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Unrequited love – The unappreciated luxury brands

Out with the old, in with the new? Not according to the wealthiest shoppers. Many are unaware of - or feel indifferent towards - some of the youngest luxury brands.

This past quarter, Savanta’s MillionaireVue revealed interesting insights about UK and US millionaires’ affinity, or lack thereof, for a few notable luxury brands.

For many luxury brands in our tracker – in particular, newer ones – there are very high levels of indifference among millionaires over 55.

Rolex is the most loved luxury brand in both countries – 40% say they ‘love’ the watchmaker, founded in 1905. With reports of a Rolex shortage, plus record auction sales in the UK and US, it’s a great time to both buy and sell.

The top three most loved luxury brands for UK and US millionaires are the same, albeit in a different order:

  • After Rolex, Chanel is second in the UK (35%), but third in the US (34%).
  • Cartier is third in the UK but second in the US (32% and 35%).

Yet in the UK, Chanel is the most ‘liked’ luxury brand (38%). Moreover, in the US, at 60%, Chanel is the most loved luxury brand overall among very-high-net-worth individuals (VHNWIs) – those with at least $5m of investable assets.

VHNWIs’ love for fashion brand Hermès (56%) is behind its overall fourth place US ranking. Meanwhile, London-based department store Harrods takes the fourth spot in the UK, driven primarily by affinity among 35-54s (loved by 37% vs. 26% in other age groups).

The youngest millionaires, aged 18-34, are the most likely in both the UK (39%) and US (over half – 52%) to love Givenchy. The fashion brand is the fifth most loved overall in both countries.

After that, Italian brand Bulgari takes sixth place in the US – but eighth in the UK.

 It’s not you, it’s me…

Lower down the list, love is in shorter supply. It’s not hatred – no more than 6% ‘dislike’ any brand. Instead, the story is one of either indifference, or low awareness:

  • In the US, a third are indifferent to Harrods. That’s unsurprising given its location, but suggests there’s scope to build greater affinity with international customers.
  • Despite having online presence in the US, Selfridges is an unknown quantity for 44% of US millionaires – compared to only 14% for Harrods.
  • Meanwhile in the UK, a third of millionaires feel ‘indifferent’ to Net-a-Porter. However, a third of 35-54s love the fashion brand, implying it has found the sweet spot with an audience witnessing its rags-to-riches rise since 2000.

For many luxury brands in our tracker – in particular, newer ones – there are very high levels of indifference among millionaires over 55. For example, two thirds of those 55 or older are unaware of Net-a-Porter in the US. To enjoy more widespread love from this age group – and others – some luxury brands will need to find innovative ways to win more millionaires’ affections.

Savanta’s MillionaireVue is a quarterly omnibus with c.500 HNWIs in each of the UK, US, and China. For more information, please click here.

To find out more about our wealth and luxury team’s work, or to speak to one of our specialists, please click here.

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