While tech firms like Apple, Google, IBM and Microsoft dominated the top 10 of Interbrand’s list of 100 Best Global Brands for 2014, a number of fashion firms were also on the rise. Mass retailers Hennes & Mauritz and Zara saw their brand values rise at a faster rate than that of most luxury labels during the year, according to the report, issued Thursday.
This story first appeared in the October 10, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
H&M’s brand value rose 16 percent to $21.08 billion in 2014, from 2013, ranking the Swedish fashion retailer at 21 on Interbrand’s list, while Zara’s rose 12 percent to $12.13 billion, ranking the Inditex-owned brand at 36. Both brands held the same position in the ranking as they did in 2013.
Interbrand pointed to H&M’s growing store portfolio, along with the “premiumization” of its branding, with the launch of its more upscale brand & Other Stories and its collections with Isabel Marant and Alexander Wang. Zara, meanwhile, was singled out for “shifting its positioning from affordable chic to fashion front-runner.” Interbrand also lauded Zara’s low-key approach to marketing.
“Unlike its competitors, Zara has not engaged in collaborations with upscale designer labels; it is not particularly active on social media, and it does not invest much in traditional advertising. Instead, [the brand] has developed a slick, well curated and rapidly expanding e-commerce platform, available in 27 countries,” Interbrand wrote.
Amazon, in 15th place, saw its value rise 25 percent to $29.47 billion.
Ranked 19, Louis Vuitton was the highest among fashion brands on Interbrand’s list — albeit dropping two places from 2013 — but the luxury house saw its brand value decline over the year, falling 9 percent to $22.55 billion. Interbrand reported that “fluctuating exchange rates” along with “the impact of political and economic climates on key consumers, such as Russian and Chinese travelers,” were among the factors that affected the house’s ranking.
Luxury brands that grew in value included Gucci, at 41, up 2 percent to $10.39 billion; Hermès, ranked 46th, up 18 percent to $8.98 billion, and Cartier, at 58, up 8 percent to $7.45 billion. Prada rose 7 percent to $5.97 billion, landing in 70th place, while Tiffany grew 9 percent to $5.93 billion, ranking 71st. Burberry placed 73rd, up 8 percent to $5.59 billion, and Ralph Lauren was 83rd, up 9 percent at $4.97 billion. A newcomer to the list, Hugo Boss, was valued at $4.14 billion in 97th place.
Among more mainstream brands, Nike, ranked 22, grew 16 percent to $19.87 billion. Gap moved up one place to 99 on the list. Interbrand calculated a 5 percent increase in Gap’s brand value to $4.12 billion, with the report pointing to a 10 percent rise in the retailer’s second-quarter profits, as reported in August.
L’Oréal placed 43rd, up 3 percent to $10.16 billion. Meanwhile, Adidas fell 2 percent to $7.37 billion, in 59th place.
Interbrand evaluates three main factors to determine a brand’s value — the financial performance of a branded product and service, the role the brand plays in influencing customer choice and the strength the brand has to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company.