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How Do Luxury Brands Build Intimate Relationships With Three Generations of Affluent Consumers?

Luxury Institute Releases the First in a Series of Three Comparative Studies of Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 04/24/14 -- In the first of three studies conducted by the Luxury Institute, wealthy consumers across three generations earning at least $150,000 a year share their views on the attributes required for a brand to be considered luxury, the services that luxury brands should offer to earn consumer loyalty, and the luxury purchase decision process.

Overall, affluent Millennials, Generation Xers and Baby Boomers all agree that the quality, craftsmanship, customer service, and design must be impeccable for a luxury brand to succeed. Millennials actually place greater emphasis on luxury brand heritage and investment value than Generation Xers, a slight surprise given the common portrayal of young consumers as embracing only the new and trendy. Affluent Millennials also highlight one-of-a-kind items as a vital component, a feature that allows them to express their individuality while also recognizing a brand's luxury credentials.

Convenient return, refund, and exchange policies, lifetime guarantees, and free shipping are extremely important to all wealthy consumers when purchasing luxury. Shopper expectations have risen dramatically given the practices of online only retailers who seek to capture market share from traditional retailers. As a result, affluent consumers now perceive these complimentary services as the norm, especially when spending significant amounts on luxury purchases. Millennials who grew up in the age of discounting and of being courted by brands find rewards programs as well as personalized communication and services far more desirable vs. Baby Boomers.

Given the plethora of marketing platforms utilized by brands today, younger affluent generations are more knowledgeable about luxury products and services, while Baby Boomers rely on previous experiences to impact their purchase decisions. "Even though wealthy Millennials have information and content at their fingertips, they are still more likely than Boomers, who have established preferences over the years, to seek out the opinions of others when making purchase decisions," says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza.

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