Such goods could be dairy or other food products from New Zealand, cosmetics or skin care products from Japan, or leather goods from Europe. Upper-middle-class consumers in the region are willing to trade up and spend more only if they are convinced of the technical, functional, and emotional benefits of a product or service. In fact, they can be quick to complain and discredit a product or service provider if they encounter low quality, misrepresentation, or another indication of poor value.
If companies are to win over this valuable consumer segment, they should consider three actions. Taking Advantage of Digital Tools. Digital media and e-commerce are powerful ways to reach the upper middle class in Asia. These consumers tend to use social media to advocate for brands they like. They also use social media to figure out which products to buy next.
Burberry and Louis Vuitton are already active on the Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo; both also have official accounts on the popular mobile messaging service Weixin known outside China as WeChat. And, as is the case with affluent consumers in the West, upper-middle-class consumers in Asia often look at a product online as well as offline before deciding whether to buy it. E-commerce can also fill in gaps in supply availability. After all, a product not available through any retailer in a smaller city can often be ordered on a website and delivered directly to the customer.
Anecdotal evidence suggests there is already a lot of online commerce in tier 2, tier 3, and lower-tier Asian cities—much of it involving upper-middle-class consumers. The Economic Times recently quoted Amazon as saying that more than half its orders for luxury brands including Tumi, Versace, and Roberto Botticelli in India were coming from smaller cities such as Jaipur, Indore, and Coimbatore.
Thinking Globally as Well as Locally. Affluent Asian travelers bring their overseas experiences home, and their cultures shape their expectations when they travel abroad. Many makers of luxury brands have begun to cater to these consumers and have been hiring more retail personnel who speak Asian languages for their stores in locations popular with Asian tourists, such as Paris. Upper-middle-class travelers frequently return to their home markets with new interests. When Thai consumers find something they like while traveling abroad, they often write about it on Pantip, the widely used Thai-language discussion forum.
Local Thai companies then look for ways to offer similar products. Retailers and brands can take advantage of this phenomenon by staying on top of traveler trends and making sure their brand image and messaging are consistent across all channels. Some companies might even want to introduce changes in their organizations that make it easier for them to serve Asian upper-middle-class consumers, regardless of which countries the consumers happen to be in.
Targeting the Younger Generation. Article history. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. Abstract Travel abroad for healthcare has increased rapidly; interventions include organ transplant; cardiac surgery; reproductive care; and joint, cosmetic, and dental procedures.
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