Demystifying the Malaysian Affluent consumer

3 weeks ago

The Affluent consumers lead the way for marketers – be it their choice of lifestyle products or their engagement with media – they are undoubtedly the most powerful and influential target group driving revenue and influencing purchases among their peers and networks.

They generate wealth, actively invest it and spend it in style. They embrace advancements in the digital world, without losing sight of the value of traditional media. They are looking for exclusivity, new experiences and emotional connections, and it doesn’t matter if they live in US, Europe or Asia.

Market Research firm Ipsos released the 2019 Ipsos Affluent Asia survey results, Asia’s most comprehensive survey of the upscale affluent consumers covering 11 countries across the APAC region.

The 20.64 million-strong affluent population in the Asia Pacific, compared to their western counter part, are much younger, gender balanced and highly educated. They indulge themselves in the finest goods and love to travel, but also are more willing to pay for environmentally friendly goods.

The “2019 Ipsos Affluent Asia” study investigates multiple areas including time spent on media platforms, digital device activities, financial products ownership, travel behaviour, luxury, household and product ownership, alcohol consumption, personal and sports interests and business activities.

Exclusive experiential luxury

The study revealed that affluent consumers in Malaysia are looking for “experiential luxury”. 57% of affluent Malaysians like to try out new things (compared to 56% in Singapore). For them, experiential luxury focuses more on the experience that a product or action brings, rather than ownership of item itself. Affluent consumers in Malaysia want experiences that are exclusive and different from others.

Affluent consumers indulge themselves in the best, with top purchases across the Asia Pacific being jewellery (45% compared to 32% in Malaysia) and luxury watches (33% compared to 34% for the super-affluent Malaysians).

More than half of (53%) of supper affluent consumers value the elements of high quality and exclusivity. A life centred around mobile technology and high media consumption. For affluent Malaysians (64% compared to 61% for APAC) mobile technology is omnipresent and central to their everyday activities. They are the ‘go-to-person’ for seeking advice while looking to buy technology or electronics products (36% versus 29% affluent in Singapore) as they are perceived to be early adopters of technology.

Affluent Malaysians on average spend 349 minutes daily on apps and websites (compared to 275 minutes for APAC and 284 minutes for Singapore); this is almost an hour more than the rest of the affluent in the region.

Social media plays a pivotal role in the life of an affluent, whether it’s for information, entertainment or socialising. Affluent Malaysians on an average spend 579 minutes on social media in a week compared to 382 minutes for the APAC region.

Inclined to support environmental sustainability

More than half across the Asia Pacific (53% compared to 47% affluent Malaysians) say they are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products. They are looking not just for product ownership, but to make an emotional connection to a environmentally conscious brand.

Arun Menon, Managing Director of Ipsos in Malaysia says:
“The affluent Malaysians drives the economy through their direct purchasing power and influence on consumer decision making. Its wrong to assume the affluent as a monolith group. Despite being a much younger, educated and balanced segment the Asian affluent segment widely varies on their attitudes and spending behaviour. Affluent Malaysians seek luxury through differentiating experiences. Marketers should recognise the increasing boldness in risk taking, tech savviness and environmental focus on addressing the needs of this segment.’

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