Press Release

December 13, 2018

Luxury brands dominate BrandZTM Top 50 Most Valuable French Brands 2019 ranking

Total brand value rises 12% as Louis Vuitton retains top spot and Chanel takes second place CSR represents a new opportunity to boost perceptions of innovation

Luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Hermès dominate the BrandZTM Top 50 Most Valuable French Brands 2019 ranking, demonstrating the powerful position of traditional fashion houses within the country’s corporate landscape.

In the second annual BrandZ France ranking, released today by WPP and Kantar which tracks and anticipates the evolving environment for the country’s biggest names, Louis Vuitton takes first place ($46.4 billion), Chanel second ($39.2 billion) and Hermès third ($31.5 billion).  

Overall, the luxury sector now accounts for 47% of the total value of the ranking with two of the six new entries further boosting its dominance, via brands Céline (No. 38, $1.1 billion) and Van Cleef & Arpels (No. 43, $937 million). Other newcomers are personal care brand Vichy (No. 41, $954 million), home appliances brand Tefal (No. 46, $774 million), ice cream brand Carte D’Or (No. 44, $931 million) and retailer Maisons Du Monde (No. 49, $665 million).

The total value of the BrandZ French Top 50 rose 12%. While this is significantly ahead of the 2.3% increase in the country’s GDP, it looks less favourable when compared to the 21% rise in total brand value seen in the BrandZ Global Top 100 Brands earlier this year.

One potential reason for the growth lag could be the comparatively low perceived innovation score for France’s top brands. Taking 100 as the benchmark score for this measure, the Top 50 most valuable French brands average 103 compared to 113 for both the BrandZ Global Top 50 and the US Top 50 rankings.

But some French brands are already delivering on innovation with initiatives that include encouraging staff to act as brand ambassadors on social media and providing opportunities for consumers to test products. Sports retailer Decathlon (No. 24 $2.2 billion) is viewed by consumers as the most disruptive brand within the ranking, indexing 158 for “shaking things up”.


The BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable French Brands 2019

Rank 2019

Brand

Category

Brand value 2019 ($BN)

1

Louis Vuitton

Luxury

46.357

2

Chanel

Luxury

39.241

3

Hermès

Luxury

31.520

4

L’Oréal Paris

Personal Care

26.127

5

Orange

Telecom Providers

20.117

6

Lancôme

Personal Care

11.452

7

Cartier

Luxury

7.476

8

SFR

Telecom Providers

7.475

9

AXA

Insurance

7.011

10

Garnier

Personal Care

6.847

However, perceived innovation isn’t just about product development or the use of technology, and other brands are looking to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to boost their standing as consumer interest in protecting the world around them grows. When a brand’s CSR fits with its purpose and is communicated well, it has the potential to become as powerful a brand value driver as digital has been in recent years.

Those brands in the Top 50 that consumers perceive as highly socially responsible have grown by an average of 14% over the past year, double the rate for brands that are low scorers. Brands in the Top 10 for CSR include Decathlon, Michelin (No.11, $6.4 billion), Air France (No. 50, $658 million) and Credit Agricole (No. 23, $2.4 billion).

David Roth, WPP, said: “France gave us the word entrepreneur, and there is a huge opportunity for brands that can lead and shake things up for their consumers. Innovation is the fastest route to brand value growth, but companies should explore all forms of innovation as they seek the best, most authentic solutions for their brand.”

The best opportunity for brands to boost the innovation message remains partnerships between traditional and new brands. Oil brand Total (No. 13, $5.9 billion) has teamed up with Blablacar to offer money off vouchers that boost uptake of the carpooling company’s services, while telecoms provider Orange (No. 5 $20.1 billion) has been streaming music service Deezer’s exclusive mobile network provider in France for more than five years.

Pierre Gomy, Managing Director Brand & Communications at Kantar TNS, Kantar Millward Brown, said: “French corporates can be quite traditional – and that has served them well in the past – but it’s important for brand growth to break out of that behaviour. Consumers are increasingly looking for innovation and CSR offers the opportunity for businesses to redefine themselves beyond digital and product to include corporate behaviour. Traditional behaviour, particularly among France’s formerly state-owned companies, can also include a much greater sense of mindfulness towards the environment and employees, something they can leverage as a huge point of difference.”

Key trends highlighted in the BrandZ French Top 50 study include:

  • Dior is the fastest riser: Dior (No. 17, $4.4 billion) was the fastest riser in the ranking, up 58%, with Rémy Martin (No. 25, $2.2 billion) growing by 39% and Saint Laurent (No. 19, $3.6 billion) up by 34%.
  • Value doesn’t mean what it used to: French shoppers are buying less but buying better. A decade ago, 29% of people said they wanted better fresh produce; now it’s 33%. More than half of French consumers say they will willingly pay more for higher quality.
  • Online shopping has room to grow: 34 million French consumers bought something online last year, up 13% higher than a year earlier. Technology and fashion are the go-to categories online, but penetration of other sectors, especially fast-moving consumer goods remains low by global standards. Key growth areas are women, under-35s and residents of smaller towns and cities.
  • Older people could well be the future of consumption: Nearly a third of the French population is aged 55-plus and the proportion is growing. They also account for more than 40% of spending on consumer goods and are on the lookout for great food, fashion, travel and tech.
  • Small is beautiful: Shoppers are seeking ways to support local food producers, and 58% say they want to buy as local as possible. Supermarkets and national brands are now promoting the regional heritage of selected produce, and a new brand, C’est qui le Patron? (Who’s the boss?), co-created with consumers, is successfully selling a growing range of fresh food, from milk and butter to burger patties.

The BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable French Brands report and ranking, as well as other brand insights for key regions of the world are available online here. The reports, rankings, charts, articles and more can also be accessed through the BrandZ app, which is free to download for Apple IOS and all Android devices from http://www.brandz.com/mobile or by searching for BrandZ in the iTunes or Google Play app stores.

Chanel’s performance in the ranking has been boosted by the availability of additional financial information, which has allowed BrandZ to recalculate its brand value to $39.2 billion, moving the brand up to the No. 2 spot in the ranking. This recalculation gives a headline growth in the BrandZ Top 50 French Brands 2019 of 22% year on year but the 12% figure, calculated without including Chanel, is more representative of overall performance.


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