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Social media has become a critical marketing tool for fashion apparel brands — especially for the luxury sector.

New analysis by WPP’s marketing and brand consultancy firm, Kantar Millward Brown, confirms which brands are optimizing social channels to their fullest potential. Its latest “Brand Z Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Ranking” report named Gucci as the fastest-growing luxury brand this year. Louis Vuitton was labeled as the “[number-one] most valuable luxury brand.”

“Once shunned by luxury brands for fear of diluting their prestige and exclusivity, leaders such as Hermès, Burberry and Gucci are embracing digital technologies, attracting younger consumers while providing a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels; whether that’s online, mobile or in high-street stores,” confirmed Doreen Wang, global head of Brand Z at the firm. “We’ve seen particularly strong growth in Asian markets as consumption of luxury products in these regions increases and brands deploy more targeted, omnichannel marketing campaigns to reach this influential demographic group.”

According to the report’s “Top 10 Luxury Brands” list, Gucci grew its annual brand value — calculated by consumer brand perception and financial data — by 66 percent, retaining its third-place position. Louis Vuitton, meanwhile, has retained its placement at the top, boasting 41 percent growth.

Rank 2018 Brand Country of origin Brand value 2018 ($M) Brand value change (2017 vs. 2018)
1 Louis Vuitton France 41,138 41%
2 Hermès France 28,063 20%
3 Gucci Italy 22,442 66%

Above: Leading luxury brands in the report’s “Top 10 Luxury brands” list. 

“Instagram is proving pivotal as a way of rejuvenating heritage brands. Gucci and Louis Vuitton have been particularly successful in their use of it. Each [have] over 23.4 million Instagram followers, [and use] social media to appeal to Millennial customers to great effect,” affirmed the spokesman.

Celebrity endorsements were pointed to as additional factors that contributed to each brand’s successes, as were recent trends in consumer behavior.

As Wang said, “Snapping the perfect picture of their luxury item using image-sharing platforms, such as Instagram, consumers have been able to assert their voices and communicate personal brand experience stories. It was only a matter of time before luxury brands realized the importance digital technologies played in controlling and driving the narrative.”

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