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Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Queen Elizabeth II: One of the UK’s Most Powerful Brands (and Longest Reigning Monarch)

Image from the Royal Household
Queen Elizabeth II may want to keep things low key and “business as usual”, but millions throughout the country are celebrating today as she becomes Britain’s longest reigning monarch. However, Professor Qing Wang from Warwick Business School has found that the Queen is more than a monarch, she is an essential figure for promoting the UK’s products and businesses. 

Professor Wang said: “The Queen and the royal family are the most significant symbols of British heritage and tradition. They inject a sense of continuity and national identity in the globalised and ever-changing world we live in today.

“The Queen and all the history that comes with her, gives British luxury brands an edge and distinctive advantage.”

Global demand for "Made in Britain" labels means UK luxury good firms are set to get a sales boost, as stated in a report from Frontier Economics. By 2019 the value of sales is said to reach around £51.1bn and, according to Wang, Chinese consumers are showing the biggest growing appetite for British luxury goods. 

Professor Wang conducted a survey of Chinese consumers and asked them what they associated with Britain and the “Britishness” they like so much. Her results show that the Queen and the Royal Family were top of the list. 

“Luxury goods are defined as those satisfying hedonic rather than functional needs and our research has found this is an area that Britain enjoys a distinct advantage in,” said Professor Wang.

“The Queen is a significant reason for this, as a very important factor that makes Britain stand out is that it incorporates tradition and innovation seamlessly.

“Put differently, Britain’s advantage lies in the so-called soft power, which is defined as the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than through coercion, and the UK’s royal heritage is a key part of that.

“The extent of its impact is hard to measure and even harder to replicate. As China promotes its own soft power, it has increasingly turned to Britain for inspiration.”

Professor Wang believes that products and services linked to the Queen and the royal family has helped protect them from any slump in the market.

“The continued profit and sale decline of luxury brands are a strong indication that luxury brands are losing their lustre due to over exposure in the global marketplace and outsourcing of production to other countries.

“There is a trickle-down effect of shoppers looking to emulate the luxury lifestyle, but the conspicuous consumption of middle-class consumers is threatening the very essence of luxury being exclusive.

“But the link to the most important British heritage – royalty - reaffirms to consumers the brand’s authenticity and reminds the public of the golden bygone age. Unique and customised product offerings combined with exquisite craftsmanship and the royal association continue to drive sales in emerging markets.”

Specialist brand and business valuation agency, Brand Finance, has put a figure on the monarchy’s value to the UK. The firm found that that the British Monarchy is worth about £57 bn and will make a net contribution to the economy this year of £1.16bn.

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