World's 8 Expensive Luxury Brands

by Kashif Masood | 21:06 in , , , |

World's 8 Expensive Luxury Brands

With Chinese demand for luxury goods still white hot, Interbrand saw the luxury sector make large gains in its annual ranking of best global brands. Who tops the luxury list? Read on.

8. Ralph Lauren (United States) 

Position in Global 100: 91 // Value: $4.038 billion  

An iconic fashion brand that embodies timeless style, Ralph Lauren excels at creating stories around its merchandise by using technology and creativity. Making its first reappearance in the top 100 since 2009, Ralph Lauren’s record brand growth in the past year can be attributed to highly innovative communication patterns and consistency across all touchpoints and formats. At the forefront of the digital movement since the beginning, the brand saw the digital revolution as an opportunity to tell a story online when many fashion retailers saw the internet as a threat to store sales. Over the years, Ralph Lauren has invested heavily in video, editorial content, a Minority Report-inspired interactive store window, mobile apps, and a 4D “visual feast” in the streets of London and New York fusing art, fashion, and technology. Most recently, the brand used Fashion Week as an opportunity to buy out all the ad space in The New York Times iPad app for the entire month of September. 

7. Prada (Italy) 

Position in Global 100: 84 // Value: $4.271 billion  
Though in existence for nearly a century, Prada approaches each season with a flair that is bold and innovative, yet distinctly its own. As a result, Prada consistently exudes an admirable degree of self-confidence, which only makes it more desirable, and steers the brand away from provocation for provocation’s sake. What ultimately draws consumers to the Prada brand (and moves them to value its very name across continents and cultures) is its sense of self-assurance, won through constant experimentation and a proven ability to dictate tastes and trends rather than chase them. Figures reflect the power of this love affair, and underpin Prada’s return to our Best Global Brands report. The brand’s continued growth in revenues (26% in 2011) is fueled mainly by over 250 DOS (Directly Operated Stores) worldwide — a network which is expanded with a careful eye on increasingly well-traveled customers. 

6. Burberry (England) 

Position in Global 100: 82 // Value: $4,342 $m // +16% 

Under the leadership of its CEO, Angela Ahrendts, Burberry’s digital positioning ensures consistency of experience across channels and enriches the depth and accessibility of that experience — thrilling consumers every time. A leader when it comes to reaching consumers in innovative, high-tech ways, Burberry was one of the first brands to embrace social networking through its website and Facebook page. The brand also aggressively advertised on digital platforms, well ahead of other notable luxury brands. Cementing a top spot on social media in the luxury sector, the brand doubled its numbers for both Facebook fans and YouTube views, and tripled its number of followers on Twitter this year. Art of the Trench, a website that is “a living celebration of the Burberry trench coat and the people who wear it,” also saw a 60% lift in pageviews, with over 19 million users from 200 countries. However, despite these impressive numbers, Burberry’s growth rates, once supported by a buoyant Chinese market, are now starting to slow. To continue its growth trajectory, this classy British label will have to deftly navigate the changing landscape in developing markets to remain a global luxury powerhouse.

5. Tiffany & Co. (United States) 

Position in Global 100: 70 // Value: $5.159 billion // +15% 

Tiffany & Co., the world-renown jeweler, marks its 175th anniversary with a double-digit increase in brand value. The legendary brand has launched a limited edition series, “Tiffany 1837™,” to commemorate the year of its founding and its commitment to design excellence. High-profile anniversary events featuring the 128.54-carat Tiffany Diamond are scheduled to take place in Beijing, Tokyo, Dubai and New York. Tiffany’s portfolio spans from fine jewelry to silver, allowing the company to address the needs of a diverse audience.The growing breadth of the portfolio poses some challenges for Tiffany, and the strategy will continue to require careful management in order to avoid the risks of brand dilution. Tiffany is also investing wisely in its various corporate citizenship efforts. From responsible mining to ensuring 100% of its packaging suppliers are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified, Tiffany is proving that the adage “with age comes wisdom” applies to brands just as much as it applies to people.

4. Cartier (France) 

Position in GlobL 100: 68 // Value: $5.495 billion // +15% 

In its 165th year, the Cartier brand remains widely coveted, but maintains its exclusivity. Tangible proof of this lies in the numbers: Cartier’s sparkling performance was a key contributor to a 32% sales increase for parent company, Richemont’s Jewellery Maisons. Though the brand consistently brings its rich heritage to the fore across all communications, Cartier would do well to similarly enrich its e-boutiques, as their potential has not yet been realized. Truer to the brand’s usual style and sense of grandeur, this year also marks an overt commitment to the Maison’s watch offering, which is evident in everything from the new aesthetic introduced by the “Calibre de Cartier” collection, to the new multi-brand Richemont store in Paris — the largest watch store in the world.

3. Hermes (France) 

Position in Global 100: 63 // Value: $6.182 billion // +15% 

At 175 years old, Hermès continues to remind the world of its rich heritage and iconic achievements, while establishing its relevance for future generations. From the “Leather Forever” anniversary exhibition, which brought the origins of the brand to life, to the Hearts and Crafts microsite, which showcased the craftsmen and designers behind the famous name, Over the past year, Hermès saw an 18% rise in revenues and double-digit growth across its product categories, with a stellar performance in accessories and its first women’s ready-to-wear collection. Hermès opened 13 new stores globally and became the first international luxury brand to establish a retail presence in India. In such a seminal year for Hermès, the “contemporary artisan” has proven to be an apt description for a brand whose culture of excellence continues to create value.

2. Gucci (Italy) 

Position in Global 100: 38 // Value: $9.446 billion // +8% 

Gucci’s 380 directly operated stores worldwide remain truly indispensable stops for those shoppers looking for authentic Italian style, quality — and some of the truly iconic codes in fashion history. In 2011, Gucci enjoyed further revenue growth (+18%), as well as an increase in profitability. The brand continues to see growth in 2012 with a 30% jump in online sales and a 15% increase in China — signs that the luxury brand is in a good place despite continued economic uncertainty. The brand also launched its “Forever Now” icons of heritage campaign in March. The campaign, which pays tribute to the signature Gucci green and red stripe and the iconic metal horsebit featured on the classic Gucci loafer, is an excellent reminder of the brand’s storied place in luxury fashion’s history and future.

 1. Louis Vuitton (France)

Position in Global 100: 17 // Value: $23.557 billion // +2% 

Louis Vuitton’s continued success can be attributed to consistently upholding its core values and remaining loyal to its travel-centric heritage. In addition to its partnership of the 2012 America’s Cup, Louis Vuitton has also improved its digital presence — from charting its history on Facebook to launching an app that enables customers to share travel experiences. The brand remains committed to engaging new markets, making it the top gift brand for the Chinese luxury consumer this year. The brand also made its first foray into fragrance in decades with the announced launch of a signature scent by legendary perfumer Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud. Over time, this progressive expansion could prove to be a successful direction for the luxury brand, or it could be to the detriment of its exclusivity and perceived authenticity. If Louis Vuitton strikes the right balance between scale and desirability, however, there is no doubt that its position as one of the world’s premier luxury brands will remain strong.