Wealthiest 10% of Americans Name Top Quality Brands for 8 Products in New Survey

The seventh in a continuing series of twice-yearly surveys by The American Affluence Research Center (AARC) reveals the brands considered to have the highest quality, regardless of price, by the wealthiest 10% of Americans, the 11 million households representing about half of all consumer income and spending, a third of the total US economy, and 70% of the personal wealth of Americans.

Just released, the AARC report, The Luxury Market: Spring 2005 Survey of Affluent Americans, shows the affluent named Rolex, Cartier, and Tag Heuer as the top three brands for quality, regardless of price, for lady's fine watches. For lady's fine jewelry, Tiffany, Cartier, and David Yurman were the top three brands. For man's fine watches, Rolex, Tag Heuer, and Seiko were the top three brands.

For automobiles, Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus were at the top. For major home appliances, the affluent named General Electric, Sub-Zero, and Viking most frequently. In home entertainment equipment, Sony was dominant and no came close. In the cruise line category, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Princess were named more often than the luxury brands.

Some slight differences in the rankings were evident by gender, age, and level of wealth. These differences tended to favor the less frequently named brands.

The one category where men and women differed most significantly was in lady's designer/couture apparel. The women named Ralph Lauren, Armani, and Jones of New York as their top three brands. The men placed St. Johns and Chanel at the top of their list.

This information is based on a national survey of 346 men and women in the wealthiest 10% of American households. The survey participants have an average income of $369,000 and an average net worth of $2.7 million.

Ron Kurtz is a principal of The American Affluence Research Center and The Management Resource Group. Both companies provide marketing research and strategic planning services to prominent clients in the travel and hospitality industries, especially those targeting the affluent market.

Prior to founding MRG in 1989, Ron's experience included over 20 years in senior management positions in the airline, hotel, and tour business. As the founding President of Sea Goddess Cruises, he created the product category of small deluxe ships for the very affluent. He also served as the chief marketing officer of four cruise lines, including Norwegian Cruise Line and Windstar Cruises.

Ron has been a key contributor to 6 start ups and 11 turnarounds of substantial businesses. He earned his MBA at Harvard Business School.

For further information: http://www.affluenceresearch.org and http://www.mrgconsultants.com

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