Luxury brands climb the charts
More people in Hong Kong and the mainland are identifying with designer clothes and expensive handbags this year than ever before, as the luxury-retail industry makes big gains in a report on the most reputable brands across the region.
Brands such as Louis Vuitton and Prada have soared up the rankings in the survey of the top 1,000 Asia-Pacific brands, shooting up as much as 271 places on the list.
But the region's love for gadgets remains unabated, with electronics brands - led by Samsung at the expense of last year's leader, Sony - filling four of the top five slots.
Campaign Asia magazine, which compiled the report with global information provider Nielsen, attributed the rise in designer goods to the region's growing affluence, despite global economic woes.
'Asians now want product quality,' said the magazine's reports editor, Jolene Otremba. 'It is also about making a statement of their success.'
A top Nielsen executive said, however, that the new trend was also due in part to the downturn.
'Even in tough economic times, people still want to treat themselves to a premium experience. But instead of the luxury automobile you might have the handbag,' said Therese Glennon, a managing director for the Asia-Pacific region.
The online survey asked 400 people from each market to provide their first and second choice of brands in 14 major categories and 73 subcategories.
The results, released yesterday, were weighted to reflect the age and sex ratios and household income of the general population.
Chanel comes in at number nine in the Asia-Pacific rankings, having jumped 21 places from last year. Gucci is at number 11, compared to 81 last year. Both brands dominate in a number of subcategories, including perfume, cosmetics, shoes and women's fashion.
Louis Vuitton won first place for the luxury-fashion subcategory, rising 84 places. Calvin Klein, Armani, Burberry and Prada have also made big advances, climbing 91, 94, 263 and 271 places respectively compared to last year's rankings.
A breakdown by region of the findings shows that Gucci ranks number 14 and Chanel is at 17 in Hong Kong for this year, with Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton and Armani also making the top 100, at 21st, 59th and 65th place respectively. Last year, only two luxury-retail brands made it into the top 100: Gucci at 74 and Louis Vuitton at 100.
Chanel has jumped to number three in the mainland rankings, up from number 24 last year. Gucci, Armani, Louis Vuitton and Prada all have positions in the top 100 (at number 17, 24, 38 and 96 respectively), even though they did not make an appearance at all in the top 100 brands for the mainland last year.
Meanwhile, Samsung is the favourite brand, both in Hong Kong and the wider Asia-Pacific region, knocking Sony off the top spot for the first time in four years.
Apple won best brand for both the mobile-phone and smartphone subcategories in Hong Kong, but Samsung took one of the top spots in a number of other subcategories, including TV, home audio, refrigerator and tablet computer. The brand came second for mobile phones and smartphones, and Sony took fifth place for both.
HSBC, at number 12, has dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in six years, following a period of public mistrust in the banking industry and a rebranding move that some experts say has been unsuccessful locally.