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Apple’s strategic ‘luxury move’

According to social analytics company NetBase’s most recent Brand Passion Report, Apple ranks second among top luxury brands in the world, behind only Louis Vuitton and ahead of brands such as Chanel, Burberry, Hermes and Gucci.

“Consumers’ definition of luxury brands are ever-changing,” Pernille Bruun-Jensen, chief marketing officer of NetBase, tells Marketing Daily. “That is clearly evident in the global top 45 list as automotive brands are sliding down the ranks while technology players like Apple and its product brands are climbing the charts and considered as part of the luxury experience.”

Apple was one of only two technology companies to make the list of the top 30 luxury brands in the world (Samsung was the other at number 26). Apple, which ranked ninth in the previous year’s study, saw a 194% increase in social media mentions, according to the study. (Furthermore, Apple’s iPhone and iPad products also made the list at numbers 7 and 28, respectively.) Apple was also the top luxury brand in the U.S. and number 4 in the U.K.

The study evaluated two years of brand conversations across social networks, review sites, blogs forums and news sites to evaluate luxury brands. The findings illustrate how consumers are changing their definition of “luxury” and where they choose to have conversations about those products, Bruun-Jensen says.

“Not only are the brand conversations shifting, and brands can lose their ‘cool’ in terms of being a luxury people talk about, but long-standing media now also face competition from the tech generation,” Bruun-Jensen says. “Luxury brands will want to understand how their brands are perceived by consumers, as these perceptions can change rapidly.”

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