Nike (brand value down 6% to USD31.3 billion) retains its title as the world’s most valuable apparel brand, despite losing brand value, according to a new report from leading brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance.
Annie Brown, General Manager of Brand Finance UK, commented,
“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. In 2023, the brand is continuing to leverage its enormous global influence and reputation to empower positive change in the sporting world and beyond.”
The apparel industry has played a crucial role in China's rapid modernisation and is experiencing robust growth. One such brand capitalising on this development is Bosideng, (brand value up 12% to USD1.9 billion) China’s largest down-clothing brand, which has seven of the largest and most technologically advanced down apparel production bases in China. As well as boosting its familiarity and reputation in China, Bosideng has overcome the common challenges faced by Chinese brands in the global market by connecting with consumers and establishing itself as a distinctive player.
Celine (brand value up 51% to USD2.9 billion) has experienced remarkable growth under the creative direction of Hedi Slimane, appointed to the brand in 2018, and overseen by Celine’s chief executive Séverine Merle. Slimane's innovative vision and brand revitalisation efforts, boosted by social media marketing and advertising campaigns, have played a crucial role in Celine's growing brand value. The brand provides yet another case study in the power of the LVMH luxury superpower in its ability to breathe new life into luxury heritage brands.
Luxury apparel has faced challenges and transformations in the post-pandemic era, with e-commerce and social media reshaping the landscape while streetwear and athleisure gain popularity. However, renowned luxury brands like Dior (brand value up 46% to USD13.2 billion), Louis Vuitton (brand value up 12% to USD 26.3 billion), and Chanel (brand value up 27% to USD19.4 billion) have thrived, thanks to promising sales growth and their enduring brand strengths, upholding their iconic status in the post-pandemic world.
In addition to calculating brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Rolex’s (brand value up 28% to USD10.7 billion) has become synonymous with luxury and timeless elegance. It is this combination of heritage, craftsmanship and reputation for excellence that drives the enduring brand strength of Swiss watchmakers, with other strong performances from Omega (brand value up 13% to USD4.5 billion) up to 20th position and TAG Heuer (brand value up 6% to USD2.6 billion) up in 36th position.
As sustainability becomes an increasing driver of choice between apparel brands, global fast-fashion houses like H&M (brand value down 26% to USD9.4 billion) and Zara (brand value down 15% to USD11 billion) are taking a hit to their brand strengths and reputations. Their weaker brand strengths can be attributed to vague communication and a lack of transparency regarding sustainability. For example, H&M's Conscious Collection was found to extensively use synthetic materials derived from fossil fuels. This case reflects a larger trend in the industry, whereby such retailers engage in ‘greenwashing’ to mask cost-saving initiatives.
Nike has the highest Sustainability Perceptions Value in the 2023 apparel ranking, at USD2.3 billion. The brand’s ‘Move to Zero’ sustainability campaign has garnered global attention and enhanced global perceptions of the brand’s sustainability commitment. Nike is also actively involving athletes in its sustainability efforts in a bid to enhance consumer awareness about sustainability. The brand continues to leverage its enormous global influence to promote ESG practices company-wide, supporting its mission to ‘move the world’ forward through sport and empower positive change for communities across the globe.