Consumers Report Luxury Brands as Major Reason to Buy

For the second year in a row, luxury brands are at the top of Brand Key’s Annual Fashion 15 rankings, with U.S. apparel buyers attributing 29 percent to brands and logos for differentiating consumers’ purchasing decisions.  

Last year, the role of fashion brands doubled from 2009's numbers to 28 percent in the annual study. In 2005, less than 3 percent of U.S. apparel buyers felt that luxury fashion brands and logos were increasing in importance.

"We are seeing brands becoming more meaningful to people," observes Amy Shea, executive vice president of global brand development at Brand Keys. "They need some way to differentiate one brand from another." She says this is "especially true in fashion," where value or the perception of “value-via-brand” is of much greater importance to consumers and the success of fashion brands.

While "price is price and certainly will always be a factor," the economy and increase in choices are major factors for this increase, according to Shea. "It's not like the old days where there were just a few choices," she says. "The smoke and mirrors era is over. It's a perfect storm of the economy forcing more meaningful decision making."

The survey consisted of 7,500 men and women, 21 to 65 years of age, who ranked the top 15 brands as follows:

  1. Favorite Sports Team
  2. Ralph Lauren
  3. Armani
  4. Calvin Klein
  5. J. Crew
  6. Banana Republic and Burberry
  7. Levi’s and Polo
  8. Chanel
  9. Dior and Versace
  10. Guess
  11. Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan
  12. Brooks Brothers
  13. Juicy Couture, Marc Jacobs, and Victoria’s Secret
  14. Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci
  15. Abercrombie & Fitch, Izod, and Yves Saint Laurent

The study also differentiated the top 15 favorite brands among women and men. Among women, the top brands were "more luxe this year but included some mid-range brands:”

  1. Ralph Lauren
  2. Favorite Sports Team
  3. Armani
  4. Chanel
  5. Dior and Versace
  6. Donna Karan
  7. J. Crew
  8. Burberry and Calvin Klein
  9. Banana Republic
  10. Levi’s
  11. Guess, Juicy Couture, and Victoria's Secret
  12. Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford
  13. Dolce & Gabbana 
  14. Yves Saint Laurent
  15. Tory Burch, Kate Spade, and La Perla 

Among men, the top brands were as follows:

  1. Favorite Sports Team
  2. Nike
  3. Ralph Lauren and Polo
  4. Armani
  5. Calvin Klein
  6. Tommy Hilfiger
  7. Lacoste
  8. Brooks Brothers
  9. J. Crew
  10. Banana Republic and Levi’s
  11. Burberry
  12. Gucci
  13. Guess
  14. Abercrombie & Fitch and Izod
  15. Hugo Boss and Tom Ford

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