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History: Wealthy Blue Collar Segment

By Sarah Fallaw on Jun 2nd, 2015 in Studying the Wealthy

How did the concept of The Millionaire Next Door begin? Below is a bit of history, originally published on the timeline:

When did Dr. Stanley first profile the Millionaire Next
Door population? Originally he used a different title in
defining this segment. Dr. Stanley first coined the
“Wealthy Blue Collar Segment” in a paper he wrote
entitled “Market Segmentation: Utilizing Investment
Determinants.” He presented this paper on October 10, 1979
at the sales/marketing conference of the Securities
Industries Association held in New York City.
The paper was later published under the title of “Brokers
to Use Proactive Market Segmentation for Success in the
’80s” on November 30, 1979 by The American Marketing
Association. Earlier, in May 1979, Stanley was asked by the
New York Stock Exchange to develop a set of marketing
implications and recommendations based upon its then
recently completed national survey of the investment
patterns and attitudes of 2,741 households. This provided
the base for the paper cited above.
A key point made by Stanley in his paper is as follows:
…the (investment) industry has attracted a high
portion of customers who are or aspire to be upper middle
class…Look at other segments for new life support.
Opportunities exist in segments that they industry has
ignored for years…(members of) the “really big
segment”…the Wealthy Blue Collar do not need to purchase
the expensive artifacts that are part of the white collar
worker’s status knapsack…the discretionary income of the
Wealthy Blue Collar segment presents a great
opportunity…in terms of population and long run
potential.
At the time of Stanley’s presentation he realized that the
blue collar/millionaire next door segment did exist and
that it was likely to be a sizeable one, yet ignored by
many marketers. Not long after he identified this market,
he discovered how very large it indeed was.

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