Luxury Consumers Prefer Goods Made in the USA and Italy

A new Unity Marketing survey among 1,300 luxury consumers shows that over two-thirds of luxury consumers find the place of manufacture to be important when considering a new purchase.

'Luxury consumers show a definite preference for luxury goods manufactured in certain countries,' says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience. 'Overwhelmingly, they associate countries like the U.S.A., Italy, France, and Germany with better quality luxury goods. On the other hand, China emerged as the country most associated with poorer quality luxury goods.'

'This is important, because our survey shows that 80 percent of luxury consumers feel the association a luxury goods brand has with a particular country, like Chanel has with France or Gucci has with Italy, are integral to the perception of the brand. Nearly as many say they will pay more for luxury goods manufactured to exacting standards and in countries where manufacturing practices are high.'

'Clearly, luxury consumers are flipping over products and looking for that country of manufacture stamp, and if it doesn't say what they expect, they may well put it down and move on to an item manufactured in a country they associate with higher quality. After all, it is their search for superior quality that most powerfully motivates consumers to purchase luxury goods in the first place,' Danziger continues.

Consumers' opinions of countries of manufacture intensifies with age

One of the most interesting findings in Unity Marketing's fourth quarter Luxury Tracking survey of 1,281 luxury consumers (average income $155,700 and age 46.6 years) is the degree to which consumers' opinions intensify with age. Consumer ages 45 to 70 were the most likely to hold definite opinions on countries they associate with better or poorer quality merchandise, while younger consumers weren't so sure.

'Younger consumers may have not had as much time to travel, study, and form opinions on the countries of manufacture of their luxury goods,' says Danziger. 'This is a real opportunity for luxury marketers to educate their younger consumers about the company's insistence on holding the quality bar high, regardless of the country they use to source their goods.'