In the first of three studies conducted by the Luxury Institute, wealthy consumers across three generations earning at least US$150,000 a year shared their views on the attributes required for a brand to be considered luxury, the services that luxury brands should offer to earn consumer loyalty, and the luxury purchase decision process. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

Overall, affluent Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers all agree that the quality, craftsmanship, customer service, and design must be impeccable for a luxury brand to succeed.

Millennials actually place greater emphasis on luxury brand heritage and investment value than Generation X, a slight surprise given the common portrayal of young consumers as embracing only the new and trendy.

Affluent Millennials also highlight one-of-a-kind items as a vital component, a feature that allows them to express their individuality while also recognizing a brand's luxury credentials.

Convenient return, refund, and exchange policies, lifetime guarantees, and free shipping are extremely important to all wealthy consumers when purchasing luxury.

Shopper expectations have risen dramatically given the practices of online only retailers who seek to capture market share from traditional retailers. As a result, affluent consumers now perceive these complimentary services as the norm, especially when spending significant amounts on luxury purchases.

Millennials who grew up in the age of discounting and of being courted by brands find rewards programmes as well as personalised communication and services far more desirable vs. Baby Boomers.

Given the plethora of marketing platforms utilized by brands today, younger affluent generations are more knowledgeable about luxury products and services, while Baby Boomers rely on previous experiences to impact their purchase decisions.

"Even though wealthy Millennials have information and content at their fingertips, they are still more likely than Boomers, who have established preferences over the years, to seek out the opinions of others when making purchase decisions," concluded Luxury Institute CEO, Milton Pedraza.