Louis Vuitton led an array of 14 fashion names that appear on Interbrand's just-disclosed list of the 100 best global brands.
Vuitton, which contributed $20.3 million to the value of parent LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton's market capitalization, by Interbrand's calculation, was followed by Nike, which contributed $12 million; Gucci, $7.7 million; Chanel, $5.8 million, and the Gap brand, $5.5 million.
The burgeoning population of the new rich and the ready accessibility and resulting visibility of names such as Vuitton, Gucci, Tiffany and Prada via global expansion (as well as counterfeiting), helped make fashion's presence among the strongest on the list of 100 global brands, said Jez Frampton, global chief executive officer of Interbrand. For example, Vuitton added 23 stores in 2006, including 19 in China.
Describing Vuitton as one of the "quintessential" luxury brands, Frampton pointed to the proliferation of fake Vuitton bags as a phenomenon that has significantly raised the name's visibility — a positive in his view, contrary to the views of Vuitton executives and conventional wisdom. He suggested the label's proliferation, even if not on true Vuitton items, might be stoking the brand's desirability rather than dampening its cachet.
Seven of the 14 fashion names saw their brand's estimated contribution to their company's market cap expand by at least 10 percent, perhaps a reflection of the rapid increase in the number of millionaires, and even some billionaires, in their 20s and 30s. "The large number of new-wealth consumers are chasing luxury brands like Chanel," and are buying products like the sleek, touch-screen-fitted Prada Phone by LG, Frampton said. "It's more of a driver than it was 10 years ago."
Brands seeing gains of 10 percent or more in their value, according to Interbrand, include Zara, which jumped 22 percent; Burberry, 16 percent; Louis Vuitton, 15 percent; Cartier, 15 percent; Prada, 14 percent; Chanel, 13 percent, and Hermès, 10 percent. Zara's upswing was the second strongest in the list of 100, topped only by Google, whose value ran up 44 percent.
Oddly, Wal-Mart, one of the world's biggest brands, does not appear on the top 100 because its international operations contribute less than 30 percent of the company's revenue. In 2006, Wal-Mart's international unit contributed $77 billion, or 22 percent, of the company's $349 billion in total sales.The Interbrand 100 is based on the consultant's assessment of a brand's current and projected net sales; its influence on a customer's decision to buy it at point-of-purchase, and its ability to secure loyal customers. Its findings are based on information drawn from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citibank, and Morgan Stanley, as well as the information culled in Interbrand's 36 offices worldwide.