Total value of Kantar BrandZ™ Most Valuable Italian Brands ranking grows by 11% in 2021

As Italian brands prove their worth, Gucci retains the top position for a third year, with a brand value of $33.8 billion.
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Federico Capeci

Managing Director, C&SEurope HiPo Markets, Italy, Belgium, Greece & Israel

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Despite a turbulent year due to COVID-19 and the threat of a lasting economic recession, the Kantar BrandZ™ Most Valuable Italian Brands ranking has risen by 11%, to reach a total brand value of $114.6 billion.

Italian luxury brands continue to dominate, accounting for 42% of the total brand value of the Top 30. 12 categories are represented in the ranking, reflecting the diverse strengths of Italian business; high-end fashion, food, telecoms, cars and energy suppliers all appear in the Top 10. Strong brand equity, agility, and a rapid response have offered businesses insulation from the crisis: the performance of Italian brands demonstrates how stronger brands have suffered less than competitors and are recovering more quickly.

Leading the ranking, luxury fashion label, Gucci, worth more than $33.8 billion, has seen its brand value rise by 12 percent in the past year. It has accelerated its focus on digital, investing further in its online brand experience, to maintain its saliency whilst the offline retail experience has been hugely impacted. Italian luxury brands tend to generate most of their sales from outside of Italy, and demand has remained strong in the US and much of Asia throughout the past year.

Utilities company, Enel was the second most valuable Italian brand, with an increase in brand value of 41% to $13.6 billion, as it continued to benefit from its new global positioning. It also scored top as ‘Most Sustainable Brand’, achieving the highest BrandZ Index score for its positive environmental credentials. TIM (No.3, $9.1 billion), Kinder (No.4, $8.9 billion) and Ferrari (No.5, $6.8 billion) made up the Top 5 Most Valuable Italian Brands.

The acceleration of digital marketing strategies has provided opportunities for brands across a range of different categories to reach more consumers during the pandemic. 17 brands from the Top 30 increased in value by an average of 24%. The Top 5 fastest risers are led by brands from four different categories. Bottega Veneta (No.12, $2.2 billion, +54%), : Aperol (No.23, $1.1 billion, +54%), Fendi (No.8, $3.2 billion, +48%), Enel (No.2, $13.6 billion, +41%) and Ferrari (No.5, $6.8 billion, +35%).

Food brands performed well due to a combination of innovation, high quality communications and emotional engagement that hit the mark with a broad spectrum of consumers. Kinder (No.4, $8.9 billion), Nutella (No.7, $3.8 billion) and Ferrero Rocher (No. 9, $2.9 billion) all grew in value and continued to appear in the Top 10 most valuable brands.

2021 newcomers to the ranking include Campari, Fineco, Esselunga and San Pellegrino. Alcohol and beverage brands have collectively grown the most in percentage terms since 2020, thanks largely to a stellar performance by Aperol, with its strong sense of purpose and effective communications. The brand succeeded in growing, despite the closure of bars and restaurants around the world, creating trends for at-home aperitif moments and homemade cocktails. Lavazza also achieved +24% growth, by keeping consumer interest high for home consumption against the drop of offices and bars closing.

It is during the most challenging times that brand strength shows its impact, as those brands that succeed in being meaningful, different and salient to their audiences are highly rewarded. In what has been a turbulent year, brands have offered some stability, reliability and continuity, which consumers have appreciated. Despite this being one of the worst economic and health crises in decades, Italian brands have shown that growth is about having the courage to decide where to focus and how to react. It is more important than ever to know what customers are thinking, right now, and respond quickly. Brands need future-thinking strategies, that are implemented rigorously for longer term success.

The Kantar BrandZ™ Top 10 Most Valuable Italian Brands 2021

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Other key highlights from the analysis include:

  • International exposure turbo-charges growth - luxury, automotive, food, beverages and alcoholic drinks brands are those with the highest proportion of their exposure coming from markets outside Italy; in the case of luxury brands, this reaches 94%
  • Reputation, trust & sustainability increasingly important to consumers - brands that have focused on building their credibility in these critical areas are well placed to meet the changing needs of consumers during challenging times, as well as create differentiation versus competitors
  • Ichnusa, the Most Meaningful Italian Brand - although too small to enter the Top 30 ranking, Ichnusa is awarded as the “Most Meaningful Brand”, that is, the highest performing brand in the BrandZ Index for meeting consumers’ needs in relevant ways and/or building affinity

Discover the The BrandZ™ Top 30 Most Valuable Italian Brands 2021 ranking, report and extensive analysis.

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