Luxury fashion brands grow 46% online over the last four years
Designer fashion brand growth reaches 46% over 4 years (2015 – 2018)
Off-white, Supreme and Yeezy all grow significantly
Gucci experiences huge uplift, while Michael Kors declines
Search insight enables businesses to gauge brand and product demand online each month. Pi Datametrics’ report showcases an aggregate, four-year view of this insight across the luxury fashion industry in Google UK; spanning 440m searches across 315 brand names, to reveal 46% overall growth and the particulars of brand performance over time.
From the most established players capitalising on the power of the influencer, to the fledgling brands developing cult followings, the report reveals the labels gaining most momentum, while analysing the characteristics of success and decline.
As share of consumer interest online provides a strong indication of future sales, it can be assumed that many of the brands displaying significant growth in this report are the ones currently experiencing financial success.
Luxury fashion brand growth in search…
Ted Baker is the most searched brand year on year
Despite losing traction online in 2018, Ted Baker has maintained steady performance as the most searched brand for the last four years; peaking in November and December respectively. However, recent news calls into question whether this success can be sustained, as negative reports and profits warnings cloud the brand.
Supreme climbs higher than any established luxury brand, with 450% growth
Luxury streetwear brand Supreme has seen the most substantial growth of any established brand (i.e. one with search volume greater than 300,000 from 2015), climbing 24 positions in search, and achieving 450% compound annual growth rate. This goes some way to indicating the level of hype and fanfare around the label. Trading in exclusivity and scarcity, the brand’s products resell at over 1200% their retail price. This strategy has enabled Supreme to achieve a valuation of $1bn in 2017; an accomplishment which few fashion retailers have managed.
Gucci has seen significant uplift as one of the main luxury brands
With a compound annual growth rate of 51.8% from 2015 – 2018, Gucci’s online presence has snowballed over the last four years, peaking highest in November 2017. Gucci has successfully managed to align itself with the hip hop subculture, and gained the recognition from myriad influencers, including successful rappers and artists such as Rihanna, Beyoncé and Tyga.
Michael Kors has seen the most drastic decline of any established brand
Michael Kors’ vanity brand searches have fallen by 44%. This decline coincided with the brand’s decision to release its product for distribution in department stores and the high street some years ago. Having loosened its grip on the reigns of its inventory, Michael Kors’ signature labels regularly ended up on discount shelves, which has reportedly served to diminish the brand’s value and reputation.
Off-white achieves the largest growth of any emerging brand, with 188% growth
Pi Datametrics’ report defines emerging brands as those with a search volume below 300,000 in 2015. Name-dropped in a litany of recent records by noteworthy artists and rappers, the likes of Rihanna, Cardi B and 2 Chainz, Off-White – similarly to Gucci – has gained the attention of the hip hop and pop fanbase. This is reflected in search, as interest has grown 180%. Search growth was also likely spurred on by a collaboration with Nike in 2017. The reputation of founder Virgil Abloh has undoubtedly contributed to growing awareness; specifically in September 2018, when he premiered a new menswear collection with Louis Vuitton. Searches saw a 46% uplift around this time.
Search is a growing indication of brand value
Pi Datametrics’ report trends luxury brand searches over time, to reveal peaks and declines in demand; signalling the effects of both internal and external factors on brand performance.
From influencer coverage to positive or negative press, a brand’s vanity search volume has the potential to be affected by multiple external factors, beyond just its level of search optimisation.
For example, a brand may well receive an influx of searches from negative press, but is unlikely to be triumphing financially as a result of this.
While there are some caveats to vanity search volumes, knowing brand popularity in search can go a long way to signalling overall sentiment and value. Indeed, search is increasingly being used by Hedge Funds as a source of alternative data, to indicate the valuation of brand assets, and inform lucrative investments.
The resellers turning to search to inform brand partnerships, and the brands assessing their own search performance and competitors online, will be the ones succeeding commercially.