Tastes Of The UK’s Richest: Leveraging Their Diversity

The UK’s wealthiest 1% (about 570,000 people) show a clear tendency towards mid-level goods and love digital, research has shown. High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) are significantly more tech-savvy than other demographics (yet still love more traditional channels such as TV), and also fancy both high-end and everyday products. As you can imagine, this presents a significant challenge to marketers.

The profile of the richest 1% in the UK

According to research conducted by CACI Data Lab, an overwhelming majority of HNWIs are men (71%) aged 55+ with an income that exceeds a million pounds. They are all digital-savvy and are likely to reside in a home in London (including nearby areas) or the South with no children living under the same roof.

More than half (60%) of them are employed while 97% of them have made an online purchase in the past year (64% buy occasionally and 33% frequently). However, many of them (40%) research in-store before making an online purchase. Interestingly the inverse seems to be true for women however. Their preference is to research online first and then walk into a shop to buy what they need. They also don’t trust a display advertisement as much as a TV advert.


  • Almost 70% read digital magazines or newspapers.
  • Slightly over 15% are on social networks.
  • 20% watch films and TV online.
  • 67% use their mobile devices or computers to check their investments.
  • 62% manage their accounts online.

Compared to other people of the same age, HNWIs are hugely digital, despite the fact that almost 85% of them are not on social media. The content they view online is nearly twice the content an average person views in the UK.

Almost 85% of HNWIs are not on social media, despite being digital-savvy

What do they favour?

When it comes to making a purchase, the wealthiest 1% don’t always opt for upmarket products. For instance, the go-to retail shop for 97% of HNWIs is Sainsbury’s (2x that of the general population), followed by Waitrose and Tesco. Only 17% visit Marks & Spencer.

It seems that even though they have the means to make extravagant holidays overseas, their most preferred destinations are in the UK and Ireland. Also, almost two-thirds take package holidays.

For their everyday relaxation, HNWIs love watching TV (72%), having a nice dinner out (89%), reading books, newspapers or magazines (88%), buying and cooking organic foods (82%), working out and sport (80%), and finally gardening (80%).  

The data from brands reveal that there is much marketers can do to reach out to HNWIs. However, to do so effectively, you need to understand your customer base first before you start targeting through data if you really want to satisfy the needs of HNWIs completely.  


James Leighton Davis is a Customer Acquisition Consultant, Interim Digital Director and NED, primarily for PE-and-VC-backed companies across B2C, B2B and D2C markets in both the UK and Australia. Further information is available at leightondavis.com. 


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