SOURCE: Luxury Institute

July 09, 2008 11:00 ET

Luxury Institute Survey: Wealthy U.S. Consumers Rate the Most Prestigious Search Engine Sites: Google, Yahoo! and MSN

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - July 9, 2008) - High net-worth consumers rated Google the most prestigious search engine in the 2008 Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey from the independent New York City-based Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com). Respondents who would recommend Google say it has the "most complete and relevant search results combined with the ability to search images, news, etc.," and "its name is synonymous with internet search." Yahoo! and MSN rank second and third respectively.

"Search engines are the gateway to the Internet, and wealthy consumers are bulwark buyers across luxury and mass goods and services," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "Although Google is the dominant player in terms of sheer numbers, it is essential for advertisers to know exactly how wealthy consumers perceive and rate all of the search engines on critical usage metrics, and how they compare quantitatively. In addition to understanding why the wealthy will, or will not, recommend search engines, we have added additional insights to our surveys by asking wealthy responders 'What is the one thing you would change about each search engine?' This has generated key action points from wealthy consumers as to what search engines need to focus on to enhance their rating scores to lure consumers and advertisers."

Following are the top rankings of search engine sites as rated by wealthy
consumers:

1. Google
2. Yahoo!
3. MSN
4. Ask.com
5. AOL
6. Netscape
7. About.com
8. Lycos
9. AltaVista

The proprietary Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey is the only measure of the prestige of leading brands among wealthy Americans. A national sample of 1,883 wealthy American consumers was surveyed online. The average income was $348K and the average net-worth was $3.5 million.

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

--  Innovative leader among competitors
--  Helpful and relevant content
--  Appropriate advertising for the intended consumer
--  Ease of use
    

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 brands 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
    

A new feature of the survey is the question: "What is the one thing you would change about each brand, if you could?"

Survey results are weighted to match demographic and net worth profiles 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 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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