4,038 $m
Ralph Lauren
An iconic fashion brand that embodies timeless style, Ralph Lauren excels at creating stories around its merchandise by using technology and creativity. Making its first reappearance in the top 100 since 2009, Ralph Lauren’s record brand growth in the past year can be attributed to highly innovative communication patterns and consistency across all touchpoints and formats. At the forefront of the digital movement since the beginning, the brand saw the digital revolution as an opportunity to tell a story online when many fashion retailers saw the internet as a threat to store sales. Over the years, Ralph Lauren has invested heavily in video, editorial content, a Minority Report-inspired interactive store window, mobile apps, and a 4D “visual feast” in the streets of London and New York fusing art, fashion, and technology. Most recently, the brand used Fashion Week as an opportunity to buy out all the ad space in The New York Times iPad app for the entire month of September. Building on its well-established sporting heritage, Ralph Lauren has entered new team sponsorships and outfitting agreements, including a five-year contract with the US Golf Association as its official outfitter and on-site apparel supplier. Expected to bolster its all-American image, the brand accepted the honor of being the US Olympic team’s official outfitter as well. Unfortunately, bringing a bit of tarnish to an otherwise exemplary year, outrage ensued when it was revealed that Team USA’s RL uniforms were, in fact, made in China. While there are many things Ralph Lauren is doing right, in order to sustain its strong brand growth and integrity, the brand will have to make transparency a top priority.