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Italian 2019 highlights

HIGHLIGHTS 2019

Italy’s strongest brands post 14% growth

The country’s most valuable brands have beaten slow growth in the national economy to post 14 percent growth in value in the past year - on a par with that seen in other mature European economies in the past year. The Top 10 have done even better, growing by a combined 18 percent. But the average value of the Top 30 Italian brands lags some way behind the averages elsewhere, and this indicates there’s a strong opportunity in Italy to create growth by investing in brand.

Top 30 brands worth US$96.86 billion

About two-thirds of brands in the ranking grew their brand value over the past 12 months, with 10 posting a decline. The brands in the Top 10 added to their brand value at a significantly higher rate than the next 20. Six brands overall posted growth rates of more than 20 percent for the year.

Gucci leads the way with record value boost

Not only is Gucci the most valuable Italian brand for the second year running, it’s also leading in terms of value growth, posting a 50 percent rise in brand value to almost $25 billion in 2019. The brand is driven by what it calls a “wholly modern approach to fashion”, which helps it stay relevant to new generations of consumers, even as it approaches its 100th birthday.

Luxury brands tell the world what Italy represents

The strength and scale of luxury brands in the Italian Top 30 sets this ranking apart from the rest of the world – apart from France, where luxury also dominates the country’s top brands. Luxury brands account for nearly 40 percent of the Italian Top 30’s total brand value. But what makes Italian luxury distinct from other European countries is brands’ sense of being sexy, rebellious, playful and fun – attributes many people associate with Italy itself.

Global presence provides strong, stable growth

Italian brands typically have a strong global presence; there are 10 brands in the Top 30 that have 90 percent or more of their overall exposure outside Italy. This helps them not just guard against the risk of slowing demand from the domestic market, but also capitalize on growth in fast-developing markets where disposable income is shooting up. Only French brands among our BrandZ markets have a greater proportion of their exposure from abroad than do Italian brands.

Sense of difference fuels value growth

The most valuable and fastest-growing brands are from a diverse range of sectors, but what they share is a clear sense of difference from competing brands in the minds of consumers. What we call “Meaningful Difference” – standing out in a way that consumers appreciate and like – has turbo-charged growth for brands. The most meaningfully different have grown 43 percent more than the least meaningfully different brands.

Italian brands are fighting fit – but need to be more brave

Brand health as measured by BrandZ has a direct effect on a brand’s ability to grow. The healthiest among this year’s Top 30 have grown in value at double the pace of those brands we class as being “frail”. There are lessons here for all brands in how to improve their vital signs – and boost their brand value at the same time.

Creativity a way to bridge innovation gap 

Innovation is a key contributor to a brand being seen as meaningfully different, and in Italy it’s a major catalyst for brand value growth. Yet the Top 30 overall compare poorly against other countries’ Top 30 brands on innovation. Being creative is one factor in being seen as innovative, and it’s the area where Italian brands have significant scope for improvement.

Fastweb knocks retailer out of Top 30

This mobile phone and broadband provider has entered the Italian Top 30 in 27th place, with a brand value of $891 million. The brand is widely seen as shaking up the telecoms sector with its promise to deliver “like nothing before”; its advertising focuses on the speed of connections and the transparency of Fastweb deals. The brand’s entry into the Top 30 has the effect of knocking out Esselunga, the only retail brand from last year’s ranking. Italy is now the only country in the BrandZ series not to have any retail brands in its Top 30.