SOURCE: Luxury Institute

September 18, 2008 11:00 ET

Luxury Institute European Survey -- Wealthy European Consumers Rate the Most Prestigious Luxury Handbag Brands: Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton

PARIS--(Marketwire - September 18, 2008) - Wealthy European consumers rated Hermes the most prestigious luxury handbag brand in the 2009 Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey from the independent Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com). The survey was conducted in France, the U.K., Germany and Italy, as a proxy for Europe. Chanel and Louis Vuitton ranked second and third, respectively.

"In Europe, the classic, highly pedigreed luxury brands rule," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "These luxury brands continue to deliver fantastic products. What is clear, though, is that not many of these brands deliver a fantastic service experience, anywhere in the world. Luxury consumers today, and especially in this economic slowdown, demand an experience, not just a great and prestigious product in a great store. The human touch, delivered in the minute details of customer interaction, with expertise, earned trust, enthusiasm and courtesy, are among the elements that constitute a great experience. By providing the voice of the customer, our impartial surveys are designed to help luxury brands reach that pinnacle of extraordinary customer experiences."

Following are the 23 luxury handbags brands rated by wealthy European consumers (alphabetical order):

Anya Hindmarch
Bottega Veneta
Burberry
Celine
Chanel
Chloe
Christian Louboutin
Coach
Dior
Fendi
Gucci
Hermes
Hogan
Jimmy Choo
Louis Vuitton
Lulu Guinness
Marc Jacobs
Mulberry
Prada
Ralph Lauren
Stella McCartney
Tod's
Valentino

The proprietary Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey is the only measure of the prestige of leading brands among wealthy Europeans. A sample of 752 wealthy women, 188 each from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Italy, were surveyed in-depth online about their opinions. Respondents were recruited and screened to only include those age 21 or older with a minimum gross annual income of EUR 60,000 or £70,000.

The LBSI asks respondents to rate the brands along four main "pillars" of brand stature:

--  Consistently superior quality
--  Uniqueness and exclusivity
--  Social status as a product consumed by people who are admired and
    respected
--  Self enhancement, in that the brand makes the consumer "feel special"
    across all aspects of the customer experience
    

In addition, the survey also measures three key "outcome" metrics, which are compared to the category LBSI:

--  Worthiness of a significant price premium
--  Willingness to recommend the brand to people they care about and why,
    or why not
--  Brand preference as the brand most likely to be considered the next
    time a purchase is made
    

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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