8 April 2008
Singapore, April 8 2008 -- An improving economy and the rapid opening up of various markets in Asia have given rise to a group of affluent consumers who are eager to adopt the latest fashion trends. According to the latest Nielsen Global Luxury Brands Study, consumers in Hong Kong lead the region as Asia Pacific’s most designer brand-conscious.
Following Hong Kong (38%) as the most brand conscious market in Asia are India (35%), and the Philippines (26%) at a distant third. And despite the prevalence of imitation designer-branded goods in some markets, over half of consumers do not think imitation products match up to the real deal, led by Japan (69%), Taiwan (65%) and China (60%).
More than one in 10 respondents in Singapore purchase designer brand items and 34 percent claim to know many people who buy them too. Although most (70%) in Singapore feels that such branded goods are overpriced, almost half (42%) believe that one gets what one pays for—that for what they are worth, the quality of designer brand items are indeed significantly higher than standard brands.
As the global study reveals, if money were no object, Louis Vuitton (29%), Chanel (28%), Gucci (27%) are the most coveted brands among consumers in Asia Pacific. (Chart 4)
The appeal of Louis Vuitton is strongest in Asia, with the world's top 10 markets that most aspire to the French brand all hailing from Asia, led by the Philippines (42%, also topping the world), Hong Kong and Singapore (each at 40%).
“Louis Vuitton has consistently brought out interesting designs and new product ranges that meet the diverse appetites of many Asians,” said Fiona Lee, Director for Retailing Research, The Nielsen Company Singapore.
Another long-established French brand, Chanel, is the second most coveted brand in Asia Pacific and if money were no object, is most attractive to consumers in China (41%), Korea (38%) and Taiwan (30%), whose aspirations not only topped the Asia Pacific region but reigned the world as the most pro-Chanel consumers. However, the brand ranked sixth (19%) in Singapore, behind other brands such as Gucci (28%), Ralph Lauren (25%), Burberry (24%), and Calvin Klein (23%) in second to fifth ranking.
It’s worth noting that the level of desire among Asian consumers to buy Chanel and Christian Dior increased by six and four percentage points respectively compared to two years ago when the Nielsen survey was last conducted.
“Asia is considered by many international brands as a major sales region, with the improving personal financial status of Asian consumers and with the opening up of various developing markets, there is huge room for growth in the luxury sector,” said Ms Lee.
According to Nielsen’s Advertising Information Services, ad spend by just the top three most advertised luxury brands in Singapore - Chanel, Christian Dior, and Louis Vuitton - totaled over $5.2 million in 2007.
What’s on the Horizon for Designer Brands?
Designer brand appeal has certainly spread across sectors. According to the Nielsen survey, consumers in Asia Pacific 'approved' the potential of a crossover product between a designer fashion brand and a new technology gadget - almost 50 percent would buy a mobile phone that was co-branded with a luxury brand – an area already tapped into by fashion giants like Prada. 43 percent said they would buy a co-branded designer laptop computer, 27 percent a “designer” flat screen TV and a fifth would go for a designer branded MP3.
In Asia, Filippinos seem the most receptive to the idea, with the most consumers receptive to a designer-branded Mobile Phone (74%), Flat Screen TV (47%) and MP3 (44%), while Chinese consumers (74%) were the region's most likely to buy a designer-branded Laptop computer.
Designer-brand mobile phones appear to be the gadget that Singaporeans would be most receptive to purchasing, with over two-fifths of respondents here saying they would buy such a product.
“There seems to be huge market potential for luxury brand line extensions into every corner of the home and office,” said Ms Lee. “Cross-over between brands and products is certainly an opportunity and it is clear that consumers from Asia, along with those in other fast developing markets, are driving demand for these products.”
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