Luxury brands ride out the storm
Nervous about the fallout from global financial pressures, Britain’s consumers would be forgiven for turning their backs on luxury brands they see as unobtainable.
The recent success of low-cost grocers and clothing retailers offering their own-label alternatives fuel this perception that opulence is on hold until conditions improve.
But new evidence has emerged that far from being deterred from brands reserved for the A-list in tough times, consumers are actually more endeared towards them.
Luxury car-maker Aston Martin has, despite the spending slowdown, just been voted the most adored brand in Britain for 2008, according to annual poll by Coolbrands.
Driven by the Bond movie - Quantum of Solace, in which Daniel Craig as 007 drives an Aston, the success for the sports car giant also defied fears about the environment.
A high status rival to the brand in the car category - Ferrari - and in fashion – Rolex, both improved their rankings from last year’s poll, taken before the credit crunch.
And while Prada slipped slightly in the eyes of consumers, and the experts who compiled the final rankings, the brand won its category for coolest fashion designer of 2008.
Dom Perignon was another luxury player to boost its ranking and now sits just outside the top ten coolest brands, which include high-value technologist Bang & Olufsen.
“In these credit crunch times, more expensive and indulgent brands are the coolest,” said pollster The Centre for Brand Analysis, “with Brits defining luxury foodstuffs as some of the UK’s coolest brands.”
Similar to last year’s findings, technology and online brands dominated the top ten – with iPhone in 2nd (replacing the iPod), Apple in 3rd, YouTube in 5th, Google in 6th and Nintendo in 7th.
Yet it seems consumers’ love of technology names can be a fad: Facebook is languishing in 19th, and like iPod; iTunes and Amazon.com have been ejected from the top twenty coolest brands of this year.
1st October 2008