Press Releases

First-of-Its-Kind Ranking Measures Luxury Brands’ Digital IQ

109 Brands in 11 Categories Evaluated on Four Criteria; Reveals Digital Competence of Iconic Brands

NEW YORK--Apple, BMW, Audi, Sony, Porsche, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Tag Heuer are “Geniuses” when it comes to using digital applications to strengthen their brands, according to the new Digital IQ Ranking. The Ranking was created by Scott Galloway, NYU Stern School of Business clinical associate professor of marketing, and a team of experts who scored 109 luxury brands in 11 categories including fashion, beauty and skincare, watches and automobiles. The study, the first and largest of its kind, measured brands on the effectiveness of their digital competence based on criteria including search engine optimization, brand translation, ability to leverage technology and use of social media. “Best of class” brands that scored highest in their category include:

  • Electronics: Apple
  • Automobiles: BMW
  • Fashion: Louis Vuitton
  • Watches: Tag Heuer
  • Jewelry: Tiffany
  • Hotels: W Hotels
  • Wines & Champagnes: Veuve Clicquot
  • Skincare: Clinique
  • Credit Cards: American Express
  • Home: Viking
  • Tours: Orient Express Hotels 
Each brand was assigned a Digital IQ value and a corresponding term of Genius, Gifted, Average, Challenged or Feeble. Key findings of the study include:

  • Luxury and digital competence are negatively correlated. Higher price point brands registered lower digital IQs
  • Selling online leads to greater IQ across all dimensions as brands become more comfortable in the medium
  • Social media optimization (“SMO”) may soon rival SEO strategy for driving traffic to sites as upstream traffic from social media platforms to these brands’ sites is growing 
To download the ranking and preview of the report go to:

“2009 represented a tipping point concerning the importance of digital competence in the luxury industry,” said Scott Galloway. “While the industry grappled with double-digit revenue declines, traffic to luxury brand sites increased an average of 61 percent. With this study, we’ve devised a metric these companies can use to benchmark specific features of their digital competence against their competitors, and highlight which area each firm stands to gain the greatest return on incremental investment in digital.”

About New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business

New York University Stern School of Business, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, is one of the nation’s premier management education schools and research centers. NYU Stern offers a broad portfolio of academic programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels, all of them informed and enriched by the dynamism, energy and deep resources of the world’s business capital.

September 22, 2009: