The total value of the top 10 mass-market fashion labels remained stagnant in 2015 at 99.7 billion dollars, according to the 2015 BrandZ Study. The apparel category witnessed only a 0.1 percent change in brand value this year, a disappointing result following a 29 percent increase in 2014 when the clothing sector led all categories in value increase.
The lack of growth is attributed to increasingly tougher competition and consumers smarter shopping habits in the 10th edition of BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands by Millward Brown and WWP. As more consumers carry out research online prior to purchasing in search of the best value, brands such as Zara, H&M and Uniqlo managed to redefine their store experience and online presence to successfully engage with shoppers.
"Consumers are looking for the total brand experience. On one hand, there's the experience in the shop, where consumers want more than just the racks of clothes. They're looking for ways to experience the brand outside the products being offered," commented Marieke van den Toorin, partner at Millward Brown Vermeer. "The same need for experience applies to the digital world - not just plain advertising, but total brand experiences, which are of course in line with the in-store experience."
However, despite the many fast-fashion labels finding the sweet-spot with consumers post-recession, they have also been impacted by global economic changes and currency fluctuations. For example H&M, sourced mainly in Asia where the dollar was strong, but priced the bulk of its products in the weakening euro. Although H&M remains in third place in the Top 10 ranking of apparel brands, its brand value decreased 11 percent from 2014 to 13,827 million dollars in 2015.
Nike held the top spot in the ranking this year once more, increasing its value by 21 percent to 29,717 million dollars, followed by Zara in second place, which decreased 5 percent in value since 2014 to 22,036 million dollars. Affordable luxury brand Tommy Hilfiger, newcomer to the list last year, held its spot in tenth place but increased its brand value 29 percent to 2,580 million dollars.