Luxury list has a champagne topper

The Luxury Institute today released its annual Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) for the wine and spirits industry.

The results of the index compiled by the independent New York-based company "are utilized by consumer-centric luxury brand executives to independently monitor how target consumers truly rate their brands in terms of critical luxury metrics," according to the Institute announcement.

Rankings are derived from a survey of high net-worth consumers who rated more than 100 brands in 10 wine and spirits categories. The top-rated brands in each category are:

• Champagne and Sparkling Wine: Dom Perignon
• Cognac: Courvoisier
• Gin: Hendricks
• Liqueurs: Grand Marnier
• Rum: 10 Cane
• Scotch: Macallan
Table Wines: Opus One
Tequila: Patron
• Vodka: Grey Goose
• Whiskey: Woodford Reserve

A national sample of more than 1,200 wealthy American consumers was surveyed online by the Luxury Institute. The respondents had an average weighted income of $342,000 and an average weighted net-worth of $2.9 million. The LBSI asked them to rate the brands along four main "pillars" of brand stature:

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

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

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

"We've found that those brands committed to excellence are genuinely interested in where they stand in the mind of the high net-worth consumer," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "For the rest, we caution that this is not the time to 'fly blind' as the final verdict on whether, or not, you qualify as a luxury brand is that of the hard-core luxury consumer."

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