Rich Indonesians 'want it all'

26 October 2010

JAKARTA: Affluent consumers in Indonesia are changing their values regarding a range of societal issues, experts have said.

Delegates at Nielsen's inaugural Consumer 360 Conference, held in Jakarta, Indonesia, heard that the group are becoming more conscious of issues pertaining to health and well being as well as increasingly investing in their children's prospects.

Affluent consumers in Indonesia number around 10 million, which equates to 1.2% of the population of Jakarta.

Although relatively small in number, these consumers represent enormous potential for marketers looking to increase margins, build brand loyalty and encourage powerful word-of-mouth endorsements.

Affluent Indonesians regularly spend in excess of 15 million rupiah (about US$1.7m, €1.2m) on routine monthly household expenditures.

"They now want it all – look good, feel good, be spiritually fulfilled and are also looking at healthy eating options such as organic rice," Karmelia Nurdjalim, executive director for consumer research at Nielsen Indonesia, said.

She went on to explain that the group would not be deterred from buying if products and services that were considered beneficial to health and well-being carried significantly higher-than-usual price points.

Another trend is for affluent Indonesians to send their children abroad to be educated, with more than 50,000 Indonesians students studying overseas.

Nurdjalim added: "This trend has not gone unnoticed by financial services firms, some of which are already offering global financial services that facilitate overseas education."

To understand the subtleties of the group further, delegates at the conference were provided with Five Guiding Principles for How to Reach the Rich.

The first important insight for marketers is that privileges extended to a bigger group or the 'mass affluent' are not privileges in the eyes of the affluent segment.

Another marketing tip would be to capitalise on the nation's attraction to marketing promotions but ensure that, when targeting this group, these reflect the privileged lifestyles involved.

The importance of flexibility to these affluent consumers was emphasised.

Flexibility was cited by the majority as the most important factor when choosing between platinum credit cards.

Exclusivity is another benefit that if compromised will result in the affluent consumer seeking other providers.

Nurdjalim stressed the importance of maintaining the ‘purity' of this segment by defining target markets very carefully.

Finally, delegates were led to understand that 'want it all' Indonesians are anxious for recognition of their social positioning and that this is often manifested through conspicuous consumption.

Data Sourced from Nielsen; additional content by WARC staff.