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Interbrand unveils Italy’s most valuable global brands

Fashion is the rule, Ferrari and Pirelli are the exceptions

Milan, 5 December, 2008 – Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy, announced today the Best Italian Brands study – the first ranking of the most valuable brands originating from Italy.

The Best Italian Brands ranking is a compelling picture of Italy’s business and brand environment. “The results recognize the economic value created by Italian brands which set global trends in fashion, style and creativity. This talent is rooted deep in our culture and history, and is an asset that distinguishes Italian brands around the world. The dominance of fashion brands on this list also shows that we have challenges in building global brands and generating value in other industries,” observes Manfredi Ricca, Business Director of Interbrand Milan.

Gucci (No.1, 6,388 million euro), Prada (No.2, 2,775 million euro) and Ferrari (No.3, 2,730 million euro) lead the list of 10 brands, which includes only those Italian brands with a global presence.

The top ranked Gucci brand capitalizes on creativity, product quality and being “Made in Italy”, to effectively communicate the brand through its directly owned retail network and fast growing communication channels. Prada, the top spender in marketing and advertising among global luxury brands, continues to add depth and reach to its brand through cultural initiatives and brand extensions such as the Prada phone.

Ferrari has managed growth extremely well; by limiting production in the face of increasing global prosperity over the past decade, it has protected the brand’s exclusivity and desirability.

The fourth ranked Armani (2,729 million euro) is one of the world’s most dynamic fashion brands. Its investment in new categories and product lines have helped the brand reach broader audiences. Despite difficult economic conditions in key markets, Bulgari (No. 5, 2,577 million euro) has shown its brand can sustain diversification. Dolce & Gabbana (No.6, 2,220 million euro) has doubled its revenues over the past five years, combining growth in its core business and its licenses. No.7 on the ranking, Diesel (1,947 million euro) is a fast-moving brand that has gained leadership in the traditionally all-American category of denim apparel.

Translating product innovation into a clear benefit and communicating it consistently has helped Geox (No.8, 1,567 million euro) achieve extraordinary growth. Ferrari and Pirelli (No.9, 1,459 million euro), an icon of Italy’s entrepreneurial history, stand out as the only non-fashion brands in the ranking. The key challenge for Benetton (No.10, 1,107 million euro), one of the most innovative global brands back in the 1980s, will be to find a place in a very difficult retail market.

“A brand’s economic function is to generate demand and sustain its value over time, and this becomes more challenging for marketers in a tough economy. Creating value in the most efficient and effective way becomes infinitely more critical in these times. Beyond a number, knowing the brand’s value provides marketers’ with a diagnostic tool to make informed brand investment decisions,” said Interbrand’s Group Chief Executive Jez Frampton.

This study is based on Interbrand’s proprietary method for valuing brands and uses publicly available marketing and financial data. The Best Italian Brands study includes Italian-originated brands with a significant presence in each of the world’s regions. Brands such as UniCredit, Fiat, Indesit generate substantial revenues abroad, but lack presence and visibility in some key regions.

Best Italian Brands 2008