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Top Five Most Expensive Brands in Europe

Consumer Goods and Retail | Aug, 2021

Before COVID-19 pandemic, the luxury apparel and accessories consignment surpassed a market value of USD24 billion. With the rising inclination towards sustainable options, the demand for luxury goods is expected to grow further in the coming years.

Luxury brands are most sought-after to evoke a feeling of prestige and a sense of emotional satisfaction. The hi-end brands exude larger than life persona that attracts affluent customers who aren’t worried about price tags when shopping. Europe has been a “home” to the luxury industry, germinating a variety of brands that have acquired an iconic status worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic led the brands to reset their companies’ former strategies and move closely to the aspirations of local consumers.

Here is a list of some of the most expensive brands in Europe that are loved by consumers since generations.  

LVMH Group (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton)

LVMH, a global leading luxury conglomerate reported a 30% revenue increase in the first quarter of 2020. The company enjoys immense success mainly due to its vast fashion portfolio that covers 70 different top-tier designer fashion/beauty brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, CELINE, Fendi, Givenchy, Sephora, Marc Jacobs, etc. Operating as the top-class retail chain, LVMH Group has only one and the biggest competitor, The Kering Group. Unlike other luxury brands that rely on PP&E (Property, Plant, and Equipment) to generate sales, LVMH leverages extraordinary brand strategy to position itself.

The France-based conglomerate constantly innovates its products and services, creating great designs to attract potential customers while upholding a great image among investors to maintain a competitive edge. While tech companies vertically integrate their operations to cut costs and generate additional revenues, LVMH horizontally acquires companies within the landscape to share the distribution channels and extract valuable human capital. The strategy is working quite well as the subsidiaries are recording double-digit growth. LVMH brands target wealthy groups, so the demand for their goods is not as price sensitive as common retail brands like GAP or Tommy Hilfiger, which is affected by external factors.

Louis Vuitton contributes to 40% of LVMH net sales, registering an average 8% growth rate from 2015-2020. The substantial growth rate is a great sign for the brand, but its ubiquitous presence might decrease LV’s social recognition. Therefore, the company needs to reinvent new products with distinct features to maintain freshness to retain brand desirability. In the coming years, LVMH can generate more loyalty and popularity expanding itself in Asia.

Hermès

Hermès has been consistently ranked the world’s most valuable luxury brand with a brand valuation of USD18 billion. Hermès enjoys an iconic status in the world of luxury due to its high levels of quality, professionalism, and rich heritage. The range of products under Hermès brand name includes furniture, watches, jewelry, lifestyle accessories, leather goods, ready-to-wear, silk and textiles. While other luxury brands have courted young shoppers, Hermès has largely stayed true to its classic designs and adhering closely to its original mission of selling handmade goods that last forever. According to The Economist survey, the brand has managed to triple its revenue to USD7.7 billion with operating margins of 34%, the best in the industry. In 2020, Hermès’ revenue fell during the lockdown, but the sales spiked up by 47% in the fourth quarter.

People desire things that not a lot of people can get. Therefore, Hermès deliberately makes it hard for customers to access its most coveted bags such as Birkin and Kelly that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain exclusivity. Besides, scarcity retains the value on secondhand markets. To combat the fashion’s impact on the environment, Hermès has taken a different approach to sustainability. The brand offers repair workshops to encourage its customers to keep their products for lifetime to reduce overconsumption and promote a culture where fashion is seen as durable.

Hermès has successfully strengthened the brand value over 180 years due to its exquisite craftmanship and superior quality. Rather than following a direct selling approach, Hermès organizes events collaborating with independent artisans and designers to increase product visibility. However, increasing production volume and failure to innovate could keep the brand out of the sync with younger global audience.

Mercedes-Benz

From S-class sedans to G-class Maybachs, SLR McLaren Roadster 722 S to 2020 Armored G 63 AMG, Mercedes Benz offers some of the most incredible range of cars that appeal to the different taste of all drivers. Invented in 1906, Mercedes-Benz continued to invent models as per the growing demand from customers staying true to its slogan, “the best or nothing”. The exorbitant price of Mercedes-Benz can be justified with the high quality and expensive parts incorporated in the vehicle. The top luxury car possesses all the great features that anyone could possibly desire in terms of convenience, consistency, and elegance. Mercedes is known for its longevity as it can stand the test of time.

A breakthrough for Mercedes-Benz sets the standard for other conventional cars as the brand has a reputation of taking the lead in innovative automobile technologies. Known as one of the most performance-oriented automobiles on the planet, Mercedes Benz has on-demand power, high horsepower, comfort, premium upholstery, fuel economy, and even entertainment options. Mercedes Benz continued to remain the top favorite among the luxury car models due to its high reliance on word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing model which allows it to remain connected with its existing and new customers.

As the automotive world is changing and governments of various countries are pushing for electric vehicles, Mercedes-Benz is ready to adapt the electrification challenge. The Germany luxury brand plans to introduce its EQC electric sport utility vehicle in the USA and release its electric sedan in the future. Mercedes-Benz plans to go all-electric by the end of the decade, for which the company has decided to invest more than USD47.28 billion between 2022 and 2030.  

Rolex

One of the world’s most popular watch brands, Rolex is loved by business tycoons, film stars, sports celebrities and ultra-rich. The most prestigious and sought-after brand offers opulent timepieces, that are treasured for their sheer quality. The luxury timepieces are hand-assembled by engineers utilizing gold and platinum, manufactured in an in-house foundry. Each timepiece has a unique serial number and undergoes highest scrutiny to avoid any signs of imperfections. Rolex timepieces are sturdy and reliable, and the company takes pride in remaining one of the most recognizable watch brands of all time. The luxury watch brand maintains and improves its existing collections throughout the years. Some of the Rolex watches are so popular that purchasing them stands as an investment.

Rolex does not really like to advertise its watches on massive billboards to maintain its elitism and makes one want to enter the elite club. The brand tries to evoke the feeling of utmost pride rather than signifying superior quality of its watches over others. Besides, the unwavering loyalty from the elites in the society makes Rolex one of the celebrated watches of all times. Moreover, the company sponsors various sport events, games, etc. to maintain the recognition level of the brand and keep its unique place in the mind of customers. The fame and desirability of the brand continues to grow as the luxury watch brand successfully maintains its position in the market.

Chanel

Chanel is a premier French luxury fashion brand that has continued to maintain its legacy for over a century. Chanel’s products are handcrafted by the best craftsmen in Europe with the highest quality materials that are molded to perfection. The label ensures that all the products last for decades and withstand damage from heat and water. Besides, contemporary design and style of Chanel products does not compromise with their practicality and functionality, which makes them unique. There are often waiting lists of customers who want to purchase Vintage Chanel or current styles due to huge demand and popularity of its pieces. Many people believe that “the price of Chanel is the price of legacy” as the products can be passed down for the generations to come.

The brand does not fail to provide its customers the rich meaning behind the double C logo of Chanel, which exudes sophistication and class. Customers do not mind travelling to the Chanel boutiques in different countries in search of their fashion accessories despite additional cost of currency and travel exchanges because owning and wearing Chanel items exhibits rich taste, which stays relevant for years.

The luxury fashion brand leverages social media platforms to display its unique collections that help it to convert viewers into faithful customers. Chanel has been successful in establishing brand’s high reputation with premium pricing, exclusivity, and celebrity endorsements that indirectly expresses the brand’s philosophy of refinement, affluence, and high living. Besides, Chanel is creating brand awareness with its theatrical and over-the-top runway shows, that happen in elaborate backdrops and stunning settings. Moreover, Chanel features noted celebrities and supermodels in its absurd and artistic mini movies to flex brand’s aesthetic prowess.

Conclusion

Luxury retailers are leveraging new technologies like blockchain that allows both sellers and consumers to engage with their products in the market. According to a survey, more than 80% of luxury sales is happening in the digital space, which is helping the brands to offer best customer service experience utilizing the retrieved consumer data. Besides, luxury brands are moving to social media platforms to stay relevant and maintain recognition over fast fashion brands while staying true to their ethos. The emerging preference towards sustainability could further help the luxury brands to grow substantially over the coming years.

According to TechSci research report, “Global Luxury Bags Market By Type (Bag, Backpack, Wallet, Clutched and Others), By Material (Leather, Nylon and Synthetic), By Gender (Men and Women), By Distribution Channel (Online and Offline), By Company and By Geography, Forecast & Opportunities, 2026”, the global luxury bags market is anticipated to grow at a formidable rate during the forecast period, owing to increasing disposable income and the rising population.

According to another TechSci report, “Global Luxury Car Market By Vehicle Type (Hatchback, Sedan, SUV & Others), By Fuel Type (Petrol, Diesel & Others), By Engine Capacity (<2500cc, 2500-5000cc & >5000cc), By Region, Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, 2026”, the global luxury car market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 3.5% by 2026. Increasing options of customization and addition of advanced features in hi-end models are fuelling the growth of luxury car market.

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