Who has influence over London's ultra-rich?

Written by
Fifty Team

25 Jul, 2021

The ultra-rich are a niche demographic, but they are a growing cohort. In fact, by 2023 the number of Ultra-high Net-worth Individuals (UHNW) living in London is predicted to increase from 4,944 to 6,015 – the highest concentration of UHNW in the world. While their numbers are relatively few, their purchasing power makes them highly valuable for luxury brands and yet most are still resistant to marketing to the ultra-rich using modern, digital strategies. It may be partly from a false belief that the exclusivity of ultra-rich consumers means they don’t exist online. But they are a part of digital culture as much as the average consumer, with 98% of HNWI accessing the internet and apps daily and 85% using three or more digital devices according to a report by PwC.

It is imperative for luxury brands to not only reach these customers through traditional marketing avenues, but to embrace advanced audience intelligence and digital targeting strategies in order to develop new campaigns that resonant with the ultra-rich.

Influencing the Affluent

The typical rules of influencer marketing need not apply when it comes to UHNWI. They are not easily swayed by online personas or celebrity, rather the sphere of influence that attracts them is much smaller. Putting this group through the Fifty platform, we discovered 14 different tribes within London’s ultra-rich to find the people or companies that rank as highly influential to them. Across all 14 tribes, only one luxury brand surfaced amongst the top 25 influencers: iconic retailer Harrods. Otherwise, the top 25 influencers is populated with publications like How To Spend It and Wallpaper* magazine, British cultural institutions such as the V&A and Tate art galleries and two of the UK’s most famous figures: Richard Branson and London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Leading influencers of the London Ultra-Rich as seen on the Fifty platform.

If you dig into specific tribes, it is apparent that media publications have the most influence amongst the ultra-rich regardless of their niche interests. In the City Property Investors tribe – the third largest tribe within the overall audience – The Evening Standard, The Telegraph, BBC News, The Independent, The Times of London, The Sunday Times and The Daily Mail are all in their top 10 list of influencers. For Fine Art Collectors, whose interests veer more into aesthetics and culture, The Guardian, i-D magazine and The New Yorker surface within the tribe’s top 10.

How to reach the Ultra-Rich

In order to reach this audience online, it is critical that brands are able to reach UHNWI where they already exist converge. This means understanding their online behaviours and habits through a sophisticated analysis of their digital footprint. It also means not assuming that just because they are a niche demographic, they are all the same.

Take two of the largest tribes to come out Fifty’s analysis of London’s ultra-rich: City Property Investors and Luxury Property & Design. While they sound quite similar, delving into each we can see a number of differences which would fundamentally shape a marketing campaign.

City Property Investors, a key portion within London's ultra rich audience as seen on the Fifty platform.
City Property Investors

City Property Investors are a predominantly male tribe with an ideologically conservative-leaning bent. Top influential publications for this group include the Daily Mail, The Times and The Telegraph and unsurprisingly property-related domains were amongst their top visited such as Estates Gazette, Property Week and Knight Frank. Compare that to our Luxury Property & Design tribe, whose focus is more squarely on the aesthetics of property, with this group describing themselves with words like “architecture”, “furniture” and “design” in their bios. This group also skews much more female, and slightly younger, with more prevalent mobile phone habits than the previous tribe.

Luxury Property & Design Lovers, a key portion of London's ultra rich audience.
Luxury Property & Design

If a company were to just to target based on a demographic of ‘ultra-rich’ without understanding their interests or who they find influential, they could potentially alienate tribes within the larger audience.

With Fifty, luxury brands can discover the nuances of their audience, and then deploy media planning strategies to target them where they exist across both social and the open web. 

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