New global study into luxury brands - Product quality, brand heritage most important. Cartier tops global list, Tiffany is top with US consumers

New global study into luxury brands shows the key regional differences in perception of luxury brands

London – 15 June 2018 -A new global study into perceptions of luxury finds that product quality and brand heritage of products or services are the two most important drivers in the perception of luxury and that experiential, which may be a recent key trend, does little to drive perceptions of luxury for most consumers on a global level. Status, traditionally seen as a key driver of luxury, particularly in the APAC region lags behind in third. Although there are some universal truths surrounding the perception of luxury brands, there are many regional differences.

Most luxurious brand rankings

Most luxurious brand rankings

 

Global

West

Asia

1

Cartier

Cartier

Mercedes-Benz

2

Mercedes-Benz

Rolls Royce

Ferrari

3

Rolls Royce

Tiffany

BMW

4

Ferrari

Porsche

Lamborghini

5

Lamborghini

Bentley

Rolls Royce

6

Tiffany

Ferrari

Cartier

7

BMW

Lamborghini

Rolex

8

Rolex

Ritz-Carlton

Tiffany

9

Porsche

Rolex

Porsche

10

Bulgari

Mercedes-Benz

Bulgari

 

US Luxury Brand rankings

CATEGORY

BRAND

LUXURY INDEX

Jewellery

Tiffany & Co.

                        166.4

Cars

Mercedes Benz

                        157.7

Cars

Porsche

                        157.6

Jewellery

Harry Winston

                        157.6

Cars

Rolls Royce

                        156.6

Jewellery

Cartier

                        154.7

Cars

Aston Martin

                        152.1

Cars

BMW

                        148.6

Cars

Lamborghini

                        147.6

Cars

Maserati

                        147.1

 

Global boutique research agency, Kadence International, interviewed 5,775 consumers across 13 markets and 98 brands to explore what drives perceptions of luxury in different countries. The study resulted in a Luxury Index created from eight principle components.  Defined by Kadence through initial qualitative research, these were: product quality, product distinctiveness, brand heritage, enduring appeal, status, exclusivity, feel good factor, and experiential

By measuring luxury through these eight components, Kadence found:

Product quality is the most important driver of luxury perception in every market. Either quality or brand heritage scored highest out of all eight principle components of the Luxury Index.

The study also found that exclusivity was the least important driver in the luxury market, followed by experiential

Overall the three sectors that are seen as most luxurious are cars, followed by jewellery and watches. Alcohol and hotels are seen as the least luxurious categories. However, these change regionally. In Asia alcohol is generally seen as a more luxurious category, and in France, fashion is seen as more luxurious than in many Asian regions.

Brands are more likely to be stronger in their home markets. Singapore Airlines appears at 31 on the global ranking of luxury brands, however is ranked at number one in Singapore.

There are some key differences between the perception of luxury by region. In Western markets timelessness is more important than in Asia, where status and brand heritage are more important. In China experiential is more important than in any other market, however the importance of status is distinctly less important than any other market, with the exception of Vietnam.

 

Awareness is not necessarily linked to luxury

The study found that, globally, auto brands as well as jewellery, and to a lesser extent, watches were the three categories that scored highest on the Luxury Brand Index. Cars are globally desired brands; their luxury is tied into their high awareness and immediate acknowledgement of a premium position.

Jewellery and watches have lower awareness.  Although brands like Cartier and Tiffany benefit from a global luxury footprint, their higher scores for brand heritage, timelessness and exclusivity provide a different type of luxury for consumers, compared to automobiles that generally score better for quality, distinctiveness and status.  Many watch brands are only seen as luxury if you are a user.

Universal luxury

There are universal truths when it comes to what drives the perception of luxury across the globe. Brands that are known for only using the highest quality materials and craftsmanship, or for delivering a service beyond expectations, receive a stronger luxury score. Brands that have a track record of quality combined with an established historical brand story also have a stronger luxury score.  The higher price point or rarity of the brand has far less impact on the luxury position of brands across categories and regions.

 Regional and category differences

While there are some global truths in the perception of luxury there are a number of regional and category differences that are important for luxury marketers to understand. China, one of the biggest luxury markets are more likely to judge luxury through timelessness and experiential than any other regional market, surprisingly they are one of the least likely regions in Asia-Pacific to judge a brand or product through status

Western markets are likely to have similar profiles when judging luxury, however there are some individual differences. French consumers are more likely to judge a luxury brand by distinctiveness than any other Western region, but are less likely to judge a brand or product through a feel-good factor, or status. Out of all 13 regions the USA is the least likely to judge a brand through distinctiveness, but over indexes significantly on quality, and brand heritage.

In Western markets millennials judge luxury brands through the experiential driver more than over 35s, however this is less noticeable in Asian markets.  On a global level, those older than 35 judged luxury through quality more than those under the age of 35.  Millennials perceive luxury more through brand heritage and timelessness than their older counterparts.

About Kadence
The global boutique for data and insight, Kadence is a truly international research company with offices in the US, UK, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong and China. Kadence works with some of the world's largest brands - such as Samsung, HSBC, Bloomberg and Kirin Holdings - providing global reach with local expertise.

 

Its consultancy delivers ‘Insight Worth Sharing’ to clients across a wide range of business sectors from retail and automotive to finance and travel, whilst its data solutions deliver quickly, accurately and cost-effectively to leading global companies conducting primary research.

 

For further information, please contact Jocelyn Senior, Keen as Mustard Marketing

Tel: +44 (0) 7967 098567, [email protected]