Luxury Institute News

April 29, 2013

Now made in China: Taste

5 Things Big in Beijing, Headed for Buffalo

By Quentin Fottrell
April 28, 2013

Despite the ubiquitous “Made in China” label on everything from clothing to toys, China has been slow to export its own products and culture. Most Americans couldn’t name a single Chinese brand, a survey released this month found. Only 6% of could think of one, according to international marketing firm HD Trade Services. Some respondents mistakenly identified Japanese brands like Honda, Sony and Toyota as Chinese. Indeed, Chinese companies often sells products under non-Chinese names. Volvo Car, for instance, is owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

“Branding was an alien concept in old China,” says Stanley Kwong, managing director of China Business Programs at the School of Management of University of San Francisco. “China had been making products for companies like Wal-Mart and Apple, but has not developed many brands.” It’s been easier for China to make a product than build a brand, experts say. Popular Chinese cosmetic brand Herborist is labeled “Made in Shanghai,” for instance, and the box for Apple’s iPhone — although made in China — is labeled “Designed by Apple in California.”

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

April 18, 2013

Resonance Consultancy Releases Key Findings about U.S. Affluent Travel and Leisure in its 2013 Resonance Report

(Miami, FL)  April 18, 2013 – The Resonance Report, a national study by leading global tourism consulting firm Resonance Consultancy, sheds new light on the travel and leisure habits of affluent American households.

The study, conducted in conjunction with the Luxury Institute in New York, surveyed more than 1,200 individuals from households with incomes of $150,000 and higher to measure their travel and leisure preferences and aspirations. These affluent households account for almost a third of all domestic spending on lodging and air travel, according to recent estimates in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditures Survey.

“The desirability of exotic vacations for the affluent remains virtually unchanged since 2008,” says Resonance Consultancy President, Chris Fair. “What’s changed is their growing interest in traveling with more family members and friends and their rising interest in once-in-lifetime experiences and classic journeys such as train travel, safaris and cruises that explore non-traditional destinations.”

Key Findings of the Resonance Report include:
•Affluent American households take an average of three vacations a year averaging six days in length.
•Ritz Carlton is the #1 hotel brand of choice for high net worth households ($1MM+) on vacation.
•Marriott is the most frequented hotel brand of affluent households.
•New York City is the most popular U.S. vacation destination, followed by Las Vegas and San Francisco.
•The Bahamas is the most visited island destination, followed by Puerto Rico and Jamaica while Turks & Caicos is the #1 destination affluent households aspire to visit.
•Italy is the #1 overseas vacation destination for affluent households, followed by the U.K. and France.
•Wine country tours and luxury cruises are the most desired type of vacation experiences.
•Affluent owners of vacation properties use them an average of 5 weeks per year.
•Affluent consumers are willing to spend an average of $650,000 on their next vacation property.

“This influential cohort uses its leisure time to explore what’s meaningful for them and for those closest to them,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “The affluent consumer is driven by extraordinary experiences, and this study shows clearly the importance of experience for this demanding demographic.”

To download a copy of the Resonance Report 2013 visit

About Resonance Consultancy (
Resonance Consultancy provides brand development, strategic marketing and planning services to leading travel & tourism companies and organizations around the world. The principals of Resonance have completed more than 100 travel & tourism studies, reports and plans in 65 different countries.

About 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.

April 15, 2013

Versace, Roberto Cavalli outlets to heighten South Florida as a luxury shopping destination

By Miriam Valverde
Sun Sentinel
April 14, 2013

They are two of the most sought-after designer brands, and Sawgrass Mills now has them.

Versace and Roberto Cavalli outlet stores are slated to open this summer rounding out a roster of new high-end retailers as the Sunrise mall continues the ongoing expansion of its luxury outlet wing.

The coming of Versace, however, is particularly an exclusive grab for Sawgrass: it will be the only outlet in Florida, the mall said. It will also be one of a handful nationwide.

“They are very meticulous. They have to make a good call,” said Milton Pedraza, chief executive of the Luxury Institute, a New York-based research and consulting firm. “They don’t plant flags and open doors in every city.”

Click the link to read the entire article which includes another quote from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute:,0,4862364.story

April 12, 2013

Bentley’s showrooms, Flying Spur propelled Q1 units sold 25pc

By Erin Shea
Luxury Daily
April 12, 2013

British automaker Bentley Motors reported a 25 percent increase in units sold during the first quarter of 2013 due to the release of the Flying Spur and eight new dealerships.

The automaker announced that global deliveries to customers in the first quarter of 2013 increased by 25 percent to a total of 2,212 vehicles, compared to 2012’s first quarter sale of 1,759 vehicles. Bentley’s unique position in the luxury auto market could also explain why its sales increased.

“As high-end as they are, these Bentley vehicles are understated and they are for everyday use,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, New York. “I do think that putting out new vehicles has been fabulous [for Bentley], but it is because the cars are everyday cars.”

“They are not showy,” he said. “They are high-performance cars that can be used everyday.”

Mr. Pedraza is not affiliated with Bentley, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Bentley did not respond by press deadline.

Securing a position
In addition to selling more vehicles, Bentley introduced a new vehicle to its lineup and opened new dealerships in the first quarter.

The automaker did a three-city tour for the launch of the Flying Spur in the United States.

Bentley partnered with American Express Publishing’s Departures magazine to host a series of three “One Night Only” events in the U.S., the first of which took place March 26 in New York. Other cities include Miami and Los Angeles.

Furthermore, the automaker’s sales were likely increased by the price range of vehicles that put it in an ideal spot in the luxury auto market.

“Bentley brought down the price [of a vehicle] from ridiculous to high value,” Mr. Pedraza said. “That combination of eye candy, high performance and everyday use makes them successful.”

“They are smart cars,” he said. “They are sensible, but also extremely addictive and that is a wonderful combination.”

Staying strong
Many luxury automakers experienced an increase in profits last year.

Automakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, Porsche, Bentley Motors and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars reported above-average sales for 2012.

This was partly due to marketing campaigns as well as an attractive buying economy for affluent consumers, experts said.

Also, these sales records likely resulted from strong branding efforts and signal an increase in competition for attention.

In addition to its growth in sales, Bentley noted that the U.S. remains its largest market.

During the first quarter, 632 Bentley vehicles were delivered to customers in North and South America, more than any other region.

Since the bounce back of the U.S. economy, affluent consumers are now ready to confidently spend again. This attitude helps high-end automakers such as Bentley.

“The U.S. economy is so resilient that it continues to be the best market for luxury goods and services,” Mr. Pedraza said.

“We have such a large critical mass of wealthy people,” he said. “We have more multi-billionaires than anywhere in the world and they are confident.”

Auto consumer mindset changing dramatically

Ford exec says buyers want cheaper, well-equipped mobile technology platforms that sip fuel

By Keith Morgan
Vancouver Sun
April 11, 2013

Ford and Lincoln global marketing executive vice-president Jim Farley  recently delivered the keynote address to the 2013 New York International Auto  Show. Today, we publish extracts from his speech which offered a view on the  role the recession has played in shaping a new consumer outlook.

While the recent recession has fundamentally reshaped the automotive industry  over the past few years, the real game changer may come from a new  post-recession consumer mindset, demographic shifts and how automakers respond,  says Farley.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes findings from a recent Luxury Institute survey: