4,584 $m
Ralph Lauren is one of the most famous premium lifestyle brands in the world, largely based on its ability to create a unified brand universe and craft a compelling narrative. The brand continues to improve its position, with 2012 performance recorded at USD $6.9 billion and a 27 percent increase in profit. A push to maintain relevance has meant boosting its social and digital strategy, including overhauling its regional e-commerce operations, producing the RL web magazine as a storytelling platform, and enabling online customization. It even invited customers to vote on designs from its vaults via a Bring It Back program that saw the return of its infamous Polo Bear Sweater. The brand is growing globally thanks to its strong heritage, along with ever-improving mobile and e-commerce functionality and strategic product expansion, including a wider range of accessories and extending the Polo brand to women. Key markets include Brazil and Asia, where it’s reopening once-franchised stores as flagship brand experiences, such as its new men’s boutique in Hong Kong. Prioritizing branded stores over wholesale relationships, it’s boosting its bottom line while reinforcing its brand family. To that end, Ralph Lauren is opening more flagship retail stores, such as the planned 35,000-square foot store on New York’s Fifth Avenue that, in 2014, will bring its first restaurant to the Big Apple, a concept that is already successful in Paris and Chicago.