Numbering around 29 million – out of a worldwide millennial population of 950 million – these "super-charged" affluent millennials are crucial to brands, the research suggested, because they are the opinion leaders of today and tomorrow.
They are very global in their outlook and have a deep emotional relationship with their favourite brands, according to Andrew Tenzer, Head of Insight at BBC Global News, which surveyed more than 3,000 affluent millennials across 31 markets.
Writing in the current issue of Admap, Tenzer explained that the research identified three segments of this affluent millennial cohort – "the crowd", who are attitudinally no different to non-affluent millennials, "the understated", who have only a fleeting relationship with brands, and the strongly brand-conscious "super-charged".
He said brands should concentrate their marketing efforts on these young consumers because "they are more influential in business, early adopters of the latest technology, opinion leaders and commercially receptive brand ambassadors".
Drilling down into the detail, the BBC study used GlobalWebIndex, the industrywide planning tool, to rate these super-charged millennials against their other affluent millennial peers.
When asked, "My favourite brand plays an integral role in my life", the super-charged indexed at 386, or substantially higher than the understated (103) and the crowd (90).
Similarly, when asked if "I regularly inform friends and family on new products / services", the super-charged millennials indexed at 286 compared with 133 for the understated and 87 for the crowd.
"Having the latest technology products is very important to me" indexed at 316 among the super-charged, but just 150 and 81 for the understated and the crowd respectively.
Finally, in an assessment of affluent millennials as senior business decision makers, the super-charged indexed at 444 compared to 275 for the understated and 191 for the crowd.
"One of the things we wanted to do with this research was make it actionable for agencies and advertisers," Tenzer said. "Even though we applied a filter of affluence, closer analysis of the data revealed that not all affluent millennials are the same."
Data sourced from Admap