Luxury Institute News

December 18, 2012

Region’s rising wealth brings new luxury brands and wealth managers

By Annie Gowen
Washington Post
December 17

With plenty of two-income highly educated families, the D.C. region already has a reputation as one of the most affluent in the country. But the area is fast emerging as a home to the truly rich as well.

High-end luxury retailers are responding. Brands such as Aston Martin are expanding their operations into the area — betting, for instance, that there will be plenty of customers who can afford the $280,000 sports car James Bond drives in the movies. Nearby in Tysons, a Saint Laurent store and the high-end electric car maker Tesla are also set to open their doors.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes quotes from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute:

December 10, 2012

Superior Craftsmanship, Materials and Customer Service Define Luxury Market and Drive Premium Pricing According To New Survey

(NEW YORK) December 10, 2012 – In a new survey by independent New York-based Luxury Institute, superior craftsmanship, materials and customer service scored highest in terms of helping to define the luxury market while driving premium pricing.  Additionally, survey respondents overwhelmingly favored a long-lasting, high quality product over one that merely enhanced status.

The survey, in cooperation with the newly relaunched Lincoln Motor Company, asked wealthy luxury automobile consumers to share their opinions that may have altered since the recession about buying considerations and luxury spending across a variety of product categories.

“High standards for the tangible quality of goods are to be expected from such refined buyers,” said Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza.  “Of particular interest is the growing leadership of U.S. firms as global luxury brand icons.  Jewelry from Tiffany & Co., consumer electronics from Apple and handbags from Coach are among the world’s most prominent brands, giving consumers worldwide more reasons to pursue luxury in the States.”

Defining and Driving the Luxury Market

When it comes to what drives luxury and justifies premium pricing, 86% of affluent Americans surveyed say that superior craftsmanship is the deciding quality.  Nearly as many (84%) say they also expect the use of superior materials in luxury products.  The third most important consideration, cited by 76% of wealthy respondents, is a “superior customer experience both during and after the sale.”

A majority of wealthy consumers report enjoying their luxury purchases discreetly versus proudly showing their purchases to others.  In addition, more than 90% indicate that acquiring a long-lasting, high quality product is more important than enhancing their status.

“What we see in this insightful Luxury Institute research is that during the recession, the U.S. luxury market changed and people changed,” said Jim Farley, Executive Vice President of Ford Motor Company Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln.  “They want what appeals most to their desires and not what they believe will impress others and this is a trend we believe will continue to grow ever stronger.  We also took good note that in the automotive sector the expectation of great service is still being underserved, something we intend to address with the new Lincoln.”

Other survey results highlighted the fact that half of high-income shoppers rely on user reviews and the recommendations of family and close friends, enabling quick sharing of opinions and influence.  These top-two influencers of luxury consumers’ purchase decisions demonstrate how relative newcomers can quickly establish brands that compete with established stalwarts, and how traditional brands can reinvigorate themselves via digital media.

Added Milton, “What we hear consistently and loudly from wealthy consumers is that the manner in which the goods are sold, as well as the service provided after the sale, are nearly as important as the products themselves.  With American brands growing in luxury influence, there is a clear eagerness on the part of the global consumer to embrace American luxury brands, making service a critical success factor for the future.”

Survey Methodology
The Luxury Institute conducted an in-depth online survey with 1,216 affluent U.S. consumers in cooperation with the Lincoln Motor Company.  Half male and half female respondents were recruited and screened to only include those age 21 or older with a minimum gross annual income of $150,000 and ownership/lease of at least one luxury automobile.

About the Luxury Institute (
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, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

December 7, 2012

Mobile is the essential medium for 2013: Digital Luxury Group exec

By Tricia Carr
Luxury Daily
December 6, 2012

A Digital Luxury Group executive who spoke during a Luxury Daily webinar said that luxury marketers that do not incorporate convenience and speed on the mobile medium into a seamless marketing approach will likely miss out on wealthy, transactional shoppers.

Executives from the Luxury Institute, Digital Luxury Group and Morpheus Media discussed their expectations for the next calendar year as well as potential surprises that marketers will face during the “Luxury Outlook 2013: Up, Down or Flat?” webinar Dec. 4. It seems that the light at the end of a tunnel littered with global economic uncertainties is mobile.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes quotes from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute:


December 6, 2012

Customer relationships, seamless media approach vital for 2013

By Tricia Carr
Luxury Daily
December 5,2012

Executives from the Luxury Institute, Digital Luxury Group and Morpheus Media who spoke during a Luxury Daily webinar said that marketers should focus on relationship-building through technology and moving away from a fragmented media approach in 2013.

During the “Luxury Outlook 2013: Up, Down or Flat?” webinar Dec. 4, the senior executives agreed that consumer segmentation by geographic and demographic factors can help brands distinguish the “who” and “why” of luxury marketing next year. Overall, the executives concurred that the outlook on luxury for 2013 is “up.”

“It is simple – long-term relationships build sales and profits,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, New York.

“Instead of looking at what the competition is doing, do what Apple is doing,” he said. “It had the product, but it created an even greater value proposition for the brand.”

Click the link to read the entire article which includes additional quotes from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute: