Breaking Down China’s Mass Affluent Classes into 5 categories

It’s no secret that during the past decade, China has re-emerged as a world super-power, and we have seen the emergence of a new middle class that is more affluent, and bigger spending, than almost any other demographic anywhere in the world.

But targeting this demographic has not always been easy. What are their characteristics? Where do they like to shop? And for what?

A new report from Jing Daily and Carat has done more than most to break down China’s “Mass Affluent Class” into groups that marketers can understand better, by focusing on “M.A.C” Males.

According to the report, this demographic are aged between 25-40, and they are better educated and more internationally-focused than the generations that preceded them. They like to enjoy themselves, seeking out new leisure and entertainment experiences, see themselves as more sophisticated that their forebears, and they are not as keen on status symbol based activities, such as golf.

But the report is at pains to explain that M.A.C’s are not all the same. Far from it, in fact, hence Jing Daily and Carat have broken them down into 5 very different categories:

Aficionados, Skeptics, Epicureans, Aspirants and the Bling Kings.

Whilst all 5 groups overlap in terms of tastes, behaviour and aspirations, they all have different things in common, and if you are in the business of selling to them, you had better not get them confused!

Whilst none of the five disparate groups are “in it for the money”, the Bling Kings, for example, are louder, and showier than more “sophisticated and refined” Aficionados, or realistic and focused Skeptics.

Like the Bling Kings, Aspirants are spontaneous and enjoy the limelight the most, whilst Epicureans are perhaps the most balanced, entrepreneurial and visionary.

Epicureans, the report reveals, make good entrepreneurs, although Bling Kings and Aspirants are great at seizing opportunities and grabbing opportunities with both hands.

Each of the separate groups are tight knit and hard to break into. Aspirants and Bling Kings are self-referential, and use Wechat to plan parties and social occasions, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, Aficionados and Skeptics prefer to listen before they speak and are likely to talk about business, or engage in carefully planned and executed chit-chat.

What all M.A.C males have in common is that they have high expectations, can be demanding, and don’t rely on old-fashioned means of determining social status.

Marketers are likely to have to work twice as hard as ever to keep pace with their rapidly changing tastes.

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