Wealthy Consumers in Top Markets: survey

  • 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 City-based Luxury Institute released “Luxury Branding and Marketing: A Global Comparison of Wealthy Consumers in Top Markets,” a survey of wealthy consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and China. Respondents had minimum annual income of $150,000, or the local currency equivalent.

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, says Luxury Institute.

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.