3 Considerations when targeting “HENRYs” (High earner, not rich yet)

APA Congress 2017

In today’s quest to effectively reach and target new audiences, one group gaining popularity is the “high earner, not rich yet” consumer, or the HENRY.

The acronym clearly defines why these consumers are so popular: HENRYs have a great possibility for accumulating wealth in the future, coupled with the potential for high discretionary spending in the present.

HENRYs certainly appear to be an audience that can help advertisers reach upwardly mobile consumers. But it’s crucial that marketers remember that this audience—and all broad audience segments—are most useful when adapted and customized to each marketer’s specific needs and goals using additional segmentation.

With that in mind, here are three things to know when effectively targeting HENRYs:

1) How do you classify a HENRY?

The criteria for HENRY classification is a household under 55 years old, with an annual income of more than $100K that’s yet to amass investable assets of $1MM. Equifax IXI Services’ data suggests that 13 percent of U.S. households meet these criteria, with an average of $214K in assets and an income of $136K. They tend to average $68K in annual discretionary spending per household and love to shop online.

2) Not all HENRYs are alike

There’s a three-decade age gap between the youngest and oldest households. Consumers under 30 often behave differently from those older than 40, even if they have the same income. Any brand looking to reach this desirable audience needs to dig deeper by further segmenting the audience to develop their marketing strategy.

3) Understanding HENRY behavioral-spend data

HENRYs are typically concentrated in areas with higher costs of living, which means more of their income goes to living expenses. Hence, evaluating them on discretionary spending capability, rather than just income, helps marketers focus on a group that can more likely afford a brand’s products.

According to IXI data, millennial HENRY households average $86K in annual discretionary spending, nearly $20K more than the group average—likely the lack of fixed costs and a desire to spend more on dining out and entertainment. But remember that lumping HENRYs together by generation is hardly the last step. The number of millennial households with children grows every year, so money previously earmarked for restaurants may now be diverted to childcare.

HENRYs certainly represent an appealing audience for marketers across a variety of different verticals. But rather than viewing HENRYs as one homogenous segment, think of this as a group that met the characteristics and behaviors required to drill down to more detailed, deeply understood sub-segments.

Marketers willing to investigate the differences between groups of HENRYs will see better results when it comes to matching messages to audience segments.

More information on Marketing Solutions from Equifax

Previously published in OracleDataCloud’s blog.