Imagine a Grand-Prix unlike any other…
Competing are 55 of the world’s most luxurious brands…
At stake for the winner is the pride of being the most coveted brand of all.
Which brand do you think came in at No. 1….Which do you think is the most coveted brand of all?
Now what if we were to tell you that the hypothetical race you just imagined actually took place in the eastern hemisphere…in China.
Except this “race” was actually a research conducted by Singapore- headquartered firm, Agility Luxury Brand Affinity (ALBA). The agenda was to determine the most coveted brand of all.
Why China ? And how does it relate with the rest of the world?
According to a report by Bain and Co., China is poised to become the largest market for luxury goods by 2025. The country currently accounts for a third of the world’s total luxury spends.
Remember the revenge buying reports from China, that had people thronging luxury stores to get their hands on a Birkin or the latest Gucci collection? At a time when most of the world was in lockdown, such positive consumer sentiment, is what kept many a luxury brand afloat.
One reason for this buyer behavior could be the alacrity with which the country and its economy bounced back from the debilitating COVID19 pandemic. With the virus coming and going in waves around the world, it is imperative for luxury brands to track their own performances and that of their competitors in China.
Coming Back to The Assessment
Where was the survey undertaken: The survey studied 1,000 luxury shoppers hailing from 40 different Chinese cities.
Who was surveyed: The idea was to assess which brand the consumer would choose, if funds were not a limitation. The sample set, therefore ,consisted of 1,000 shoppers with an annual income of minimum 400,000 Renminbi (approximately $62,168USD).
Enlisted for assessment: 55 of the world’s most prominent luxury brands.
What was the assessment criteria: With the intention of recording their pre and post pandemic performances; the brands were ranked on twelve key performance and perception metrics. Three of the twelve were behavioral, and the remaining assessed the brands through their strengths and stature metrics.
Chanel came in at Number 1, in a landslide victory with a whopping score of 99 out of 100. But perhaps that was not a shocker at all… the brand has always had a stronghold in Asia and in China in particular.
“The marque has been able to keep up its position across multiple product categories but most notably in fashion,” the report said. Where the house of Coco outdid all the other luxury brands in every aspect, it was Chanel’s performance in the fashion department that propelled its score further.
The surprise was Dior coming in strong in second position, with an impressive score of 87/100. The brand did exceedingly well on accord of its constant and engaging interaction with its loyal consumer base. However, Dior fell short on metrics contributing to trust, admiration and social responsibility, giving them the second position.
What was also surprising was the world’s most luxurious brand Hermès coming in at No. 3 with a score of 83! The relatively low score was on the basis of its points in the behavioral metrics – namely gifting, recommendations and purchase. Pitfalls of being as exclusive and coveted as Hermès no doubt.
The fourth position was a three way split shared by Gucci, Lancôme and Estee Lauder- all of whom scored 77/100.
If you, like us, are wondering why we haven’t mentioned Louis Vuitton till now; it is because the brand came in at the 9th position with an underwhelming score of 68!
“Dior has really risen in terms of perception from our affluent pool here almost to the place where Louis Vuitton used to be. I think Louis Vuitton is not viewed as influential as perhaps you might have seen in the past,” said James Roy, a director at Agility’s Shanghai office.
Where the ALBA scores have provided us with a lot of food for thought, the biggest question remains – how luxury brands will perceive and act on this information. We wonder what tricks they’ll pull out of their hats to catapult their scores or as in the case of Chanel and Dior, to retain their positions!
As brands look at their scores with a beady eye, we did some analyses of our own; and realized that the scores aren’t that surprising, after all! We have witnessed over the past couple of months, how the Chanel frenzy has reached the highest level of mysterious allure, that Hermès has been the master of, for years.
Dior too has upped its ante on social media and even reintroduced old classics in glamorous avatars. The numbers of its online sales and searches, more than validate Dior’s scores and success.
That being said, we did not pre-empt Louis Vuitton scoring so poorly! Especially, with the Pont 9 and Multi Pochette doing so well in the recent past, resulting in the revenues and stocks of the company showing a promising rise.
While no-one can accurately predict the future trends and performances of brands, we are most curious to see whether the worldwide luxury goods market will mimic the results of this popularity contest conducted in this single but very prominent marketplace.
Stay tuned for more news and information on luxury brand news, performances and trends here on PurseBop.
Updated: May 29th, 2021