(NEW YORK) March 25, 2009 – The Luxury Institute reported today the results of the men’s and women’s luxury fashion categories of the 2009 Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey, which identifies the top brands that exhibit true luxury in the high-end fashion market, as rated by high net-worth consumers.
Which luxury fashion brands deliver the best combination of quality, exclusivity, customer experience and peer-based prestige? High net-worth consumers rated Ermenegildo Zegna and Hermes the “Best of the Best” amongst all brands in the men’s and women’s luxury fashion categories, respectively.
The LBSI asks high net-worth consumers to rate men’s and women’s luxury fashion brands across four equally weighted components: Consistently Superior Quality, Uniqueness and Exclusivity, Making the Customer Feel Special Across the Entire Customer Experience, and Being Consumed by People Who Are Admired and Respected. Additionally, the survey asks wealthy consumers if brands are Worthy of a Price Premium and if they are Willing to Recommend the brands, along with their appropriate reasoning.
The “Best of the Best” are: (LBSI score out of 10)
· Men’s Fashion
o Ermenegildo Zegna – 7.89
o Canali – 7.81
o Armani – 7.59
· Women’s Fashion
o Hermes – 7.92
o Balenciaga – 7.84
o Prada – 7.78
“Repeatedly in 2009 we have found that brands perceived to deliver the best combined luxury value are rated higher. Luxury brands perceived as overpriced or not exclusive enough, or that deliver great products but sub-par customer experiences, have been rated lower this year. Wealthy consumers understand they have the power now, and they are voting with their dollars,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “In the 21st century, luxury brands will still validate consumers, but luxury consumers will, in turn, validate luxury brands. That is a marked departure from the ‘good-old-days’ of luxury of 2007. The new rules of luxury are being written, and this time it is high net-worth consumers, not brands or pundits, who are writing them.
“Here are some examples: Luxury brands that are snobby and arrogant are out; welcoming and nurturing brands are in vogue. It used to be that luxury brands could impose high prices; now they have to earn them. It used to be that consumers had to adapt to the arcane and inconvenient business processes that luxury brands chose for them; now luxury business processes will adapt to customers. Customer dialogue and metrics used to be feared and ridiculed by luxury executives. Now every luxury brand that wants to survive this crisis will embrace customer dialogue and metrics, and take positive action from continuous consumer feedback. There will be lots of laggards, but by 2012 any major luxury brand that fails to adopt the new rules of the 21st century luxury enterprise will disappear, or evolve into a tiny museum version of itself. It may take new leadership for the luxury revolution to take place, but it will happen.”
The proprietary Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey is the only unbiased measure of the stature of leading brands among wealthy Americans. For the Women’s Fashion survey a national sample of 818 wealthy American female consumers, with an average income of $353,000 and average net worth of $2.6 million, was surveyed online. For the Men’s Fashion survey, a national sample of 608 wealthy American men with an average income of $346,000 and average net worth of $3.8 million, was surveyed online. Survey results are weighted to match demographic and net-worth profiles of the same audience according to the latest Survey of Consumer Finances from The Federal Reserve.
About the Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)
The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and impartial ratings and research institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications and research and consulting services that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net-worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. The Luxury Institute also operates the LuxuryBoard.com (www.LuxuryBoard.com), the world’s first global, membership-based online community for luxury goods and services executives, professionals and entrepreneurs.