked whether they are the first among their friends to try a new clothing style and do not have a desire to buy new clothes every season as we’ve seen in other affluent millennial segments especially Active Influencers.
“ Brand messages that are designed to be a stamp of affluence will likely not fly with these consumers ”
Unlike other groups of affluent millennials, Calculated Go-Getters are much more likely to participate in conversations rather than generate their own. Brand messages that are designed to be a stamp of affluence will likely not fly with these consumers.
However, Calculated Go-Getters are more likely to be drawn to brands that offer convenience and year-round low prices rather than limited-time offers.
Trader Joe’s is a perfect example of a brand that has successfully created a business model that aligns with the Calculated Go-Getter mindset. While Trader Joe’s is constantly referred to as the overall millennial favourite, affluents hold them in especially high regard. In fact, affluence proves to be a more significant indication of Trader Joe’s loyalty than age.
“ Ignoring this population of consumers will be detrimental to any brand ”
Trader Joe’s is also known for its policy of not offering discounts or one-time specials. Instead, it promotes consistent low prices for the best food options. Especially for a generation that was raised on Lunchables and Hot Pockets, high-quality, prepared food is a major win for these pragmatic-minded consumers that are looking for the most bang-for-their-buck.
Unlike traditional grocery stores that encourage the trade-up/trade-down mentality, Trader Joe’s simply offers products that are always higher quality, making them slightly out of reach or aspirational for most millennials living on a budget but largely attainable for affluent millennials. While non-affluent millennials may choose Trader Joe’s once in a while or for a specific product when trying to be healthier, it is the everyday grocery store of choice for Calculated Go-Getters.
As a generation that is growing in affluence and therefore capital power, affluent millennials will soon be the leaders of our economy. These adults are developing buying patterns in the most dramatic acceleration of culture and consumerism ever, and the changes they are undergoing as a result are what will continue to shape them as an influential generation.
Ignoring this population of consumers will be detrimental to any brand but tapping into this cohort now will keep you on the upswing of market and consumer trends for the future.
To further investigate the millennial consumer on Luxury Society, we invite your to explore the related materials as follows:
- Understanding Segments Of Affluent Millennials Part 3: Big City Bachelors
- Understanding Segments Of Affluent Millennials Part 2: Pragmatic Parents
- Understanding Segments Of Affluent Millennials Part 1: Active Influencers