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Many entrepreneurs and businesses aim for the largest possible customer base, focused on seeing a strong return based on everyday consumers, but could aiming for wealthy customers be the way to go for SMEs?

Who are your customers? This is the all-important question that entrepreneurs and business managers must ask themselves when establishing a project. And with Asia-Pacific leading the world when it comes to growth in the private wealth sector, services exclusively eyeing the wealthy are on the rise.

Statistics published earlier this year by global business consulting firm the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) revealed that the Asia-Pacific region had the strongest growth in private wealth worldwide, reporting that the sector saw a 30.5 per cent rise ($37.0 trillion) last year alone.

The potential for customer bases with higher incomes is growing, providing further opportunities for businesses looking to capitalise on this particular market.

Catering to a wealthy clientele often involves creating a level of exclusivity, a service that consumers under a certain income bracket aren’t able to participate in. It may sound a little cutthroat to the “little guy,” but a business looking for affluent consumers needs to be able to provide their clients with a level of prestige in order to secure a following.

Often times, all it takes is a twist on a proven service, one that takes an idea aiming for everyday consumers and closes it in on the wealthy.

Take Netropolitan for example, a recently launched social media networking site with membership fees starting at $9,000. Basically, it’s a type of Facebook – for the wealthy. The advertising-free website describes itself as “the online country club for people with more money than time”.

US composer James Touchi-Peters founded the site, telling CNN that he saw an opportunity to cater for the wealthy wishing to interact without any ‘backlash’.

“I saw a need for an environment where you could talk about the finer things in life without backlash — an environment where people could share similar likes and experiences,” Peters said.

Apart from the substantial joining fees, Netropolitan has yearly fees of $3,000.

Netropolitan serves as an example of a business venture looking to take advantage of the growing number of wealthy customers. SMEs don’t necessarily need to raise significant capital to attract a wealthy clientele, just the workings of a prestigious service.

Ultimately, a few loyal customers paying higher fees could be more beneficial than a large amount of clients providing small bits of revenue. This theory is, of course, bound to differ from business to business, but it is one that should be considered by SMEs looking for customers with deep pockets.