Nike beats Gucci, Louis Vuitton to become world's most valuable brand

Orlando, USA - February 15, 2014: Photo of facade of Nike Store  at Orlando Premium Outlets, located...

$30.4 billion

What the Swoosh is worth, according to Brand Finance.

Brand Finance

wsfurlan/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images

In ranking apparel brands by their value, Brand Finance found Nike to be the world’s most valuable, The Fashion Law reports. This marks Nike’s seventh year at the top of the list, with the sportswear brand looming over other high-brow labels like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Adidas, Zara, and Chanel. Brand Finance even found that Nike, now valued at $30.4 billion, maintained “a considerable lead over second-ranked Gucci,” which has a brand value of $15.6 billion, according to TFL.

The pandemic has ruined other brands, but seemingly only bolstered Nike’s success. Through constant yet limited drop marketing, the Swoosh has boosted the exclusivity — and thus, hype — of its sneakers, and quarantine’s all-online approach makes it easier for the brand to make its models scarce. And despite raking in $4.1 billion in the past three years, Nike hasn’t paid any federal taxes during that time frame, which has surely cushioned the company’s value.

Your kicks are worth more than before — Sneakers — whether they boast a Swoosh or not — have also gained value in the past year, helping Nike in the long run. Brands have realized that hype for products revolves around exclusivity, and they’re more than willing to limit their items if that means increased demand (and profit) in the long run. Thanks to the now-common scarceness in the shoe industry, Brand Finance found that footwear “recorded an increase in brand value year-on-year, posting a 9 percent rise in brand value on average,” according to The Fashion Law.

Brands other than Nike benefitted from this growing financial worth too, with Brand Finance noting labels Timberland and Converse (Nike-owned) as increasing in value. Sportswear brand Fila also exhibited the greatest growth in brand value on a year-over-year basis, The Fashion Law reports, with a 68.4 percent growth between 2020 and 2021.

Brand Finance

Money isn’t everything — And while Nike tops the brand value list — leading by $14.8 billion — the brand isn’t the strongest of them all. Brand Finance also judges companies by their “Brand Strength,” according to TFL, which takes into account a company’s “marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation.” With a huge reselling scandal tainting Nike’s character — and unofficial Satan Shoes allegedly threatening the company’s future profits — the Swoosh has had a rough year in terms of customer relations. Still, Brand Finance found the sportswear label fourth in its “strongest brands,” with Gucci, Moncler, and Rolex topping Nike.

Rolex has reigned over the brand strength list for years, says TFL, with a leading strength index score of 89.6 out of 100 (compared to Nike’s 87.1). Brand Finance found the watch label to be “synonymous with timeless class and luxury,” noting it has “shown remarkable resilience to the pandemic turmoil.” Per the report, financial worth and brand strength are not the same thing — perhaps a message Nike needs to note.