Luxury Institute News

February 11, 2016

Chanel, Hermès rank as top brands worth premium pricing: survey

Luxury Daily
By: Jen King
February 11, 2016

The popularity of a widely bought brand does not always sync with consumers’ perception of its value and luxury credentials, according to a new survey by the Luxury Institute.

For its Luxury Brand Status Index series, Luxury Institute surveyed affluent women from seven of the world’s wealthiest nations to gain insights on which brands hold the most clout in terms of quality, exclusivity, social status and overall ownership. Consumer opinion is tied to whether she feels the asking price of a premium product is worth it and correlates directly to the brand’s perceived value by those who shop it frequently and those who aspire to do so.

“Luxury and premium brands  provide their customers quality and expertly crafted products and deliver them with empathy, trustworthiness and generosity to build client relationships,” said Milton Pedraza, founder and CEO of Luxury Institute.

“The result is a compelling product paired with an experience that cannot be found within the mass market,” he said. “These brands have a compelling value proposition that appeals to affluent women.”

Luxury Institute’s “2016 Global Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) – Women’s Fashion” surveyed 3,999 affluent women from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, China and Japan. The women surveyed gave more than four dozen brands a score of 0-10 based on the following prompts: This brand delivers consistently superior quality; This brand is truly unique and exclusive; This brand is purchased by people who are admired and respected and This brand makes its buyers feel special across the full customer experience.

Flexing credentials
The value of a luxury product is not solely based on market retail price, but rather a combination of quality, exclusivity and pride of ownership. If a brand is popular it is not a true representation of its luxury credentials.

For example, U.S. fashion label Calvin Klein is immensely popular among affluent women, with most consumers likely to have purchased from the brand in the past year. However, Calvin Klein’s popularity does not translate to a high LBSI score, with the brand placing at the bottom of Luxury Institute’s overall ratings.

Similarly, the most popular fashion brands among women in the U.S. are Calvin Klein, Polo Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors. While popular and on the lower end of the price spectrum in relation to higher-end brands, these labels are not always associated with the exclusivity of true luxury.

michael kors.resort16
Michael Kors, resort 2016

Familiarity and popularity status does not always translate to increased sales, either.

While France’s Chanel was the most familiar fashion house among respondents, the atelier only placed second when respondents were asked which brand they plan to purchase from next. Based on next purchase plans, Chanel placed behind Calvin Klein and ahead of Polo Ralph Lauren and Burberry.

If a consumer agrees that a brand is worth premium prices, it is often an indication of the brand’s overall value. As such, affluent women ranked Chanel and French leather goods maker Hermès as the two fashion houses most worth their premium asking prices, followed by Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Prada.

Hermes shoe fw 2014
Hermès fall/winter 2014

To highlight value and justify high price tags, luxury brands often communicate their message of worth through the use of craftsmanship. Chanel most recently took this approach to express the value of its most exclusive collection, its couture offerings.

To do so, Chanel took consumers inside its house to cultivate exclusivity and mystery.

The latest chapter of the ongoing Inside Chanel series focuses on the creation of the brand’s haute couture clothing. While the reveal will satisfy the modern consumer’s craving for transparency, the breakneck speed of the video and repeated use of Coco Chanel quotes maintains the brand’s more enigmatic aspects (see story).

Still from Inside Chanel Chapter 13
Still from Inside Chanel N°13 

Luxury brands are also adept in customer experience and making the consumer feel special. The LBSI results showed that a mix of well-established and newer brands are well-versed in this area, with Hermès, Temperley London, Chanel, Brunello Cucinelli and Proenza Schouler as the top five.

Despite an increase in digital communications, the luxury space still relies heavily on word of mouth recommendations. Word of mouth remains as the best measure of satisfaction if a consumer has enjoyed her experience with a brand’s products and services.

Globally, affluent women who partook in the survey are most likely to recommend Loro Piana, Chanel, Hermès, Akris and Brunello Cucinelli to family and close friends.

Smaller, boutique labels proved themselves within the survey responses as well, showing that a brand does not need a rich heritage to resonate with affluent consumers when considering value and standing.

“It was interesting to see that boutique luxury brands such as Temperley London, Brunello Cucinelli and Proenza Schouler scored nearly as high as well established luxury brands such as Hermès and Chanel,” Mr. Pedraza said.

“Specifically, Proenza Schouler received an overall 7.66 LBSI, higher than luxury veterans such as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Prada,” he said. “The luxury customer base is open to less recognized brands that are able to provide an exclusive and unique product paired with an exceptional customer experience.

“Brands can no longer rely heavily on their rich heritage and recognition to keep clients loyal as competition increases and customers recognize the value of boutique brands.”

Measures of desire
Having an understanding of which brands are most desirable within a particular market can help labels structure strategies in that location.

Exclusivity and desirability go hand in hand for China’s wealthy, with the same brands ranked in the top five for both characteristics in a new study by Promise Consulting and BNP Exane.

Hermès takes home top prize for exclusivity, which measures the consistent quality of goods, the brand’s prestige, the valuation of the brand’s customers and its ability to justify a high price point. Chinese consumers are generally becoming more sophisticated luxury consumers, making for tougher competition between labels for their attention and affection (see story).

Likewise, an in depth understanding of consumer behavior in different markets is also useful as brands navigate the likes and interests of various demographics.

As the luxury landscape continues to evolve and geopolitical turmoil affects emerging markets, the brands that will come out on top must be able to adapt to the resulting consumer behavior.

On Sept. 29 in New York, part of a 15-city world tour of sorts, Albatross Global Solutions shared insights from its annual research study “The Journey of the Luxury Consumer” to better understand motivators, the purchase journey and the consumer landscape on a global scale. A key finding has been the definition of luxury itself as consumer interest has developed from a desire for exclusivity to wanting ensured craftsmanship from the high-end brands they interact with (see story).

Raising a brand’s standing among the opinions of affluent consumers presents its challenges.

“Brands can only improve their LBSI by improving these factors in a genuine way that resonates with the customer,” Mr. Pedraza said.

“Luxury CEOs tell us that approximately 60 percent of the value derived by the luxury client is in the luxury product, and 40 percent of the value is in the relationship building capabilities,” he said.  “Brands need to continue to remain relevant, especially in this challenging environment.”

Source: http://www.luxurydaily.com/chanel-hermes-rank-as-top-brands-worth-premium-pricing-survey/

October 26, 2015

Some brands fail to reach women

Warc
October 26, 2015

NEW YORK: When it comes to marketing to affluent women, some brand categories are notably more successful than others and have even improved the perception of their marketing efforts over the past three years, a new survey has shown.

Luxury Institute, a New York-based specialist research firm, ranked industries based on their success marketing to women with a minimum annual household income of $150,000 and then compared the results with a similar survey it conducted in 2012.

It found the top industries considered to be doing a good job marketing to women are clothing (75%), shampoos and conditioners (74%), fragrances and cosmetics (72%) and shoes (72%).

Compared to 2012, each of these categories achieved a wider share of women who view their marketing efforts favourably, but the jewellery and watch sector saw the biggest improvement, rising to 62% positivity from 53% in 2012.

However, the survey – which did not include a sample size – also identified industries that continue to lag in their marketing to affluent American women.

Among industries that these women say are faring badly in their marketing efforts are insurance, liquor, electronics and banks, each of them gaining approval ratings of less than 5%.

In addition, just 6% of respondents view the car industry favourably and other poor-performing sectors include real estate (7%), home improvement (8%), credit cards (13%) and pharmaceuticals (15%).

“Women maintain huge economic power and it is a necessity for companies to step up marketing and how they connect with affluent women regardless of industry,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute.

“Research that includes speaking directly with these women about what appeals to them and what turns them off removes much of the guesswork in making marketing decisions,” he added.

Part of that research could involve marketers taking account of the age profiles of their target audience as the survey also revealed that older women are more receptive to marketing activity.

Affluent women aged 45 to 64 generally feel that brands across industries are doing well when marketing to them, the report found, but this positive response drops among younger generations.

Source: http://www.warc.com/LatestNews/News/Some_brands_fail_to_reach_women.news?ID=35615

October 22, 2015

Women neglected by marketers despite making two-thirds of household purchases

Luxury Daily
October 22, 2015
By: Staff Reports

Brands in the apparel, personal care and footwear sectors are among the best at marketing to affluent women, according to research by Luxury Institute.

The best industries targeting affluent women through advertising and social media do not come as a surprise, but it does shine a light on the sectors that are not doing well at focusing their attentions on this demographic of wealthy consumers. Survey respondents felt that the industries doing the least to target affluent women include insurance, liquor, consumer electronics, banks and brokerages and transportation including automobiles and private jets.

Luxury Institute surveyed women ranging in age from 21-years-old to more than 65-years-old with a household income minimum of $150,000 per year. The respondent pool’s had a reported average household income of $289,000, and a $2.9 million average net worth.

A battle of the affluent sexes
When it comes to marketing to a female demographic, brands in apparel (75 percent), shampoos and conditioners (74 percent), fragrances and cosmetics (72 percent) and footwear (72 percent) unsurprisingly fared the best.

In regard to the industries that are failing at capitalizing on the purchasing power of affluent women, each had an approval rating of less than 5 percent. This approval rating has continued to fall since 2012.

Efforts put forth by automotive brands, for instance, have only impressed 6 percent of the female respondents. Although traditionally associated with a masculine culture, the auto industry should expand its marketing efforts to cater to the sentiments of its female consumers, especially those with families, by touting the safety of high-end vehicles.

On the corporate side, automakers have made strides in being more inclusive of females in general. For instance, British automaker Aston Martin looked to close the gender gap in engineering by teaming up the Royal Air Force to introduce female students to various career routes (see story).

Sectors improving outreach to female consumers include the jewelry and watch sector, which has seen the largest improvement over the past three years. Sixty-two percent of respondents felt that these brands do a good job marketing to their demographic, a 53 percent increase from 2012.

In addition, department stores are listed sixth, with 60 percent of affluent women appreciating the efforts put forth by retailers.

Lux institute.womens marketing graph
Graph provided by Luxury Institute 

Across the board, older affluent women aged 45-64 felt that brands across industries are doing well when marketing to their demographic. This response was much more likely from the older age group than it was for women 45-years-old and under.

But, 25 percent of women 21- to 44-years-old felt that the wine industry is not doing enough, or not marketing to them well enough. This propensity decreases with age, with 21 percent of 45- to 54-year-olds, 16 percent of those between the ages of 55 and 64 and 12 percent ages 65 or older approve of the wine category’s marketing efforts.

In a statement, Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza said, “Married women tell us that they make two-thirds of all household purchasing decisions. Women maintain huge economic power and it is a necessity for companies to step up marketing and how they connect with affluent women regardless of industry. Research that includes speaking directly with these women about what appeals to them and what turns them off removes much of the guesswork in making marketing decisions.”

Source: http://www.luxurydaily.com/women-neglected-by-marketers-despite-making-two-thirds-of-household-purchases/ 

July 3, 2013

Survey: Wealthy Women Prefer Jewelry From Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. is the jewelry brand most widely purchased by ultra-wealthy women, according to a study by The Luxury Institute.

By Daniel Ford
JCK Online
July 2, 2013

The institute surveyed ultra-wealthy U.S. consumers with minimum net worth of $5 million about luxury brands they buy and the relationships they have with luxury sales professionals.

David Yurman and Cartier followed Tiffany on the list. The women surveyed said they have a preferred salesperson at all three jewelers. And never underestimate the power of the pen: 
More than half of ultra-wealthy women who purchase from both jewelry and fashion brands say they appreciate handwritten thank-you notes.

“Relationship selling is not something exclusive to markets like high-end automobiles, real estate and wealth management services,” said Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza in a statement. “Even in luxury jewelry and fashion, relationships cultivated by trust and an understanding of customer preferences can help boost both the frequency and size of sales.”

July 2, 2013

Tiffany Leads Purchases for Ultra-Wealthy Women

By Danielle Max
International Diamond Exchange (IDEX)
July 1, 2013

(IDEX Online News) – Forget Breakfast at Tiffany’s, ultra-wealthy women are ordering lunch, dinner and a midnight snack at the luxury jeweler. According to the latest survey by the Luxury Institute, Tiffany & Co. is the go-to jewelry brand for individuals with a minimum net worth of $5 million.

David Yurman and Cartier follow Tiffany in the spending stakes. And it’s not just because of product offering. The survey found that the three market leaders are also the top three jewelers where ultra-wealthy women have a preferred salesperson.

“Relationship selling is not something exclusive to markets like high-end automobiles, real estate and wealth management services,” said Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “Even in luxury jewelry and fashion, relationships cultivated by trust and an understanding of customer preferences can help boost both the frequency and size of sales.”

The survey also found that ultra-wealthy men are less likely than women to build relationships with salespeople.

Pentamillionaire men and women both agree that the top ways salespeople build lasting relationships are by making them feel comfortable, communicating honestly, earning their trust and recognizing them on store visits.

More than half of ultra-wealthy women who purchase from both jewelry and fashion brands say they appreciate handwritten thank you notes.

http://www.idexonline.com/portal_FullNews.asp?id=38312

June 27, 2013

Wealthiest U.S. Women Find Jewelry And Relationships At Tiffany, David Yurman And Cartier; Ralph Lauren And Brooks Brothers Suit Pentamillionaire Men

(NEW YORK) June 27, 2013 – The Luxury Institute surveyed ultra-wealthy U.S. consumers with minimum net worth of $5 million about luxury brands they buy and the relationships they have with luxury sales professionals.

Tiffany & Co. is the jewelry brand most widely purchased by ultra-wealthy women, followed by David Yurman and Cartier. These three leaders in market share are also the top three jewelers where ultra-wealthy women have a preferred salesperson.

In the women’s fashion and accessories category Michael Kors holds a commanding 36% market share, followed distantly by Prada, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci and Marc Jacobs.  These top seven brands vary widely in their ability to build relationships with ultra-wealthy women, with Marc Jacobs falling behind the rest while Prada leads the pack.

Among pentamillionaire men, Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers hold the largest market share in the men’s fashion and accessories category.  Overall, ultra-wealthy men are less likely than women to build relationships with salespeople.

Pentamillionaire men and women both agree that the top ways salespeople build lasting relationships are by making them feel comfortable, communicating honestly, earning their trust and recognizing them on store visits. More than half of ultra-wealthy women who purchase from both jewelry and fashion brands say they appreciate handwritten thank you notes.

“Relationship selling is not something exclusive to markets like high-end automobiles, real estate and wealth management services,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “Even in luxury jewelry and fashion, relationships cultivated by trust and an understanding of customer preferences can help boost both the frequency and size of sales.”

About Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

June 3, 2013

Can the Tysons malls stay on top?

By Abha Bhattarai
Washington Post
June 2, 2013

Fourteen years after Spanx was founded, company executives began scouting locations for their first-ever retail store.

The answer, they say, came quickly: Tysons Corner Center in McLean.

“We needed somewhere where we could reach mothers, daughters and grandmothers all in one place,” Spanx founder Sara Blakely said at the time of the store’s opening, late last year. “The [Tysons] area already had a strong customer base online. It was a very good location for our first store.”

It was the same model Apple had followed more than a decade earlier, when it picked the mall as the site of its inaugural retail store. In the years since, Tysons Corner Center and its upscale sibling, Tysons Galleria, have become coveted launch pads for big-name brands entering the Washington market.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes several quotes from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/can-the-tysons-malls-stay-on-top/2013/05/31/f47ea49a-c7c9-11e2-8da7-d274bc611a47_story_1.html

March 25, 2013

Forget Tupperware parties. Local trunk shows offer exclusive access.

By Abha Bhattarai
Washington Post
March 22, 2013

Forget the mall. Your next clothing purchase could take place in a local hotel, hair salon or art gallery.

Washington area businesses such as the Four Seasons and the Northern Virginia Art Center have played host to designer trunk shows in recent months, as businesses look for new and unconventional ways to bring in money.

For clothing and accessories companies, the short-lived events provide an easy way to rack up sales without investing in store fronts or pop-up locations.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes several quotes from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/forget-tupperware-parties-local-trunk-shows-offer-exclusive-access/2013/03/22/20a54950-8ff5-11e2-bdea-e32ad90da239_story.html

March 22, 2013

Affluent women control 68pc of household purchases: Luxury Institute

By Erin Shea
Luxury Daily
March 21, 2013

Affluent female consumers are making 68 percent of their household’s purchases, while more women are becoming the bread winners of their families, according to a new survey from the Luxury Institute.

Women are now more involved in purchasing and financial decisions for the family than ever before. Since this trend is likely to continue, luxury marketers should look to target affluent women to drive sales.

“This means that [marketers] need to pay more attention to how they are marketing to women in a respective and relative way,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, New York.

“A lot of companies are doing a good job of marketing to women, but we will see more companies and more services that will begin to market to women,” he said.

The Luxury Institute’s WealthSurvey: Marketing to Wealthy U.S. Women study surveyed 800 U.S. women who are 21 years or older and have a minimum gross annual income of $150,000. The survey took place in the last quarter of 2012.

The bread winners

Two-thirds of women surveyed earn at least $150,000 per year from their own salaries. This group of women has a median annual income of $181,000 per year.

More than 40 percent of working women in married or coupled households report being responsible for the majority of their total household income.

Seventeen percent of women surveyed said they provide support for additional familiar members other than their spouse or children. A quarter of these women said they spend at least $100,000 per year on providing support.

In addition, approximately 25 percent of working women are owners or partners in organizations. These women say that the flexibility in schedule and desire to “be my own boss” drove them to this situation.

The number of women in high-leadership roles and entrepreneurial positions will continue to increase.

This could mean an overall shift in corporate atmosphere, which could help marketers reach female consumers.

“We see a growth in women in the highest level in entrepreneurial and leadership positions that will make corporations more collaborative internally and externally,” Mr. Pedraza said.

“Most women understand the needs of other women, women consumers and other consumers.”

Purchasing power

Affluent women are most likely to control the food and clothing – such as apparel, shoes and accessories – purchase decisions for their household.

This group makes approximately 68 percent of the purchases on behalf of their household.

When purchasing, these women have a decided preference for products that are made by established and well-known brands.

Many luxury marketers target this group of affluent women because of their buying power, but some industry sectors are sending a stronger message than others.

The survey found that fragrances and cosmetics, clothing, shampoo and conditioner, shoes, department stores and jewelry and watches are categories that most effectively market to women.

Also, 65 percent of women in married or coupled households are making investment decisions jointly or in consultation with their spouse or partner.

Twelve percent of affluent women surveyed said that someone else makes these decisions for them, so there will likely be more financial services and similar companies that will begin to market to female consumers.

“We’ll see a lot of brands in the financial services and brands that are at the bottom try to understand how to develop and brand products to women,” Mr. Pedraza said.

http://www.luxurydaily.com/women-control-68pc-of-household-purchases-luxury-institute/

March 18, 2013

Women Earn The Big Money In Wealthy Families, And Decide How It’s Spent

(NEW YORK) March 18, 2013 – The independent and objective New York-based Luxury Institute surveyed wealthy women from U.S. households earning at least $150,000 a year about their economic situation, personal aspirations, family responsibilities and companies and industries successfully marketing to them.

Wealthy women are economic engines within their families, with 67% employed or running their own businesses; 41% report earning more than half of their family’s total income, up sharply from 27% who were bigger breadwinners in 2008. Women have been earning college degrees at higher rates than men since 1985, and educational attainment has produced economic muscle: median salary of the working women surveyed is $181,000; 66% earn more than $150,000, and 20% have annual incomes of $300,000 or more.

“Luxury executives should know that given the trends we see now, we predict that the Millennial women will achieve parity or surpass the achievements of their male counterparts in managerial, entrepreneurial, income and net worth levels in the next 2 decades,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza.

Despite career prowess, 90% of women 35 and older say that their most important aspect of life is family, and 34% say that their long-term career goal is to retire and enjoy more family time. Women control a majority of spending in 78% of households, with food (85%), clothing (78%), shoes (78%), and vacations (62%) also especially dominated by women.

“Shifting gender roles require brands in traditionally male dominated industries to connect with strong, successful women, but new marketing campaigns are not enough,” says Pedraza. “Companies must drive engagement through channels like social media and one-to-one communication with empowered sales professionals who serve as brand ambassadors.”

About Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

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