SOURCE: Luxury Institute

October 21, 2008 11:00 ET

Introducing the Luxury Institute Seal of Customer Approval

Luxury Institute Challenge to Luxury Brands: Drive Sales by Letting Your Own Customers Certify and Recommend Your Firm's Superior Customer Experiences

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 21, 2008) - The Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com) issued a friendly challenge today to luxury executives around the globe. Are you confident enough to allow your customers to certify that your company delivers exceptional experiences? Independent research proves that peer referral is the most important driver of higher sales.

The new Luxury Institute Seal of Customer Approval (LISCA) certification program surveys luxury firms' authenticated customers to benchmark and monitor, among other key metrics, the percentage which recommends a brand to peers. Firms earning the highest recommendation scores earn validation from an independent third party and can use the Seal of Customer Approval to generate sales growth.

"The luxury industry is in transition, yet, some luxury executives are in a state of paralysis," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the New York City-based Luxury Institute. "Right now, true luxury brands should be playing very strong offense rather than defense, and our tool of choice is the new Luxury Institute Seal of Customer Approval (LISCA) certification program. Like all of our products, this certification is based on the voice of your own customers and reflects their willingness to recommend your brand. As an impartial, independent entity with years of brand rating experience, we are positioned to deliver this proven sales driver to global luxury firms at a time where confidence in your brand is critical."

The highest level of certification, Platinum Purveyor Certification, is awarded to firms with at least 86% of their authenticated and surveyed customers who are willing to recommend the brand to their peers. Brands that achieve between 70% and 85% of customers willing to refer the brand are awarded the Gold Purveyor Certification. Companies with less than 70% referral do not receive certification. However, training programs are available for companies aspiring to achieve the annual certification.

Achieving LISCA Certification:

--  Signifies "best-in-class" luxury firms based strictly on the ratings
    of a company's customers (Customer Recommendation Metric) measured by an
    impartial body -- the Luxury Institute.
--  Measures and validates a firm's ability to deliver superior customer
    experiences
--  Reassures customers and prospects with Seal of Customer Approval
--  Drives strong customer retention and new customer acquisition
    

Upon achieving official LISCA certification from the Luxury Institute, firms receive several promotional benefits:

--  Permission to use Certification and logo for marketing, advertising,
    promotional and public relations communications
--  Recognition on one or more Luxury Institute websites for one year
--  Press release announcing Luxury Institute LISCA certification
--  Recognition in issue of Luxury Institute's monthly Wealth Report
    newsletter
--  Framed LISCA Award certificate
    

About the Luxury Institute

The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and impartial ratings, reviews 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. The Luxury Institute also operates the Luxury Board (www.LuxuryBoard.com), the world's first global, membership-based online community for luxury goods and services executives, professionals and entrepreneurs. To reach the Luxury Institute, please call 646-792-2669 or go to www.LuxuryInstitute.com.

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