NEWSLETTER Agility China Luxury Brand Affinity Rankings 2021

How Does Your Brand Rank among China’s Affluent?

For many brands the past year has been challenging to navigate. It was not only brands but also consumers who had to adapt to the new reality, and this also drove evolution in the ways that they evaluate and perceive brands.

With this in mind, Agility Research & Strategy is proud to release the Agility China Luxury Brand Affinity Rankings for 2021.

With our expertise in tracking affluent and high-net-worth consumers across markets, Agility is uniquely placed to offer this authoritative ranking of affluent-focused brands. In our first-ever post-Covid ranking, we tracked the performance of a basket of 55 brands along 12 key performance and perception metrics (3 behavior and 9 brand strength and stature metrics) among 1,000 affluent Chinese consumers through a quantitative study.

The brands are ranked according to their consolidated Agility Luxury Brand Affinity (ALBA) score, which is an average of individual performance scores on each of the 12 metrics.  

Agility’s Top 10 Brands Post-Covid

The top 10 brands all come from the fashionluxury and beauty categories – a sign of the prominence of these categories and in the minds of affluent consumers in China in the last year. Not surprisingly, hospitality, travel retail and spirits brands came lower in the order.

Prestige brands with strong pre-pandemic equity have seen stellar performance through the pandemic. They have managed to navigate the pitfalls of the pandemic period commendably and in the process have optimized their equity and consolidated their position. Consumers too have responded to these overtures by flocking to these brands in droves.

Chanel ranked as the number 1 brand in China, with an Agility Luxury Brand Affinity (ALBA) score of 99. The result was not surprising, as Chanel has always been an iconic and highly desired brand among Chinese consumers, and the marque has been able to keep up its position across multiple product categories but most notably in fashion. Its performance was consistently better across all metrics compared to rest of the 55 brands tracked.

LVMH maison Dior came in second with an ALBA Score of 87. LVMH’s emphasis on the China market through the pandemic has ensured that its brands and especially Dior have remained salient and engaging. Consumers noticed these efforts and viewed it as admirable across all metrics. The key reason for coming in behind Chanel is its less comparable scores on metrics contributing to the Brand Stature dimension: Trust, Admiration, and Social Responsibility.

Hermès is the number 3 brand in our list, with an ALBA Score of 83. Its brand stature and strength are second to none. However, it comes in No 3 only because of its performance on behavior metrics (Gifting, Recommendation, Purchase).

The number 4 position is shared by LancômeEstee Lauder, and Gucci, all with an ALBA score of 77. Lancôme and Estee Lauder are the first exclusive beauty brands appearing on the list and their performances are comparable across metrics. However, not surprisingly it ranks behind the big 3 luxe brands on brand stature metrics.

Gucci does exceptionally well on both brand strength and stature. Its scores are up there with the big 3 luxury brands but for behavior metrics. We opinion that it’s probably because consumers prioritized big brands when it came to spends.  

The rest of the top 10 brands include RolexCartierLouis Vuitton and Armani in that order.
Conclusion

The China market is more polarized than it was in the pre-pandemic era. Fashion and luxury brands have further consolidated their top positions. This means that brands with comparatively lower equity will have to up their game in the post-Covid times especially categories reliant on travel such as hospitality, travel retail and wine and spirits. We also observe that Asian luxe brands are yet to ascend into the top 10 list. Shiseido at No 11 comes closest, but is still a prestige beauty brand rather than a true luxury brand.

Next Steps

We’re excited to announce the launch of TrendLens™ 2021 second wave reports, available by the end of September. As part of this wave, we will be interviewing over 10,000 affluent and HNW individuals in 15 global markets.

The key highlight is an expanded list of brands included in the ALBA (Agility Luxury Affinity Brand) rankings. ALBA rankings provide market specific brand insights across these 4 luxury categories: Fashion, Beauty, Watches & Jewellery, Alcohol .

The ALBA allowing you to benchmark your brand versus your competitors across over 15 different brand dimensions, including:

Sustainability – Recommendation – Influence – Admiration – Service – Equity – Social responsibility – Value – Reputation – Desirability – and more.

To learn about TrendLens™ 2021 second wave and the ALBA( Agility Luxury Affinity Brand) rankings, please enter your details here.

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