(NEW YORK) Dec 20, 2011 — As part of its mission to educate and influence the luxury industry to evolve into world-class customer-focused enterprises, the New York-based Luxury Institute recently conducted an intensive analysis of its objective and independent Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) surveys and several WealthSurveys with wealthy consumers. With more than five years of data on dozens of luxury goods and services categories, the Luxury Institute sought to identify ‘best practitioners’ that have consistently scored above competitors.
In the handbag category, the analysis revealed that one brand stood alone in owning several critical metrics for brand vibrancy five years in a row: Coach.
Luxury Institute empirical data shows that Coach has achieved what no brand in the luxury handbag category has been able to in a five-year period with affluent women in the US: highest brand familiarity by a wide margin with an average of 73%. In addition, an impressive 25% of the sample of affluent consumers has purchased a Coach handbag in the last 12 months and 25% intend to purchase Coach as their next handbag. For comparison, the next highest rated brand has a purchase rate of 6% and purchase intent rate of 5% in the latest survey.
Coach is also the brand that most wealthy women have been willing to recommend to their friends and family for three out of five years and it has always been ranked within the top three most recommended brands with an overall average of 65%.
The brand is also top-of-mind when shoppers think of superior customer service. In a recent WealthSurvey, Coach was the handbag brand that was cited as having the best customer service on an unaided basis by premium handbag shoppers, outperforming its nearest two rival European competitors three to one. No other luxury handbag came close to achieving these results (see Graph A). Coach, to its global credit, demonstrates similar brand strength in Japan, one of the world’s most sophisticated luxury markets.
Achievements like these are the empirical rewards of a highly disciplined customer culture. Great product is extremely important and Coach is rated among the top quality handbags brands. However, a consumer-centric culture is the critical factor in consistently delivering extraordinary customer experiences.
By design, Coach is a consumer-centric brand built on strong core values. In an increasingly commoditized and highly competitive global luxury handbag market, it is simply not enough to outperform your competition on products; you have to dramatically outbehave them. “Unlike brands that tout their customer culture, yet fail to demonstrate consistent long-term profitability, Coach has repeatedly achieved superior results in Luxury Institute surveys for quality of product and service. In the mind of the U.S. luxury consumer, they are the clear winner in the Handbag and Accessories space,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute.
“The customer experience is the new battleground for the 21st century,” says Pedraza. “In a world where design, quality and craftsmanship are often imitated, brands will live or die based on more than just great products and services. With its customer-centric culture, as measured by independent wealthy consumer feedback, Coach is well positioned to thrive in a global marketplace where the human values and integrity of the brand matter most.”
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.