Olivia Parker
Jun 11, 2019

Dolce & Gabbana falls 140 places in Asia's Top 1000 Brand ranking

The brand is still suffering from a poor marketing strategy last year, which caused outrage in China and has seen it drop in consumer preference in almost every APAC market.

Clockwise from left: Dolce and Gabbana's apology; the offending advert; backstage at the cancelled fashion show
Clockwise from left: Dolce and Gabbana's apology; the offending advert; backstage at the cancelled fashion show

Luxury fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana fell 140 places in this year's Asia’s Top 1000 Brands ranking.

The drop, from position 360 last year to 500 this year, which is one of the biggest falls overall in the 2019 list, suggests a shift in Asian consumers’ sentiments about the brand, possibly not surprising considering its China faux pas last year.

Even as recently as March this year, D&G was still reported to be suffering from the backlash to a November marketing video released in the mainland, which was deemed “racist” and was followed up by an outpouring of insults against the Chinese by founder Stefano Gabbana on social media.

Both Gabbana and Domenico Dolce released an apology video in Chinese on Weibo, but this appeared to do little to mitigate the damage. 

The brand didn’t show up at the usual fashion weeks, and it still isn’t featured on Alibaba’s Tmall, JD.com or Lane Crawford. Even the model who was featured in the offending video said afterwards that the response to it "practically ruined" her career. 

It may be two or three years before the brand can reset its China strategy, Terence Chu suggested in an exclusive interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific in January. The founder of the experiential agency Apax Group, which helped organise D&G's 'Great Show' fashion project, which had to be cancelled following the outcry in China, said the message to be learned from the controversy was that "no matter where we come from, the world is getting smaller."

The Asia's Top 1000 Brand ranking provides concrete evidence of D&G's recent fall from grace. The brand dropped four places in the overall luxury category, to 19th position this year, and also lost positioning in the luxury category in 12 out of 14 Asia Pacific markets, with the two exclusions being the Philippines, where it remained in the same position as in 2018 (13th), and Indonesia, where the brand managed a six-point rise from 15th to ninth place. 

In China, which ranks its top three luxury brands as Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton, D&G lost three spots, falling from 17th to 14th place. In Hong Kong the drop was even greater; the brand sank 10 whole places from 12th to 22nd. 

Can the brand recover next year? It will depend on consumers' memories—and D&G's ability to prove it has a firmer, more sensitive grasp of local sentiments. 

Don't miss the rest of our exclusive data and special reports:

Follow us

Top news, insights and analysis every weekday

Sign up for Campaign Bulletins

Related Articles

Just Published

Premium
ByteDance attracts 23% of China digital spend: R3
Premium
1 hour ago

ByteDance attracts 23% of China digital spend: R3

TOP OF THE CHARTS: In the coming year, advertisers can expect to pay more for space on the company's Douyin platofrm, as well as other short-video and news sites in China, according to an R3 forecast.

Premium
An inside look into S4 Capital's IMA Los Angeles operation
Premium
1 hour ago

An inside look into S4 Capital's IMA Los Angeles ...

IMA - part of Martin Sorrell's digital ad and marketing services company - is planting its West Coast flag.

Premium
Does client conflict still exist in the age of consultancies and McDonald's?
Premium
1 hour ago

Does client conflict still exist in the age of ...

Conflict is going extinct and McDonald's just proved it.

Premium
Snapchat has won back young users after 2018 Android debacle
Premium
2 hours ago

Snapchat has won back young users after 2018 ...

Platform is making a comeback after teenage users drifted away in US last year.