Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Burberry and it's Digital Success

Burberry Eyewear Campaign
Burberry is a brand that has been established for over 150 years renowned for its iconic Nova check pattern. It sells clothing, fragrance, eyewear and cosmetics. 

Unfortunately for Burberry, the first thought many of us have when we hear the name won't be related to 'luxury' or 'quality' as the brand would hope. The first image will be of some chav wearing a knock off baseball cap with matching scarf and some chunky gold rings. The 90's were a decade where the 'designer knock off' became notorious with availability on every market stall throughout Britain with Burberry one of the forerunners. 

Pair of Chav's
To reduce the negative association, Burberry appointed CEO Angela Ahrendts and Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey. This also attributed to Burberry recognising how digital was vital to the future success of the business. A decision that would change their business forever.


The first and most important thing that Burberry did was to identify their vision of where they wanted to take the brand. Back in 2006, Ahrendts and Bailey clearly stated “the vision was to be the first company who is fully digital” and that they wanted “to build a social enterprise”. Ahrendts also mentioned to the Harvard Business Review that “The number one strategy that came (from our first meeting) was all centred around the brand. We needed to purify the brand message and how we were going to do that; by focusing on outerwear, by focusing on digital, by targeting a younger consumer”.

Ahrendts was a huge admirer of the branding Apple and Starbucks applied to their brands. The flawless design drew her attention. The customer experience is the same no matter if you visit a store in the United Kingdom or the United States. Burberry wanted to reposition themselves in the market as a luxury brand and not a product produced for the masses and the key was to enter the digital world.

"Technology is an intrinsic part of most people’s lives. All we’ve done is make sure to weave technology into the fabric of the company. This is how customers live, they wake up with a device in their hand and life begins" 
(Christopher Bailey 2014)

Whilst Burberry have placed their business across mainstream social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube it is the Unique Digital Content on their website that has caught the attention of followers. 

Art Of The Trench
One of the early digital campaigns that Burberry launched was the excellent ‘Art of the Trench’ microsite. The microsite was essentially an independent social networking website that allowed Burberry lovers to take pictures out on the street of the iconic trench coat and share them. Users can drag around their mouse around the page and see hundreds of different people wearing the coat, whilst listening to a soundtrack of up and coming artists. There’s also an option to filter the style of trench by colour, style and gender.
Burberry Acoustic

Sat within the main Burberry website, Acoustic showcases brand new music talent from across the United Kingdom. The Acoustic section of the website features bands and artists performing tracks acoustically wearing items from the latest Burberry collection. It’s a great way to promote the brand to a key target audience and encourage consumer discussion with the brand.

Burberry Bespoke
Personalisation has become an important factor throughout Burberry’s digital strategy, across both products and communications. Burberry Bespoke allows visitors to customise and purchase their own trench coat. Similar to how Nike use their ID service, Burberry allow users to change the colour, sleeves, lining, buttons, and even add a personalised monogram. Visitors can then buy it online instantly, request an appointment, live chat with customer service, or share their design across social media. is one of the finest fashion websites on the internet. With a fantastic experience across all devices (especially on a 27” iMac!), clear user journeys, simple CTAs and gorgeous imagery, it’s a runaway success. The site itself has a navigation that links visitors to ecommerce, lookbooks, digital content such as Art of the Trench, Burberry Acoustic, and much more.
What’s really exciting about is how the brand have taken a similar experience and used it within their retail stores. Their flagship retail store on Regent Street in London is inspired by the site map of, with the layout and architecture mirroring that of the website. Floor space in the store is split between Bespoke, ‘ready-to-wear’, Acoustic and Experiences, similar to how they’re divided on 
The brand has also started embedding digital chips into products, which activate short films telling the story of its creation, including sketches and runway clips. When a consumer moves around the store, these chips react with mirrors causing them to turn into digital screens that display further digital content.

The Results

Burberry’s continuing focus on digital has helped them to become one of the most popular and admired brands in the world. With an exceptional rise in sales, almost 14% higher than the rest of the luxury fashion market, consistent outperformance of competitors, and an incredible rise in stock value, Burberry is surpassing all targets. With their expansion into China including the flagship Shanghai store mirroring that of Regent Street, the future looks very bright for Burberry.