SOURCE: Luxury Institute

October 31, 2006 09:30 ET

Luxury Institute Survey: Wealthy Consumers Rate Herend, Hermes and Waterford the Top Three Fine China Brands of 2006

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 31, 2006 -- Luxury fine china brands are a highly personal possession for wealthy consumers. According to the Luxury Institute's 2006 annual Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey of Fine China Brands, Herend is the top-ranked fine china brand among the 29 brands tested, placing first overall, as well as in each component metric (consistently superior quality, uniqueness and exclusivity, used by those who are admired and respected, and makes the customer feel special across the entire customer experience). Herend is also rated most worthy of a price premium and is by far the brand wealthy consumers who are familiar are most willing to recommend. It is also the brand that is increasing the fastest in stature among those surveyed.


Other top-performing brands include Cartier, Tiffany and Co. and Rosenthal. Along with Herend, Hermes and Waterford, these brands comprise the top 20 percent of brands tested for LBSI. Fashion designer brands Vera Wang and Kate Spade currently rank in the middle third of brands in terms of LBSI, but are two of the fastest improving brands in terms of perceived stature as premier fine china brands. Vera Wang is growing particularly rapidly among women and those under age 50.

Twenty-nine leading fine china brands were rated including: Calvin Klein, Cartier, Franciscan, Givenchy, Gorham, Haviland, Herend, Hermes, Horchow, Kate Spade, Lenox, Meissen, Mikasa, Nikko, Noritake, Oscar De La Renta, Pfaltzgraff, Portmeirion, Ralph Lauren, Rosenthal, Royal Copenhagen, Royal Doulton, Royal Worcester, Spode, Tiffany and Co., Vera Wang, Villeroy and Boch, Waterford, and Wedgwood.

"In the emerging era of Web 2.0, when it comes to reviews and ratings of luxury products and services, the killer app is simply trust," said Milton F. Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "Wealthy consumers tell us that it is very hard to know where to turn for independent peer-based ratings of luxury goods and services providers. The Luxury Institute's empirical surveys serve as the trusted voice of the high net worth consumer, and provide a safe harbor for wealthy consumers to express their views. Our mission is to facilitate a constructive and candid, dialogue between high net worth and affluent consumers, and the luxury goods and services firms that cater to their needs globally. Earning the iron-clad trust of those key constituents is our key differentiator."

A nationally representative sample of 1,000 wealthy consumers was surveyed online. Respondents had an average household income of $355k and average net worth of $4.2m. Survey results are weighted to match the demographic and net worth profile of the same audience according to the latest Survey of Consumer Finances from the Federal Reserve.

About the Luxury Institute

The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and objective ratings and research institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications and research that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. Publications include the monthly Wealth Report, the Luxury Brand Status Index surveys, the Luxury Best Practices surveys and the Luxury Consumer Experience Index surveys. To reach the Luxury institute, please call 646-792-2669, or go to www.luxuryinstitute.com.

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