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CONNECTING WITH THE MASS AFFLUENT

Part III: How to Communicate with Affluent Women
— Interview with the Originator of the Terms "Celeb" and "Ele-girl"

◆ Motivating the unaware hidden type

Koyama:

I think the type that is the most difficult to motivate is the fifth group, the "unaware, hidden" individual.

Ishii:

These are women who don't realize they're wealthy. Many daughters of entrepreneurs are like that.

The unaware hidden type

Part III: How to Communicate with Affluent Women

Sogo:

So this type of woman doesn't like being flashy, even if she's the president's daughter.

Ishii:

She doesn't realize that she's wealthy, doesn't know that the credit card she has is a premium card for special customers. The things she buys are all ordinary. The high-priced items she has were gifts from her parents or grandparents. It seems it would be difficult to motivate this type of person to consume more.

Sogo:

It's not clear at what point this type of woman becomes independent. I believe she has concerns about what she'll do once her parents are gone.

Koyama:

She would probably be receptive to coaching that would give her self-confidence.

Sogo:

Maybe we could bring together parents concerned about their daughters' future, and introduce them to coaching.

Koyama:

If they remain naïve about the ways of the world, they could end up being tricked by unscrupulous men. So we could suggest that they change their perceptions.

◆ Gentle sheltered and glitzy, fashionista types hide masculine traits

Ishii:

Are 25ans readers mainly in the third and fourth groups, comprising gentle, sheltered and glitzy, fashionista women? The glittery, princess, cutesy type?

The gentle sheltered type

Part III: How to Communicate with Affluent Women

The glitzy, fashionista type

Part III: How to Communicate with Affluent Women

Sogo:

Women in the third and fourth groups have masculine personalities. But, because they are carefree, they dress sweetly, tie up their hair, and hide their masculinity.

Ishii:

That's why they want to be sheltered and protected by self-assured men.

Sogo:

They tend to like men they can rely on, who will treat them like a princess. Outwardly these men seem like the self-assured type, but they always put their wife first. I think that deep pockets are needed to attract the glitzy type of woman.

Ishii:

So they wouldn't fit in with less-aggressive, quiet men?

Sogo:

I don't think such men would be a good match for glitzy women. The career-oriented women in the second group might be okay with a younger, quiet man, who can slip into a party of women, and quietly support his wife when she's had too much to drink.

Koyama:

In any case, the men need deep pockets. (laugh)

◆ People who become wealthy are good with numbers

Koyama:

Sogo-san, you've interacted with a lot of affluent people. What have you noticed about their consumption-related behavior?

Sogo:

Drawing on my experience with Richesse readers, an easy way to understand the affluent mindset is to remove two digits from the price of an item.
Take for example, a wealthy person buying a piece of jewelry that costs ¥10 million. Most of us would look at the price, and even if we dropped one digit to make the price ¥1 million, it would still be too expensive. However, if we remove two digits and think of the price as ¥100,000 it could be a snap decision. That's how the wealthy think about it. Of course, if they don't like the item they won't buy it even at ¥10 million, but if it's something they really want they might even pay ¥100 million.

Koyama:

One of the things that surprised me during the interviews was that affluent people distinctly remember the prices of the things they have bought.

Sogo:

People who become wealthy are good with numbers. They carefully calculate gains and losses, and that's how they remain rich.
Moreover, they pursue fashion and luxury within their means, and never deplete the principal. I believe that wealth comes with its own anxieties, and attracts all sorts of people.

Once, when I was invited to party at a friend's home, she wrapped up and put away the leftover food. You can't maintain a lifestyle without that sort of steadiness in everyday life.

Koyama:

So they're not spendthrifts.

Sogo:

Affluent women, in particular, rarely waste money. They don't mind spending money on things that benefit them, or that satisfy them.

Koyama:

I believe that this applies to any business, but it certainly seems necessary to offer these women things that fit in with their image and value sense.

Sogo:

We lump these people together as "affluent," but individual lifestyles vary, and I think there are a broad range of business opportunities.

Koyama:

These would include education, social contributions, and even travel. The aging of society might even expand the potential for business to the affluent segment within the elderly market.

Sogo:

The market is certainly there. In particular, there are many business opportunities to meet latent demand from women like those in the first group, who have yet to refine their style.
This is a little off topic, but the premium jewelry market is flourishing now, and during a meeting with a particular brand, they mentioned that an elderly woman had bought a diamond worth several hundred million yen. She had done so to leave her children assets in a form other than cash.
If laws on inheritance tax change in the future, the jewelry industry could see more customers looking for investments.

Koyama:

The potential is there for that sort of communication with a certain segment of the affluent.

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