Milton Pedraza

Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute, a rating and research firm based in New York, says retailers lose money when they buy into old stereotypes about the wealthy, like, for instance, the idea that most millionaires probably inherited their assets. Pedraza points to someone who owns a group of McDonalds franchises or a string of MRI clinics as examples of a modern, entrepreneurial-type millionaire.At Neilsen Claritas, a West-coast based market research firm which is working now with both the PRO Group and Nationwide Marketing Group to help retailers learn more about their consumer base, the well-off are divided into a number of different categories, based on not only assets but geographic location, life stage and lifestyle. “Upper Crust” millionaires love the suburbs and may respond best to mailings about outfitting or retrofitting their homes with the latest flat-panel and surround systems, while “Blue Blood” estate types might be in the market for security systems or home automation for their vacation homes. “Young Digerati,” a fascinating and quickly evolving category, include 24- to 44-year-olds who’ve amassed a fortune, often in finance or technology industries, live in uptown urban areas, and hardly ever pick up a newspaper.One thing all these well-heeled people have in common, Pedraza said, is that they almost all use the Internet for researching and purchasing decisions. According to that same survey, 81 percent cited “commitment to environmental concerns” as an important value.

“You can’t stereotype older, wealthy people anymore. They are highly connected 24/7. They are researching and purchasing online. Luxury dealers need to realize that. They need to have online videos and be covered in the blogs. The wealthy are in LinkedIn and on Facebook too. You need to use 21st century marketing techniques to reach them.” -Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute

In wealthy households, women make around two thirds of decisions in regards to purchases- a number, however, that drops to 40 percent in regards to electronics. That’s according to a survey released earlier this week by the Luxury Institute, which looked at married couples earning more than $150,000 per year in income. The survey found that in such households, the wife makes the call on 68 of appliances, including refrigerators, ovens and ranges. However, only 40 percent of women make the decision when it comes to buying electronics or cars. “Winning over wealthy women is a do-or-die proposition for companies in industries

Rancho Mirage, Calif.- The HTSA this coming year will establish a set of “Gold Standards” for its members, the group announced at its annual meeting here Thursday. These new standards will focus on the areas of Technology; including engineering, People; in the areas of employee recruiting and training, Marketing; in sales and customer service, and Finance; to develop sound business principles and improve vendor relationships. According to HTSA executive director Richard Glikes, this will be a year-long process. To segue into the “Gold Standard” discussions, HTSA members and vendors spent part of the morning listening to a presentation from the Luxury Institute’s Milton Pedraza.

With sales to the low- and mid-end of the market flagging, the Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) buying group is directing its members to tap deeper into the luxury client market. Combined sales of the group’s 62 members was up only about five percent this year, for combined revenue of about $500 million, said Richard Glikes, the group’s executive director. “I thought we would have had a better year,” he said during the group’s recent Fall Pump Up in Dallas. “Depending on the dealer, we’ve always had 20-40 percent compounded growth, and it seems we’ve hit a wall. We're used to being the

With sales to the low- and mid-end of the market flagging, the Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) buying group is directing its members to tap into more luxury clients. Combined sales of the group’s 62 members was up only about five percent this year, for combined revenue of about $500 million, said Richard Glikes, the group’s executive director. “I thought we would have had a better year,” he said during the group’s recent Fall Pump Up in Dallas. “Depending on the dealer, we’ve always had 20, 30, 40 percent compounded growth, and it seems like we’ve hit a wall. We were

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