From “Bling Kings” to “Aficionados”—they are covered in How to Impress China’s Mass Affluent Males, a new report out from Jing Daily, the Chinese news and research service that specifically covers the luxury market in China. Together with Carat, a global media and marketing firm, Jing has produced a concise sketch of the demographic group (and its key components) that drives the most lucrative consumer segment in the world’s largest country market. We’ve digested the report as follows.
The dramatic boom in China’s economy in the last decade has resulted in the growth of the largest group of mass affluent class ever. With this new change, brands grapple to understand this increasingly sophisticated group. Carat’s latest report on China’s mass affluent class males (M.A.C males) gives us a glimpse of who they are, their perception on entrepreneurship and how they make an impression today.
Share of Monthly Household Income†
† Figures are in Chinese yuan; 1,000 = $145
This new generation of M.A.C males between 25 and 40 years old, are different from their past generation counterparts. Having everything handed to them on a silver platter, with higher education and more international exposure, China’s M.A.C males have become more sophisticated and refined. They seek experiential leisure activities centered on their personal enjoyment, such as traveling, swimming and leisure driving as compared to the more status-based activities, such as golf, a preference enjoyed by previous generations
Comparison between New & Old Affluent Males
Carat’s report divides M.A.C. males into five groups:
- Bling Kings
—Aficionados and Epicureans are connoisseurs of style and fashion, always willing to experiment with new styles and technology.
—Aspirants and Bling Kings are more spontaneous and love to be in the limelight.
—For Aficionados and Epicureans, entrepreneurship is about being unique, visionary and making people’s lives easier.
—Aspirants and Bling Kings on the other hand believe that entrepreneurship should be more about intuition and leveraging the right opportunities.
—All five groups are in agreement that it is not just about making money but about making lives more convenient. For them, key areas of interest topics within entrepreneurship includes IoT, IoV, e-commerce, O2O and cross-industries development. Social entrepreneurship is an unfamiliar concept to them and often riddled with misconceptions. Social entrepreneurship is often confused with NGOs, environmental protection and charities.
—M.A.C males consume entrepreneurship content directly from famous and established international and local Chinese business and tech entrepreneurs who they are most familiar with such as Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Ma and Li Kai Fu. These affluent males actively rely on their digital devices but have low susceptibility to ads specifically for the highly sophisticated Aficionados, Skeptics and Epicureans.
—They seek out content directly related to their industry of interest instead of “entrepreneurship” as a topic. They demand details, substantiated opinions and are not satisfied with overgeneralized content. Search engines are their gateway to these more in-depth information and clarifications. Mobile is their preferred platform for day-today quick information and discussions. Immediacy, personalization and O2O are increasingly expected as a norm.
—M.A.C males place a lot of trust on a very close knit group of peers and associates for opinions and thought leadership in order to form their own perspective.
Top 10 TV Program Genres Watched in the Past Year
Top 10 Internet Video Genres Watched in the Past Year
- Brands need to break into tight knit groups through content exchanges with respected and established entrepreneurs in order to capture their attention. They should inspire them through people they look up to and showcase details on how they can apply these learnings into their own ambitions.
- “Impress” as a concept has shifted away from a blatant show of status and wealth to one of sophistication, intelligence and influence. The aim of making an impression is to obtain admiration, respect and at the same time be trendsetting. This is done by making a good impression, being fluent in multiple languages, showing interest in cultured lifestyle activities and showcasing detailed knowledge in an interest or hobby.
- Aficionados and Epicureans are more discerning, they listen and observe before they converse to impress through business or lifestyle conversations. Brand communications have since shifted to highlight craftsmanship and heritage over bling. This is done with the aim of creating brand appreciation through storytelling with substance to capture M.A.C males’ attention.
- Aspirants and Bling Kings try to impress by starting conversations about themselves and their experiences. Their consumption driven lifestyles are opportunities to impress. Occasions to party are both ad hoc and planned, with WeChat becoming the ecosystem critical to their party regiment and a platform to showcase their experiences and influence. Providing exclusive content or experiences allows new M.A.C males to gain bragging rights about the first-to-know.
“Overall, the days of simply flashing one’s brand in front of the new generation M.A.C male is over,” the report concludes. “With their increasing demands for substance and sophistication, brands need to shift much more into engagement in order to be part of the storyline.”