Nike's new Techpack collection

NIKE’S NUMBER ONE: Nike has outstripped rivals and been ranked as the most valuable apparel brand at $32.4 billion, according to Brand Finance, the brand valuation and strategy consultancy.

The consultancy has determined Nike’s brand value by assessing its marketing investment, stakeholder equity, business performance, royalty rates and forecast revenues.

The annual report, “Brand Finance Apparel 50,” which categorizes apparel, watches and jewelry brands, valued Nike above competitor Adidas, whose value rose by 17 percent to $16.7 billion. Nike’s 16 percent increase compared with last year comes from its sales growth in key markets such as China, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“Nike’s bold marketing makes it stand out in a busy marketplace of sportswear apparel brands. In a time when customers look for experiences and emotional connection, Nike’s offering comes with unambiguous messages and values that people can rally behind,” said Richard Haigh, managing director of Brand Finance.

According to the consultancy, every Nike campaign makes front-page news, such as the controversial ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who “took a knee” during a football season to protest police brutality.

Elsewhere, fast-fashion retailers such as Uniqlo and Zara saw a year of strong growth. Uniqlo’s brand value increased by 48 percent to $12 billion as a result of growing international sales in the U.S. and China, as well as exposure from its collaboration with tennis player Roger Federer.

Zara knocked high-street retailer H&M to fourth place as it climbed into second place with a valuation of $18.4 billion. Brand Finance said the increase was due to Zara’s successful integration of its online and off-line businesses. Meanwhile, Brand Finance said H&M faced struggles with unsold inventory and sizing complaints.

According to Brand Finance, Rolex remains the strongest brand in the industry. The consultancy firm has awarded it with their elite AAA++ rating and a score of 90 out of 100, which they determine by looking at a brand’s marketing investment, stakeholder equity and business performance.

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