Chanel is the hottest luxury brand in China

Forget the 'Big Mac Index'...This is the 'Chanel Index'
Forget the 'Big Mac Index'...This is the 'Chanel Index'

Rich Chinese really do love their Chanel.

Chanel has the highest brand awareness among luxury Chinese consumers, followed by Dior, Hermes, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, according to a study by Bomoda, a research firm that focuses on Chinese consumers.

It's also the most-purchased luxury brand among wealthy Chinese -- 41% of whom say they've bought a Chanel product in the last year, compared to 32% for Dior. Forty-six percent of those surveyed said they hope to buy more Chanel goodies in the coming year.

And in a country where gift-giving is very important, Chanel is the present of choice for wealthy consumers.

But what makes Chanel more appealing than its competitors?

The high-end fashion house has "invested very seriously in advertising and retail," said Brian Buchwald of Bomoda. Chanel is courting Chinese consumers through "websites, with strong social media ... they're leveraging Chinese celebrities [and] Western celebrities who are well-known to the Chinese."

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Luxury brands are keen to gain greater market share in China, especially as wealthy consumers have greater disposable income and spend more. But the market can also be tricky -- counterfeit luxury items and unlicensed sellers routinely show up in street markets and online shopping sites.

In March, legions of Chinese shoppers lined up outside Chanel shops in Hong Kong after the company slashed prices in select Asian markets as part of an effort to equalize prices around the world.

One shopper, Amber Pan, who was visiting from Shanghai, told CNN she loved Chanel's chic, timeless bags. "Even over 10, 20 years, our kids will still like these purses," she said.

Bomoda's report is based on an online survey of 2,268 luxury Chinese consumers, defined as people who had purchased or received at least two luxury brands in the last year.

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