Luxury Brand Tier List – Discover 6 Levels of Luxury

By: Frank DePino | January 18, 2023

You must consult a luxury brands tier list if you are a seller of luxury goods. Such a list is a market analysis presented in an easy-to-grasp format. Its benefit? It gives useful information about known luxury brands and enables you to size up your competition and comprehend buying trends.

A luxury brands tier list organizes brands into meaningful groups based on clear standards. Economists and marketers have made several of these lists, some of which are available online.  If you are a marketer, consulting such a list will help you know what to do and who to target.

Continue reading to discover what these tiers of luxury brands are and how you can benefit from them.

Luxury bags hold an important position in the pyramid of luxury fashion brands

What Are The Different Levels of Luxury?

Luxury goods are “highly desirable items within a society or culture.” Luxury can be considered the opposite of necessity. This means while you don’t really need high-end items to live, they are good for other things like status, self-esteem, and peace of mind.

High-End products are better than most products that only cater to the bare minimum. According to a 2019 Journal of Business Research study, luxury brands have these distinct traits:

  • Superior quality
  • Provide genuine functional or emotional value
  • Carry a positive image because of craftsmanship, quality of service, or other factors
  • Deserve an expensive price tag
  • Inspire deep connections with the consumers

Because a product can be superior to others in many ways, there are many levels of luxury brands as well. People categorize luxury differently, but it’s common to group brands in pyramids.

The Pyramids Of Luxury Fashion Brands

What Are Luxury Fashion Brand Pyramids?

Luxury fashion brand pyramids are classification schemes that segregate various fashion brands according to their price, accessibility, quality, and other features. As typical with pyramid models, the higher the brand is on the tier, the better its characteristics are.

How Are Luxury Fashion Brand Pyramids Built?

A luxury brands tier list or pyramid is often created based on statistics, voting, and survey feedback. Information may be objective (for example, costs and number of products manufactured) and subjective (such as customers’ opinions about the brand and its users).

The composition of brand pyramids and placement of the brands may differ depending on the brands included and the criteria selected. They may also change over time to reflect changes in public perspective, prices, accessibility, and so on.

What Are The Criteria Of Fashion Luxury Brand Tiers?

These are some of the criteria of a fashion luxury brand hierarchy:

  • Craftsmanship: High-end fashion products may be hard to make because their creation involves special techniques that may take a long time to finish. Skilled artisans make some items by hand.
  • Quality and rarity of materials: Fashion brands need to protect their reputation, so they are motivated to use only the best quality items. Using rare materials will also entice customers who equate rarity with value.
  • Advertising: Luxury items are all about prestige, which is based on people’s awareness and perception of the brand. As a result, high-end brands will invest significantly in advertising.
  • Social Media Popularity: Aside from traditional advertising, luxury brands make themselves known through social media posts and other digital marketing strategies. These brands will make every effort to provide excellent customer service to maintain their good reputations.

Building a luxury brand image requires a lot of investment, so high-end goods are pricey.

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Luxury Brands Tier List: The Hierarchy Of Luxury Brands According To Rambourg

Erwan Rambourg, managing director of HSBC, has created a luxury brand hierarchy in his book “The Bling Dynasty.” In this book, he described how luxury brands and their diverse markets thrive despite economic slowdowns.

Rambourg’s model shows that brands vary in accessibility. In particular, the higher the price of the products, the number of consumers purchasing them decreases.

In Rambourg’s pyramid, designer accessories and apparel are considered “accessible core”. Brands in this category are Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tod’s, Prada, David Yurman, and Tissot.

Luxury Brands Tiers And Rankings

This is how Rambourg classified brands according to price points in USD (cost) and the number of points of sale (accessibility):

  1. Tier One (Bespoke/Custom-made and Ultra High End; costs above $50,000): Graff, Leviev
  2. Tier Two (Super Premium; costs $5,000 to $50,000): Harry Winston, Patek Philippe, Breguet, Bottega Veneta, Van Cleef & Arpels, Panerai, IWC
  3. Tier Three (Premium Core; costs $1,500 to $5,000): Hermes, Chopard, Cartier, Bulgari, Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, Tiffany (excluding silver)
  4. Tier Four (Accessible Core; costs $300 to $1,500): Designer accessories and apparel
  5. Tier Five (Affordable Luxury; costs $100 to $300): Designer eyewear, Montblanc, Geox, Tiffany silver jewelry
  6. Tier Six (Everyday Luxury; costs below $100): Restaurant/Entertainment, Spirits, Champagne, Imported Wine or Beer, Starbucks, Swatch
Luxury shoes are one of the main products desired by high-spending customers

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Luxury Branding Key Theories

Why do people buy luxury brands?

  • Customers feel better knowing they are purchasing a genuine luxury item than buying an inferior imitation.
  • Consumers often believe that paying more means getting more.

On the other hand, Wharton associate professor of marketing and economics Pinar Yildirim claims that people purchase luxury brands not only because they care about the quality, composition, or craftsmanship of the product; they also want to express certain ideas about themselves.

There are several psychological theories about why people buy luxury brands. Listed below are a few of the most common ones:

  • Luxury brands enhance consumers’ self-concept. Being able to afford expensive things makes people feel good.
  • They feel a sense of belonging when they make the same purchases as a particular group of people.
  • Luxury goods can serve as “rewards” for an accomplishment.
  • Consuming luxury items in public signals wealth, which signifies power and status.
  • People use possessions to create an ideal identity.
  • It helps individuals stand out when there are too many similarities in their environments.
  • Using high-end goods can make people see themselves as better than others.
Ferrari is among the most famous and important luxury car brands in the world

Insights on Luxury Brand Tier List

According to Rambourg, using luxury brands is a way for millionaires to flaunt their wealth. Interestingly, he discovered that for these ultra-rich folks, the brands they purchased were actually more important than the level of money they earned.

In “The Bling Dynasty,” Rambourg used avatars to represent the five groups of newly-rich individuals in China. These five representations reveal that luxury brand shoppers have varying backgrounds, preferences, means, and aspirations.

The book makes the crucial point that these Chinese “new shoppers” opt to buy luxury goods abroad for the following reasons:

  1. Prices are cheaper abroad than in their own country.
  2. There is a lesser chance of getting imitations abroad.
  3. Buying abroad allows them to travel for leisure.
  4. Possessing passports allows them to demonstrate their status (it’s hard to get passports in China)

This tells us that purchasing high-end brands is more than just an activity; it is an experience. Thus, marketers must be familiar with the entire process of luxury purchases and understand what consumers go through when buying luxury goods.

Elevate Your Luxury Brand Today

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Seeking to elevate your luxury business? Let Mediaboom guide you. Secure your exclusive, free consultation with our luxury marketing experts today.

Hire a Luxury Brands Marketing Agency

Having a luxury brands tier list will give you an idea of who your consumers are, what they like, and how much they are willing to spend for something, but it’s not enough to guarantee your success.

Marketing luxury brands is challenging because customers have high standards, and they need to be convinced the right way. If you want to sell anything related to luxury, like luxury hotels, fine jewelry, or gourmet food, it is best to invest in the services of a highly-skilled marketing agency to ensure maximum ROI.

When dealing with luxury brands, guessing games can be costly. Mediaboom has almost twenty years of experience in marketing luxury brands, so we have learned the most profitable strategies and the most ineffective ones.

Our luxury expertise makes us the best choice for you, so get in touch today.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals, building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.


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