Recently, a global bank observed a fascinating shift taking place in people’s attitudes towards value and wealth. And it decided to investigate.
The bank was HSBC and it was observing the trend relating to ‘HSBC Jade’ – its personalised relationship management, advanced wealth solutions and luxury lifestyle service.
Clients’ priorities seemed increasingly to be around living purposefully, pursuing self-improvement, giving back to society and enjoying quality experiences with friends and family – in a word: ‘enrichment’.
“For those without wealth, capital represents security,” says Laura Warby, Director of Strategic Insights at Crowd DNA, to whom HSBC Jade turned to explore the shift. “Once people have achieved security, they seek to find a greater purpose for their wealth, to give it meaning and to have impact for themselves and others.”
HSBC Jade wanted to develop an acute understanding of the drivers behind this trend and, eventually, to support clients by curating a list of experiences that could deliver the kind of enrichment they sought.
Crowd DNA began the investigations: in-depth, qualitative and ethnographic research across three continents to identify the factors that could contribute towards a rewarding life, from wellbeing and self-improvement, to mentoring, education, and travel.
Next came Scorpio Partnership, a consultancy to the financial sector with a focus on the global wealth industry, which conducted a quantitative survey of 979 participants who matched the project’s target demographic. Finally, futurists from The Future Laboratory added their insight.
The results were enlightening:
- 77 per cent believed it was more important for them to grow as a person than to grow their wealth.
- 73 per cent felt the passing on of values was the most important factor for leaving a personal legacy. However, nearly a third (31 per cent) said they didn’t feel they’ve achieved a legacy for society yet.
Having identified ‘enrichment’ as a driving force in the lives of clients, the next step was to inspire them with ways to achieve this. The result was the ‘Enrich List’ – a portfolio of 50 life-changing experiences from around the globe, designed to appeal to a wide range of motivational drivers and organised under four key pillars: Curated Adventure, Ultimate Wellbeing, A Purposeful Life and Game Changers.
Curated Adventure offers transformative voyages of discovery such as the Dinner da Vinci in which participants enjoy a private viewing of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ in Milan's Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie, before savouring an exclusive supper of their own in the presence of the masterpiece.
Ultimate Wellbeing experiences represent an investment in the most important kind of wealth: physical and mental wellbeing. They include neuro-enhancing treatments in the vanguard of modern science juxtaposed with back-to-nature wellness journeys, such as one through Japan that takes in traditional forest bathing and a diet of Buddhist devotional cuisine.
A Purposeful Life curates experiences, such as those offered by Justice Travel, that combine tourism and leisure with activism, philanthropy and aid.
And finally, Game Changers items serve those seeking self-discovery – a desire to step outside one’s comfort zone – and include Enrich List challenges such as the Quantum Leadership experience. Delivered at the Sangha Retreat in the historic garden city of Suzhou, China, the programme blends mindfulness, sustainability and wellness.
“[A decade ago] there was a focus on status and acquisition but that soon shifted from products to access - the ability to purchase exclusive backstage moments,” explains Martin Raymond, Co-founder of The Future Laboratory.
“Then things moved to how you could use wealth to buy into unique experiences but now the meaning of experience has shifted to one that involves enrichment, betterment and mentoring,” he says, describing this trajectory as a move “from products to purpose”.
Raymond insists that the change in attitudes to wealth, consumption and luxury is profound. And evidence bears this out: the road to riches is followed by the path to enrichment, it would seem, and it’s a popular route.