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Which markets are best for Brexport luxury brands?

A key challenge for marketers of British luxury brands is to decide which international markets to prioritise for digital marketing effort.  It’s common sense to address markets where there is existing favourability towards British brands.

In these markets, we are better able to compete with both the ‘dominant’ Eurolux brands and with the challenges presented by indigenous up and coming brands. For those reasons it is often best to de-prioritise France and Italy, as they are home to many of our most pervasive competitors.

What do we know about the propensity to engage with ‘Brand Britain’? Focusing on Burberry, our strongest standout amongst the top tiers of global luxury brands, we can learn quite a lot as it turns out, starting with some data. Using Google trends, we can see this:

Values in the chart above are calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is the location with the most popularity as a fraction of total searches in that location, a value of 50 indicates a location which is half as popular and a value of 0 indicates a location where the term was less than 1% as popular as the peak.

In other words, Burberry is relatively more popular in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, less so in Germany, Sweden and Turkey.

Compared to what? Well, let’s ‘face off’ with Gucci:

In other words, Gucci…

  • Is substantially more popular overall.
  • Strongest in Italy (no surprise!).
  • Dominates versus Burberry in Kuwait and Nigeria (probably not good markets for Burberry).
  • Is most challenged by Burberry in Singapore and Hong Kong.

As a sense check, although not direct competitors, Burberry vs. Gucci represents a battle for share of voice in luxury, so we can regard the data as at least being indicative of a trend.

It’s also worth noting this geographical breakdown of revenue per region via Burberry’s annual report:

APAC is both their largest source of revenue and home to the greatest number of retail locations, with strong potential in direct-to-consumer revenues mentioned by Burberry’s CEO:

‘Meanwhile, the redesign of our China site to tailor it more effectively to local preferences and behaviours drove increases of around 70% in direct-to-consumer sales, while giving valuable insights for our overall site development for the future.’

Burberry’s heritage, product focus, perceived quality and premium cachet all make it a good exemplar for other Britlux brands but it’s not the full story of course, and before considering market entry we would recommend a thorough market evaluation discovery process, combining both qualitative and quantitative data, to create a more systematic view on market favourability towards Britlux.

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