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10 Bulletproof Brands in a Bad Economy

Stocks in this article: AAPL KO AMZN MCD TIF BUD T KFT TM LUV

Spending on "luxury" brands did suffer during the recession, but not as badly as it might have.

BrandZ notes that in 2011 Burberry boosted its brand value by 86% and there was a measurable brand appreciation for Cartier, Estee Lauder and Hermes. Upscale brand names such as Nordstrom (JWN - Get Report), Louis Vuitton (ranked highest among luxury brands by BrandZ), Bulgari, Gucci, Chanel, Rolex and Fendi were also noted for their prestige and loyal customers.

"I think Tiffany (TIF) is another good example," Sullivan says. "The blue box is worth something. And, even though they may have high prices, they are perceived to offer value because people get what they are paying for."

"For companies that have multiple price points like Tiffany," she adds. "They have some jewelry that is a million dollars or more. They also have other items that are relatively inexpensive -- silver jewelry or on the small side of diamond engagement rings -- but you are still getting a Tiffany ring."

Even "high-end luxury price points can make their value proposition," Sullivan says.

"I think the best example is the watch company Patek Philippe," she says. "That's like a $10,000 price point. But their campaign that has been going on for a long time, very successfully, is you never really own a Patek Philippe watch, you merely look after it for the next generation. It connotes this idea of being a rational, good economic decision. I think every company should really be thinking about 'Are they offering consumers a good value?'"

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