Brand strength is vital for anyone intending to compete on the global stage. Having commercial brands that are deeply interwoven with a country identity is a boon to its international reputation and Italy can boast three brands among the global top 100.

Gucci, Ferrari, and Prada rank respectively 33rd, 77th and 100th according to Interbrand’s 20th annual Best Global Brands report. Thanks to its storied history, predictive ability, and comprehensive methodology, the report is one of the most influential rankings in the world.

Interbrand factors in three key components in its valuations: financial forecast, the role of brand and brand strength. The last one, described as the ability “to create loyalty and, therefore, sustainable demand and profit”, is based on ten factors: clarity, governance, commitment, responsiveness, authenticity, consistency, relevance, presence, differentiation and engagement.

The top spots are the domain of household tech companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon. However, last year, the biggest increase, a staggering 42%, in brand value concerned the luxury sector as a whole. Gucci, holding a spot on the list since its inception, perfectly represents this trend: it saw 23% growth over the last year, thus reaching almost 16 million in value. “One of the things we have seen is an exponential shift with all of the luxury brands [toward] a greater openness, transparency, and inclusiveness,” Rebecca Robins, Interbrand’s global luxury lead, said. “[CEO Marco] Bizzarri at Gucci talks all the time about inclusivity, and he means that in terms of reaching new generations of consumers.” Visionary leadership, aggressive and wide-ranging marketing campaigns that include cultural touchstones such as the Italian Renaissance are the marks of Gucci’s ascent.

Ferrari and Prada are united in having differentiation and authenticity as their top-performing factors for their brands. Ferrari set the standard for Italian excellence in the automotive sector, building cars that are unique in terms of their performance, innovations, technology, driving pleasure, and design. Rounding off the ranking, Prada upholds Italy’s reputation as a leading global player in the luxury goods industry.

According to Manfredi Ricca, Global Chief Strategy Officer, brands are a “crucial asset for any organization”. They are also less subject to market fluctuations, both negative and positive. A strong brand not only mitigates risks during a recession but also can better support a business in its long-term growth.

Sources: Fortune, Sole 24 Ore