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Wealthy consumers place significant value on sustainability and physical retail

High net worth (HNW) consumers value sustainability and ethical brands, with the majority willing to pay more for products from brands that are committed to sustainability, according to research from Times Media.

Times Media surveyed more than 650 HNW (between £1m-£2m assets or more than £250K assets and between £100k-£200k personal income) consumers and found that 70% would be willing to pay a premium for a brand committed to ethical or sustainable practices.

There was also a general consensus that physical retail remains the way to go for luxury products, with 67% of respondents saying that the love the experience of buying luxury goods in store and 46% solely buying their luxury goods in a physical retail environment.

“Sustainability and ethical practices are now unequivocally non-negotiable. And the ongoing pleasure taken in physical retail is about the value of experience for this cohort – the enjoyment of luxury is often as much in the experience as the product,” said Kate Reardon, Editor in Chief of Times Luxury.

Moreover, the research revealed the importance of newsbrands in influencing brand purchasing choices amongst wealthy consumers. Travel (67%), cars (65%), and luxury fashion (59%), in particular, were found to be key markets where newsbrands influence buying habits.

“We commissioned this research as this is an audience that is hard to reach and sometimes harder to understand. The HNW consumer isn’t just a walking wallet, they are sophisticated and knowledgeable with a plethora of interests and passions. What connects them is an intelligent and considered approach to their consumption, whether that be consumer goods or choice of media,” said Victoria Trimmer, Client Director – Luxury and Fashion at Times Media.

“When it comes to brand choice, it is encouraging to see the extent to which sustainability is now a key decision driver for this audience. The enduring appeal of physical retail for HNW audiences is another interesting finding, and highlights the importance of brand building, which newsbrands such as The Times are very effective at doing.”

*News UK (owner of Times Media) is a client of Bluestripe Communications, owned by Bluestripe Group, publisher of NDA