Affluent men are status-conscious. So are affluent women. But according to American Demographics, men and women perceive status and status enhancement in different ways. Men compete with other men for status. It is a competition based on pure comparison. The comparison takes place at every level. Cars, houses, watches, clothes, yachts, cigars, and yes, athletics.
When an affluent male sees another affluent male who appears to have more status, the game is on. It is not about the game, it is about winning the game. Which explains why Larry Ellison ordered a new yacht to replace his old one. While cruising the Mediterranean, Ellison pulled into Monaco for the night. To his dismay, his yacht was the second-longest in the harbor. The longest yacht belonged to Paul Allen, who founded Microsoft along with Bill Gates. Larry Ellison had to have the biggest yacht in the harbor. And his yacht had to have the finest and most luxurious appointments. So Ellison immediately ordered a new yacht to be custom-built for him. It would be fifty feet longer than Paul Allen’s yacht.
For affluent men, status is a “gut” reaction and involves what they perceive as a “winning image.” This winning image is established by marketing in popular media outlets: magazines, the internet, television. Affluent men see what other affluent men are buying, so they buy too. In other words, they buy what they see every day, because what they see every day is what they come to desire. To validate themselves and their status, affluent men want what their peers have and, if possible, something a little bit better.
Understanding how to appeal to the psychology of affluent male customers is vital to the success of any business or individual catering to them. This, in turn, necessitates asking a lot of questions, because male customers prefer to get right to the point. They know what they want—improved status. Often, though, they are not sure how to attain it. This is where branding enters the picture. Affluent men, because of their competitive drive for the winning image, are susceptible to the influence of branding.
They eat Wheaties for breakfast because Tom Brady does. They wear a Rolex watch because Donald Trump does. Steve Jobs drinks diet Pepsi, so they do too. Brady, Trump and Jobs have winning images. Other affluent men want that same winning image. They wish for it and dream of it. They will buy it because it is for sale. Marketing creates their desired reality by means of branding, and brand association. Winners are associated with winning brands.
Branding implies that buying the brand will provide the winning image. The need for the winning image is psychological. Basically, there are two ways to appeal to the need: through the eyes, and through the ears. This means the appeal is made by marketing, and advertising.