Interesting Study Just Sent To Us

Armani and Nike Top ‘Brand Keys’ Fashion Index

but Logos and Labels Seen Losing Consumer Appeal

NEW YORK, NY July 12­ A study of fashion and apparel brand labels and logos demonstrates their power declines over aging market segments. Armani and Versace turned in the most powerful performances, making the Top 10 among the youngest and the oldest age groups and with both sexes (only Armani made it among the “middle-aged” 35-44 group), according to the first Brand Keys Fashion Index, conducted by New York City-based marketing research consultancy Brand Keys (

Key findings:

Surprisingly, women were significantly more likely than men to report that

clothing logos and labels are now less important to them than they used to

be. Specifically, as of Spring 2002, women were 7.6 times more likely to

say that logos/labels were now less important to them.

Examining the results by the age, the oldest age group (45-59) was the most

likely to say that the importance of logos and labels had declined (69%).

Only 6% of this older group said they had become more important.

What was surprising was that even among the youngest age group (21 to 34),

over twice as many respondents said logos and labels are now less

important. “It appears that even among traditionally fashion-conscious

younger adults, a rejection of the use of one’s clothes as a statement

about oneself seems to be taking place,” said Passikoff.

Personal importance of specific logos and labels:

When asked about the personal importance of apparel logos and labels only

10% of respondents said that these symbols are now more important than


However, when asked about the value, importance, or desirability of

specific brand name labels and logos, a far larger percentage indicated a

growing desirability for a wide variety of brand names.

“We suspect this paradox is similar to what happens when consumers state

that they are not influenced by advertising, yet don’t hesitate to cite TV

ads as a major source of information about the products and services they

use,” added Passikoff.

For both men and women, and for respondents regardless of age, far and away

the single-most valuable “brand” logo or label was for “my favorite sports


Almost half (46%) of the respondents said that the label/logo of their

favorite team was important to them in terms of the clothing they wear. As

might be expected, men (55%) and ages 21-34 (58%) were much more likely

than other groups to say that the logo of their favorite team was important

to them.

“This finding clearly indicates the power and potential of sports licensing

and merchandizing in America today,” noted Passikoff. “Needless to say,

the use of team logos to sell products must be conducted at the

local-market level, since sports team preferences are highly locally


For men, of the top 10 brands surveyed, four dealt with the four major

professional sports leagues (baseball, football, basketball, and hockey);

two dealt with athletic shoes (Adidas and Nike).

For women, except for Nike (the #1 brand surveyed), the other nine on the

Top 10 list are upscale fashion brands, from Armani and Dior to Versace and


“Looking at the results by age shows that the oldest group is the least

likely to indicate that the logos or labels of specific clothing brands are

now more important than they were previously.

The Top brands:

Among the 45-59 age group, Adidas is the #1 brand, while a number of

traditional, apparently still upscale, brands also made the Top 10 list:

Armani, Chanel, Perry Ellis, Ferragamo, Gucci, and Versace.

For the youngest group (ages 21-34), Nike was the #1 brand (just beating

out Fendi), while Adidas didn’t make the top 10. Whereas Major League

Baseball and the NHL made the list among 45-59 year-olds, the NBA that

scored among the youngest group, and the NFL among those 35-44.

Logos, Labels, and Marks Assessed:

Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas Bill Blass Brooks Brothers Burberry Calvin Klein Champion Chanel Dior DKNY Donna Karan Ellesse Fav. Sports Team Fendi Ferragamo Fila GAP Geoffrey Beene Georgio Armani Gucci Hermes Hugo Boss La Coste Levis London Fog Louis Vuitton MLB Nautica NBA NFL NHL Nike Paul Stewart Perry Ellis Polo Prada Puma Ralph Lauren Reebok Tommy Hilfigger Versace Yves Saint Laurent


Since 1998, Brand Keys has conducted its national bi-annual Customer

Loyalty Index survey on the leading brands, currently assessing 28 product

and service categories. This is a telephone survey conducted each wave

among a total sample of 16,000 men and women throughout the United States.

All respondents are between 21 and 59 years of age.

In the recently completed Spring 2002 wave, we added a series of questions

on the value or importance that consumers place on the brand name logos,

labels, and trademarks of the clothes they wear:

First, the respondents were asked to indicate the importance to them

personally of the brand name logos, labels, and trademarks of the clothes

that they wear, compared to how important they were to them “a few years

ago.” The respondent choices were as follows: Much more important, More

important, About the same, Less important, or Much less important.

Second, the respondents were read a list of 41 brands (including the NFL,

NBA, MLB, and NHL, and “their favorite sports team. SEE COMPLETE LIST), and

for each, were asked the importance to them now, compared a few years ago,

of wearing clothing that carries that particular brand’s label or logo.

Almost half of the Customer Loyalty Index respondents (7,500) were asked

this series of questions. As a result of this very large sample size, the

findings are highly statistically reliable.


len stein

914 712 2610



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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