I (Steve) spoke at the Luxury Marketing Council of Tampa this evening. The trend toward even more stealth wealth is evident here as well – the 50 or so luxury marketers in attendance were in near-universal agreement about that. Interestingly, msnbc.com just published an article about this phenomenon as well (here), including a quote from Neiman Marcus CEO Burton Tansky: “The fashionista is now a recessionista.”
But I’m struck by how the wealthy market is distinct on a city-by-city basis. Miami reflected much more international wealth (one attendee called Miami “the New York City for Latin and South America”), and a slightly more assertive style. Palm Beach was true to its reputation of older, hyper-wealth (a few attendees asked me: “Your data on the ‘wealthy’ with $10 million in assets is interesting, but I target people with $100 million or more – do you have data on them? Answer: Yes.). And Tampa had its own distinct feel. Our general portrayal of the wealthy as deriving from middle class backgrounds and maintaining their middle class aesthetics and sense of value seemed to resonate most strongly here.
Final note: In Miami on Monday, I shared the stage with Lois Geller who spoke about direct marketing to the affluent. You can read her description, and see our photo, here.