Luxury brands are generally doing a satisfactory job of meeting the standards of younger high-end shoppers (who are notably more approving than baby boomers of current trends in several areas), according to the 'State of Luxury 2015' survey from the Luxury Institute.
Four qualities cited as essential for a luxury firm, by a majority of US consumers from households with a minimum annual income of US$150,000, are superior quality (74%), craftsmanship (58%), service (52%) and design (51%).
On each of these four criteria, wealthy consumers under the age of 50 are far more likely than their older cohorts to agree that companies today are executing better than they were in the past. Millennials are more than twice as likely as Boomers (43% versus 19%) to say that quality is improving.
In addition, a far greater share of Millennials (43%) than Boomers (15%) reports a perceived increase in the investment value of luxury goods. Millennials, younger than 35 years of age, and Generation X-ers, between 35 and 49, are also much more inclined than Baby Boomers to applaud improvements in custom products, personalised offers, loyalty programmes, customer recognition, and the ability of a company to anticipate their needs.
Despite relatively high satisfaction, younger consumers still see plenty of room for improvement in quality, craftsmanship, and customer service. As for attributes they deem necessary in a sales professional for a luxury firm, knowledge (75%), professionalism (71%) and courtesy (65%) rank in the top three, followed by honesty (63%) and experience (60%).
Sales professionals in jewellery (41%) and leisure travel (38%) are deemed to be the best overall, while younger consumers often cite grooming, personal finance, and designer shoes as industries represented by exemplary sales personnel.
"Millennials represent the future of luxury and the good news is that recent innovations and investments to enhance the shopping experience are largely well-received," concluded Luxury Institute CEO, Milton Pedraza. "What's important is for firms to continue investing in systems and personnel to deepen customer relationships and ensure that they deliver on the metrics that matter for each customer."