Chapter Summaries for a Proposed Marketing Book

By Christopher Zoukis


The introduction presents three primary goals of the book. Each of the three goals is briefly examined. The importance of understanding the psychological make-up of potential customers is discussed.

Chapter 1: Identifying Affluent Customers

This chapter defines three different affluence levels. The levels are based on yearly income: $200,000 +, $1 million +, $5 million +. The chapter also explains that affluent customers use their money differently than the middle class. Goods, services and products commonly purchased by the affluent are presented. 

Chapter 2: Affluent Women

This chapter tells why affluent women purchase luxury goods. The psychology of female customers is different than that of male customers. Therefore, selling to women requires a different approach. How to sell to affluent women is discussed, along with the vast opportunities of targeting female customers. For example, women are more adept at perceiving emotions in people’s faces. Women are also better at multi-tasking because they are less channeled into one way of thinking than men. Men are better at reading maps, according to research presented in Newsweek. Which means both genders are emotional and spontaneous in making purchases. The difference lies in communication. These differences will be discussed. BMW was one of the first auto manufacturers to recognize and capitalize on this gender difference. Chapter two also delineates ‘beauty’ as a product that can be packaged as an idea and sold. How selling status to women is different than selling status to men.

Chapter 3: Affluent Men

This chapter explains how to appeal to male psychology. Men do not acknowledge the emotional aspects of buying as much as women, but they do have a “gut” reaction, which often revolves around perceived status enhancement or a “winning image.” According to American Demographics, men and women perceive status enhancement in different ways. This section explains how to sell to men as opposed to women. For example, research confirms that men prefer to come right to the point, which means that to provide excellent service to affluent men requires asking more questions.

Chapter 4:  Affluent Same-Sex Customers

This chapter discusses the motivations of affluent same-sex customers, and how to appeal to their specific sexual orientation. Specific areas of interest are delineated: travel, cruises, casinos, hotels, clothing, etc. Selling to same-sex customers is a rapidly growing market that must be carefully targeted. For example, according to a new national survey by Harris Interactive, nearly half (48%) of gay and lesbian adults purchase the latest styles, whereas only 38% of heterosexuals do likewise. Because only 20% of gay and lesbian households have children in them, they have more discretionary income. How to target this growing market is examined. For example, 78% of gays and lesbians prefer to purchase brands that cater to them.

Chapter 5: Older Affluent Customers

In this chapter, baby-boomers and their buying habits are explained. Baby-boomers must be appealed to in a specific manner. This manner includes the use of terminology baby-boomers find attractive. The concept of nostalgia and selling to baby-boomer is discussed, along with precisely what it is that baby-boomers seek to buy. Boomers want to save time. They desire to move up in status. They want to purchase new experiences. Selling to boomers revolves around catering to their on-the-go lifestyles. How to attract boomers and target their restlessness is discussed.

Chapter 6: The Self-Made Affluent

Appealing to the psychology of customers who perceive themselves as self-sufficient is explained. Self-made customers want value, and status. And they need to feel independent while achieving their desires. Appealing to their unique needs is discussed, as is the importance of the selling approach and marketing to this niche.  For example, simply using the words “hand-made” is much more effective than “custom-made.”

Chapter 7: Opportunity and the Affluent Customer

This chapter explains how affluent customers are influenced by reviews of luxury goods. It explains that most affluent customers prefer to shop online, because most of them work full-time and are jealous of their time. Statistics are provided.  Affluent customers who shop online spend an average of $114,632 per year versus $22,813 per year for those who shop in stores. Therefore, an online presence is absolutely necessary.

Chapter 8: The Affluent Psychology of Elitism

This chapter explains that wealthy people like to associate with others of their economic level. Rich people tend to be herd-bound in an economic sense. They shop at the same venues, live in the same areas, travel to the same resorts, yet at the same time are competitive with each other. How to use this information to sell to the rich is explained.

Chapter 9: The Affluent Psychology of Impulsive Buying

In this chapter, the forces that drive the affluent to buy are discussed. Even though they are rich, they are still human and they sometimes feel insecure, need acceptance, and desire recognition. How to use this psychology to sell to them is discussed.

Chapter 10: The Affluent Customer and the Psychology of Feeling

This chapter presents the idea that the price of a product or service is relative. Selling, based on this principle, is discussed. What is being sold is not a ‘thing’ or a service per se. Rather, what is being sold is perceived image and the feeling it provides the buyer. How to appeal to this feeling is discussed.

Chapter 11: The Affluent Customer and the Psychology of Special

This chapter explains that feeling special is emotional, not logical or rational. Feeling special, especially for rich people, involves self-indulgence. Ways of appealing to this feeling are discussed.

Chapter 12: The Affluent Customer and Status

According to Tom Wolfe, the novelist, “all of life is nothing more than an eternal quest for status.” This chapter takes a look at the idea of status, which is measured by money, looks, location and profession. But in the end, status is purely psychological because it is based on comparison. One person compares himself to another. The discussion in this section is about how ‘things’ can confer status to people. And that selling status to the rich involves selling the emotional idea of status to their psyche.

Chapter 13: Affluent Customers and Luxury Items

The chapter demonstrates that luxury goods and services constantly change, because luxury items move down as people move up. For example, certain BMW and Mercedes models are becoming more common. Affluent customers want exclusivity, so they always move up, never down. To provide this exclusivity, a business must be flexible and willing to change its products or services. How to sell exclusivity is explained.

Chapter 14: The Affluent Customer as Aficionado

This chapter explains how to market to areas of zeal, which is that item that a customer will spend any amount of money to own. All rich people, male, or female, have certain weak spots. How to target and sell to those weak spots will be discussed.

Chapter 15: The Affluent Customer as Collector

Collectors are everywhere and many have the wherewithal to indulge their hobby. Marketing to these collectors means utilizing limited editions. Moreover, collectors require information so they can increase their collections. If they do not know it exists or where to find it, they cannot buy it. Selling information to collectors is explained.

Chapter 16: Targeting the Children of Affluent Customers

Affluent people are competitive, which means they desire to provide the best opportunities for their children. Like all parents, the affluent want their children to succeed in school, sports and society. How to appeal to this tendency is explained in this chapter. This chapter will show Elite schools, camps and designer clothing as target areas.

Chapter 17: Targeting the Pets of Affluent Customers

Many rich people are empty-nesters or their children have grown and left. Pets replace the children as objects of affection. What the affluent buy for their pets is discussed, along with how to appeal to this market with luxury items. For example, kennels are out. Private pet-hotels are in.

Chapter 18: Targeting Affluent Single Men

Affluent single men desire winning images in cars, clothing, jewelry, vacations and cuisine. Many of them are athletic and enjoy sports. Therefore, they spend lavishly on themselves and their favorite pursuits. What these men spend their money on is discussed. How to attract and sell to this niche market is examined. For example, 79% of affluent single men state that they are highly likely to indulge themselves. And 75% of this group are brand-aware.

Chapter 19: Affluent Customers and Their Home or Homes

This chapter demonstrates that some wealthy people own multiple homes. They view these homes as investments and take care of them accordingly. What the rich buy for their homes is discussed. How to sell to these multiple home-owners is explained.  For example, many of the affluent purchase properties as investments. Location, profitability, and property management services are important factors. 

Chapter 20: Affluent Customers Dine Out

Rich people eat out frequently, as statistics demonstrate. How to market a restaurant as a destination is discussed. A destination restaurant must provide a dining experience. Price and location have very little to do with destination or experience. Restaurants catering to moneyed customers ($200,000+) require some level of convenience, but are still able to attract patrons from a large surrounding area.  According to the Food, Beverage and Hospitality Association, destination restaurants, which are those catering to the rich and ultra-rich, readily attract patrons from one to two hours away.  Chez Panise, for example, which is an upscale restaurant in San Francisco, has customers that regularly drive over 100 miles to dine there. These factors are examined and explained.

Chapter 21: The Lifestyle of the Affluent

What rich people desire as a lifestyle is discussed in this chapter. They want approval. They want to feel independent, and in control of their destiny. They want to cast off stress. They feel they deserve the best. And they are willing to pay for their desired lifestyle. This section explains how to appeal to these facets of the affluent lifestyle.

Chapter 22: Attracting the Affluent Customer

This chapter gives the three qualities necessary to attract rich customers. Admiration, expertise and convenience are of paramount importance. Each aspect is explained and examples are provided. Rich people are sensitive to phoniness. This chapter will discuss how to avoid coming across as a phony.

Chapter 23: Marketing Directly to the Affluent

In this section, global marketing is discussed. Sellers must go to the buyers. The internet is vital to global marketing. Many sellers maintain that rich people are immune to gimmicks, humor and alternative marketing. This misconception is examined and examples to the contrary are given. Enticements, humor and alternative marketing work, if done correctly. The correct way to accomplish this is presented. 

Chapter 24: Fine-Tuning Direct Marketing to the Affluent

This chapter points out that marketing is never easy. It requires hard work and flexibility. And it should be systematic. Tracking what works is a must. How to think outside the box is explained. Effective marketing is nothing more than communicating in a clear manner. When communication takes place, if the product or service is outstanding, word-of-mouth advertising follows.

Chapter 25: The Doorway to the Affluent

This chapter extols the merits of targeted mailing lists. Without access to pertinent mailing lists, a business is invisible. Invisibility is detrimental for any business. Statistics are provided, showing where the rich live. How to make them aware of your product or service is explained.

Chapter 26: Packaging Is Everything

This chapter demonstrates that it’s image that sells, not products. Selling an image involves semantics, which is the way the seller appeals to the buyer’s emotions. This type of selling is more than a job it is an art. This art requires training and practice. How to do this is explained. How to use semantics to sell the idea of privilege will be discussed.

Chapter 27: Word-of-Mouth Advertising Rules

When selling to the rich, being good is never enough. The service or product must be marvelous. How to be marvelous is explained, because being marvelous generates word-of-mouth referrals. Rich people seek out and trust the referrals of other rich people. How to target rich “connectors” who then go out of their way to recommend a particular company or personal service will be discussed. For example, affluent people choose friends of similar age, race and socio-economic status. They associate with people who live in the same neighborhood and frequent the same places they do. “Connectors,” though, associate with people from every subculture, niche and economic level. A recommendation from a “connector” is more than word-of-mouth advertising, it is viral marketing at its best. The most effective way to identify and connect with “connectors” is through tracking, which will be discussed in this chapter.

Chapter 28: Making Your Business Unique

Boring is the kiss of death for any business or product. Excitement is contagious. This chapter explains how to attain excitement. Promoting a company through publicity is discussed. How the highest price is used to gain publicity.  For example, Burger King sells a $200 hamburger in London.

Chapter 29: Pricing Strategies for the Affluent Customer

The psychology of pricing is discussed, along with how to appeal to status with enhanced or pre-paid package deals. Twenty-percent of affluent customers will move up in price out of habit and a desire for the best. Like everyone else, rich people equate price with quality. How to use this fact to advantage is examined.

Chapter 30: Financial Recessions and the Affluent

Using statistics, this chapter demonstrates how the affluent change spending habits during economic slumps. The 1 percent rule states that 1 percent of the population controls 90-percent of the wealth. How this affects buying habits is discussed.  Selling to the ultra-rich as a method of recession-proofing a business is considered. 

Chapter 31: Seller Psychology

This chapter demonstrates that anyone in any business can make the choice to target the affluent. All that is required is self-confidence, professionalism, and effective marketing.  How such a choice can be fun, rewarding and fulfilling is examined. Also considered in this chapter is the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. How this golden rule is reflected in the seller’s attitude is considered.

Chapter 32: How to be a Successful Seller

This chapter will demonstrate that first impressions are indeed important. Clothing, grooming, and manners are the basis of a successful first impression.  Clear communication, whether about products or services, provides the affluent customer with information and precludes surprises. Affluent customers appreciate this accommodation, which implies expertise and professionalism.  By exuding a confident demeanor, the seller builds confidence in the customer’s decision-making process. These factors will be examined, along with suggestions.

Appendix A:  Resources