There’s a new breed of affluent and influential consumers who every brand should want as advocates, according to new research from Ipsos.

‘Affluencers’, the research firm says, are wealthy and successful people with refined tastes. They are highly informed, well connected and, crucially, willing to voice opinions that influence others.

They are the top spenders across several categories, but most importantly they have the “loudest voices” among their cohorts with a “disproportionate impact on others’ opinions and behavior”.

Many appear regularly in the media, writing articles and speaking at conferences or public gatherings. These ‘affluencers’ are also bigger users of Twitter and LinkedIn than other people in the well-off category. And they are big users of all forms of media for education and to gain information.

“These are the people you want as advocates of your brand,” IPSOS said, as it highlighted the new group in its latest Affluent Asia survey, reported by Campaign Asia.

The firm analysed data across 11 countries, interviewing over 24,000 people aged 25 to 64, who were selected from the top 18% of the population based on household income – a percentage that amounts to 20.6 million people across the region.

Within the group of well-off people surveyed, who now have a mean annual income equivalent to €33,123, Ipsos found that affluencers are a clear subset with distinctive attitudes and lifestyles.

Targeting the group depends on understanding their values. According to the survey, 240 affluencers say they have expensive tastes, 173 are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products, and 169 say they choose premium goods and services.

Asia’s wealthy in general are big consumers of both traditional and digital media, the survey said. The amount of time affluent people spend each day reading newspapers and magazines was up by two minutes and four minutes respectively from the previous year’s report.

TV watching was down by four minutes, but time spent on phone apps was up by eight minutes.

“Affluent people [are] embracing advancements in the digital world without losing sight of the value of traditional media,” Ipsos noted.

Sourced from Campaign Asia; additional content by WARC staff