From Publishers Weekly
Marketing consultant Taylor and branding specialist Harrison mine success stories of the truly rich to learn how they acquired their fortunes, whether it has changed them and how they live their lives. Arguing that the wealthy are poorly understood by the average American, the media and marketers of high-end products, the authors contend that accurately understanding this group is critical for success in the marketing, sales, product development, branding and advertising fields. They dispel the myth that most of the rich have inherited their money and reveal the socioeconomic factors behind their self-made rises to success. Exploring how the rich spend their money and what influences their buying decisions, the authors identify the five classes of the newly wealthy with distinct reactions to the value and purpose of money—neighbors, wrestlers, patrons, mavericks and directors—groups that greatly differ in their lifestyles and financial attitudes. Charts and graphs throughout distill key data into easy-to-grasp nuggets, lending clarity to this book whose fresh take on the habits of the American economic elite will be indispensable to marketers. (Sept.)
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*Starred Review* Whom would you label as “truly wealthy”? According to market researchers Taylor and Doug Harrison, who have studied more than 6,000 individuals in four years, the answer is a cool $5 million in liquid assets. But that’s where the commonalities end. Emphasizing their roots in marketing science, the authors spin a fascinating, statistically illustrated narrative of the—surprise!—hardworking, middle-class small-business owners, beginning with a retrospective of the four historical phases of American wealth creation: agrarian, industrial, corporate, and entrepreneurial. They delve into shopping and acquisition tendencies, discuss offspring’s attitudes toward work and wealth, and validate the growing philanthropy of the wealth boomers. Yet differences exist, as in their five lifestyle typologies: neighbors, who don’t change their lives; wrestlers, dealing with paradoxes; mavericks, using the motto “In Me I Trust”; directors, who consider money as essential to living the good life; and patrons, giving back to civilization. Throughout, the charts and percentages are enlivened with real-people stories, including Jim McCann, head of 1-800-FLOWERS, who realized $20 million after the company’s IPO. Great reading, even better inspiration for millionaires-to-be. --Barbara Jacobs