Nike has retained its position as the world’s most valuable apparel brand despite dips in brand value from slower revenue growth this year. Nike beat out luxury fashion houses Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci in the ranking which came in second, third and fourth respectively.
These were the results of brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance’s annual Brand Finance Apparel 50 2023 ranking which also revealed that adidas has climbed to the fifth most valuable apparel brand position with a brand value of US15.7 billion, an increase of 7% from last year.
In fact, the report revealed that consumer demand for sports apparel and athleisurewear remains high with brands such as lululemon, Under Armour and New Balance experiencing double-digit growth in brand value this year. Notably, New Balance enters the top 50 valuable apparel brands list this year benefitting from its presence in the lifestyle market and trends such as ‘Dad Shoes’. This is a style of footwear that is currently popular and characterised by chunky or oversized sneakers.
When looking into Nike’s success, the report found that innovation is one of the most important factors driving consumer choice between apparel brands, behind distinctiveness. A key factor of its success can be attributed to its continued investments in technology and eCommerce to support its digital and direct-to-consumer sales strategy.
Through this strategy, the brand is able to more closely control customer experience, reduce its reliance on physical distribution and leverage the brand’s appeal and customer loyalty to convert sales, explained the report.
“Nike’s enduring success can be largely attributed to the global familiarity of its iconic brand narrative and vision,” said Annie Brown, general manager of Brand Finance UK.
“From its relentless commitment to innovation, ability to stay ahead of market trends, and extensive partnerships with athletes worldwide, Nike has firmly cemented its place at the top of the apparel industry," Brown continued.
French fashion house Celine has also seen the most growth in brand value this year under the creative direction of Hedi Slimane who was appointed as the brand’s CEO in 2018. Its brand value rose by 51% to US2.9 billion. Following closely behind Celine’s significant brand value growth is Dior with a 46% increase and Givenchy which saw a 41% increase.
On the other hand, Italian luxury brand Bvlgari saw the sharpest drop in brand value, decreasing by 29% this year. Other brands that have decreased in brand value include H&M by 26%, Levi’s by 18% and UNIQLO by 13% to name a few. H&M’s drop in brand value can be attributed to vague communication and a lack of transparency regarding sustainability, explained the report. For example, H&M's Conscious Collection was found to extensively use synthetic materials derived from fossil fuels.
While the growing popularity of streetwear and athleisurewear has shifted more consumers away from luxury formalwear, renowned luxury labels have performed the best when it comes to the strongest apparel brand. Rolex, for example, has been named the strongest apparel brand this year, a position previously held by Dior which is now in second place. Luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Hermes, round up the top five strongest brands in descending placements.
Nike also outperforms other brands in its sustainability perception value as the brand aims to increase the use of recyclable materials in its products and make significant strides in donating, refurbishing, or recycling 10 times more finished product waste by 2025. Greenhouse gas emissions of owned or operated facilities were reduced by nearly 40%, while 93% of Nike’s facilities now run on renewable electricity.
The top 10 brands with high sustainability perception values also include Louis Vuitton, adidas, Cartier and Zara.
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