Luxury Institute News

January 18, 2012

Wealthy Consumers From Seven Nations Define What Constitutes Luxury and How They Shop and Rank Brands; Superior Quality, Craftsmanship and Customer Service Remain Essential but Many Firms Fall Short

(NEW YORK) Jan 17, 2012 — The independent and objective New York City-based Luxury Institute just released “Luxury Branding and Marketing: A Global Comparison of Wealthy Consumers in Top Markets,” a comprehensive survey of wealthy consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and China.

Topping the list of attributes that define luxury brands are superior quality (73%), craftsmanship (65%) and design (54%). Nearly half (47%) of wealthy shoppers worldwide cite customer service as a key consideration, with Chinese especially likely to judge a brand based on service.

Potentially distressing for luxury brands is the global perception by wealthy consumers that firms are getting worse at executing on these top criteria. Twice as many wealthy U.S. shoppers (34% vs. 17%) say that customer service and product quality have deteriorated in recent years. Japanese, German and U.K. consumers bemoan a slip in craftsmanship.

The good news is that satisfaction levels across criteria remain high in the world’s most rapidly growing luxury market, China, where 63% of consumers say that service has improved. A vast majority applauds higher quality, craftsmanship and design.

“With signs of cooling in luxury retail, top-flight firms worldwide realize that fostering a customer-centric culture is essential for retaining and growing relationships with current customers and gaining new ones,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute.

Respondents had minimum annual income of $150,000, or the local currency equivalent.

For details from this WealthSurvey and others, visit LuxuryInstitute.com.

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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