Despite turning 90 on 21 April, Queen Elizabeth is "good for UK business", new research has revealed. The research took into account Chinese consumers and the influence that the British royal family has over people in a number of regions in China.
The research was conducted by Qing Wang, professor of marketing and innovation at Warwick Business School. Wang noted that apart from the Queen playing "a large part" in the £500m ($716m) that tourists spend in the UK every year, the Queen also contributes to the country's £160bn annual exports, particularly luxury goods.
Professor Wang said: "The Queen is the most prominent symbol around the world of Britain's heritage and tradition, something that UK companies can amplify when marketing their goods and services to international markets. She is such a well-known face and instantly brings a sense of history, giving British brands an edge and distinctive advantage that can be utilised."
Wang's research noted that when Chinese consumers were asked what words they associate with Britain, the Queen topped the list with 25% of people thinking of her instantly. Furthermore, when asked about the factors that influence their purchase of luxury products, having a royal connection appeared in the top four most important factors with 17% of Chinese consumers listing it as a priority.
Furthermore, Wang found that if a dress is worn by royalty, more than 46% of Chinese people said it would increase their chances of buying it. The survey also concluded that consumers evaluate the authenticity of luxury brands by a founding myth, history, craftsmanship and a link to the leisured class – all of which the Queen assists with.
Wang wrote in her research: "Whatever the Queen wears, eats, visits or even holds on to instantly increases in value, and it is mostly British. When it is seen on or near the Queen then it is wanted by millions around the world; James Lock hats, Cornelia James gloves and Ettinger bags have all gained in prestige and sales by Her Majesty wearing them."
Another factor that contributed to the UK's business industry when it comes to Chinese consumers is royal warrants, which have been around since the 15th century. They are issued to tradespeople who supply goods or services to a member of royal families around the world and research found that 27% of Chinese shoppers get their inspiration for fashion and home style from the Queen and the royal family.
Wang said: "In our research of Chinese shoppers, 57% said the royal warrant is important or very important in increasing desirability of British lifestyle brands. The royal endorsement is particularly advantageous for companies exporting to China, the rest of Asia, the Middle East and the US."