Exclusivity, Experience, and Esteem

By Christopher Zoukis 

At the beginning of 2009, Forbes reported that 30% of “wealthy” people owned more than one residential property. Breaking this number down even further reveals that 30% of the rich own two or more residential properties, and 37% of the ultra-rich own three or more residential properties. The majority of these second, third and fourth homes were purchased for $500,000 or more, and many of them for more than $1 million.

This means that rich and ultra-rich customers are spending money on their homes almost constantly. What are they buying? According to the 2012 Luxury Brand Status Index survey (LBSI), which identifies the top brands that are truly luxurious, the two primary categories in which the rich are making luxury purchases are home appliances and bathroom fixtures. The reason for this is because the rich regularly modernize their kitchens and bathrooms.  Photo courtesy online.wsj.com

Those participating in the survey were asked which luxury home appliance brands deliver the best combination of quality, exclusivity, experience, and peer esteem? Wealthy participants rated Wolf, Viking, and Sub-Zero the “Best of the Best” out of 20 brands that were mentioned. In response to the same question about bathroom fixtures, Hansgrohe, Showhouse by Moen, and Franke were rated tops out of 16 luxury brands.

The individuals surveyed ad an average income of $345,000, and an average net-worth of $3.2 million. Over 63% owned two or more residential properties. Based on participants’ responses, LBSI concluded that true luxury reflects a combination of design, quality, craftsmanship, and especially service. Successful luxury brands are “radically creative innovators.”

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