If one had to guess which apparel brands top the most valuable list, Nike, H&M and Zara might be their guess—and they’d be right. Those companies recently listed as the top three, respectively, on this year’s Apparel 50 list from strategy consultancy Brand Finance.
Coming in at number one for at least the second year, Nike remains the world’s most valuable apparel brand, with a 13% rise in value to US$32 billion. Its brand strength score of 92 and AAA+ rating renders Nike the most powerful brand in the sector and third most powerful across all sectors. Part of its success is the ability to “continuously innovate and deliver state-of-the-art products to a range of consumer demographics.” Examples include the launch of its self-lacing HyperAdapt sneakers last year, as well as becoming the first major commercial athletic apparel brand to announce a plus-size workout and clothing line. That product innovation combined with powerful messages in its marketing campaigns undoubtedly bolsters its brand value and strength. Its “Equality” campaign encourages people to take their attitude on the court or field off-court, demonstrating the same fairness and respect in their everyday interactions. Nike’s constant involvement in promoting an active, positive lifestyle both inside and outside the scope of sport will continue to positively impact its brand value and strength.
H&M held at number two, expanding its e-commerce footprint and enjoying a 24% boost in value, to ring in at US$19 billion. Zara switched places with Louis Vuitton for the number three spot, owing the upward movemet to a flexible business model that provides competitive advantage and bolstered its value.
Rolex and Cartier make the top ten as the only jewelry brands, while Coach places as the top handbag/leather goods brand at the 15th slot and with a US$4.5 billion valuation. While Rolex and Cartier were in the top ten last year, Coach jumped seven spots (from number 22 in 2016), another sign that its turnaround plan is working.
Another notable is Marc Jacobs coming in as the fastest growing brand in the table, its brand value growing 84%. Brand Finance chalks it up to the company’s recent restructure which involved folding its widely distributed “diffusion” collection Marc x Marc Jacobs into its main line to offer a wide range of products under a single unified brand in an attempt to move upmarket and fortify the brand name of each collection. If successful, they expect the luxury brand’s value to rise again in the coming years.
The list is compiled annually by calculating the values of the brands in its league tables using their ‘Royalty Relief approach,’ which estimates the likely future sales that are attributable to a brand and calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand, i.e. what the owner would have to pay for the use of the brand—assuming it were not already owned. The agency then follows a seven step process to determine the ranking.
Click here to see the full list.