Lost Cachet of Burberry ----- the royal fashion house of trench coats

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  • Thanks Laurence for liking my work ... it was done when i was doing my MBA .... it would be good to get connected with you. BTW if you wish to get connected please mail me in arittra.basu@stu.ctlondon.ac.uk
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  • 1. Marketing Project The Re-incarnation of the Lost Cachet of English Fashion - BurberryLecturer: Richard SmallPREPARED BY:Arittra BasuMBA Term 2-MBA2510-L-A2UWL ID: 28001438Word Count: 6116 1
  • 2. ABSTRACT:The British fashion brand of the Victorian era, Burberry was founded by Thomas Burberry a 21year old draper‟s apprentice in 1856, Basingstoke Hampshire England. It has been a patent namein the fashion statement of the English people since the inception with the accolade of beingawarded as the „Royal Warrant‟ by the Royal family and carrying the heritage of 150 years in thefashion business. But as all business experiences the boom and bust in their operating cycle thesimilar sequence happened along with Burberry due to lack of concentration on the changingpattern and taste in the fashion industry with the modernization of fashion trends and designs. Inthe 21st century there is a lot of emphasis been given on the fashion statement of every individualwith designer brands becoming more pertinent in the wardrobe and fashion industry becoming avery volatile market to exist? Innovation and adaptation of the modern taste is the fundamentalrequirement for the retail fashion business to exist in the competitive market. However, there hasbeen some problems in the strategic decision making level of the Burberry‟s business and owingto that financial year ending 31st March 1998, they have experienced a major profit margin dropfrom £62m to £25m. Instead of disposing of the sinking business the proprietor, Great UniversalStores (GUS), the British consumer and retail conglomerate appointed Ms. Rose Marie Bravo asthe new chief executive for Burberry in 1997, after which significant improvements happenedwithin the business increasing their profitability aspect. However, in this project the mainobjective is to justify the statement that Burberry has found a missing link in the fashion industryabout the esteem of a „national brand‟ and utilized intelligent re-cycling of their glorious heritageto transform the image and brand identity of Burberry. Particular reference would be taken fromtheir re-positioning strategy, merchandising, distribution strategy, brand management, productdesigning and sourcing, licensing strategy and advertising strategy. The entire project aboutBurberry‟s business model redesign would be based on secondary data available from theresearch work done by business analyst and academics in the field of fashion marketing andbusiness development. Furthermore, information would also be taken from newspaper articlesalong with the Initial Public Offering (IPO) Prospectus of Burberry where clear illustrations andcritical analysis about the developmental strategies were discussed. 2
  • 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS: Page Numbers1.0 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………..4-52.0 Chronology of Burberry………………………………………………………………..5-63.0 Problem Recognition of Burberry……………………………….………………….....6-94.0 Implementation of Re-Positioning Strategy……………………………………….........94.1 Brand Management……………………………………………………………..….......9-114.2 Marketing Communications……..…………………………………………………….11-124.3 Product Design and Resourcing……………………………………………………….12-144.4 Brand Distribution Strategy…………………………………………………………...14-165.0 Critical Discussion and Recommendations…………………………………………...16-186.0 Conclusion………………………………………………………………........................18-197.0 References……………………………………………………………………………....20-22Appendix:1. Latest Adverts of Burberry ……….………………………………………………….…...232. Marketing Communications Strategy: Diagrammatic Representation.………………..24 3
  • 4. 1.0 INTRODUCTION:The viability of success for a particular business is reliant upon the efficiency and effectivenessof the management responsible of making strategic decisions for the prosperity of the business[Jackson & Haird (2003)] Managers in specific organizations may develop a series on initiatives,modifications or innovations in their present business model to implement change in the existingmodel to reconstruct the business strategy taking consideration of the customers, partners,organizational feedback, field responses and predictable alteration of the competitors businessmodel [Johnson (2007: 66)] Moreover, Jackson & Haird (2003) in Moore & Britwistle (2004:412-422) suggests that there are several examples of various brands in the market who hasflourished or emaciated due to the reactions of the business models deployed by the managementin the sight of attaining their strategic or non strategic objectives. Reference would be taken fromthe case of Gucci, the Italian luxury brand whose success was in the platform of peak in the1950s and was an exclusive brand for the silver screen beauties in the Hollywood and EuropeanSociety. Although, the brand suffered a loss of prestige and a high volume profitable venturescored massive losses, which was the result of a strategy Gucci applied where they reduced thecontrol of management over product development and distribution taking into account thewholesale licensing agreements but diluted the authority of the brand as an exclusive anddesirable fashion brand.However, Moore & Fernie (2004) discussed about the business model redesign after Gucci gothold of Tom Ford, who adopted an interactive model of increasing internal controls with respectto product sourcing, brand infrastructure and supply channels. The essence of the model was tosynergising the logistics, fiscal planning and real estate management to reduce cost andutilization of the supplied resources effectively which is a “back-end” strategy whereas the “frontend” puts emphasis on evaluation of competitive risk by forming a portfolio of distinctlypositioned fashion brands in the market. Additionally, emphasis was also given to themaximization of internal resources and discarding of licensing agreements for the companyowned and company controlled manufacturing and distribution outlets. [Gucci, (2001), (2002)] 4
  • 5. Similarly, adaptation of unfavourable business model in accordance with the company‟s progresshas resulted in diminishing the brand identity of the English pioneering brand, Burberry. [Cowe(1998)] The major shove came into the business when their turnovers plunge from £62m to£25m which was observed in the financial year close of 31st March 1998 and the leadingfinancial analyst of the country described the business as “an outdated business with a fashioncachet of almost zero”. [Finch & May (1998)] The proprietor of the Burberry brand GreatUniversal Stores (GUS) instead of selling the business taken an initiative to appoint Rose MarieBravo as the new chief executive of the company which turned out to be a massive success forBurberry. She sought after to re-position the brand by implementing internal control overmanufacturing and distribution, expansion of product portfolio to embrace an extensive customerbase and adaptation of a multi-brand positioning strategy, which are significant strategic moveshappened within other premium fashion brands like Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Prada. [Moore &Fernie (2004)] The objective behind this strategy is to modernize the brand image, repossessionover distribution and product development keeping the traditional heritage of Burberry alivewithin the apparels and accessories thus regaining the cachet of a premier English fashion houseand the traditional customer base with emphasis to attract new and more conscious clientele.2.0 CHRONOLOGY OF BURBERRY:Since the foundation of Burberry in 1856 by Thomas Burberry the reputation of the company ispreserved through Burberry‟s development of the „gabardine‟ fabric which was resistant totearing, weatherproof and breathable at the same time. [Burberry (2002)] This particular fabricwas meeting the requirements of the military needs and lead Burberry to develop and designofficer‟s rain coat which eventually became an integral part of the British army officer‟s serviceuniform in the early 1900‟s. Burberry used to produce the officer‟s rain coat but modified it byadding some new magnitude such as epaulettes, straps and D-rings which later took the name of“Trench Coat” due to its association with military wardrobe. Moreover, they also developed theunique Burberry check as a lining for the product. Apparently, due to its alliance along with themilitary dress code Burberry outwears was readily used by leading explorers like Captain Scottand Sir Earnest Shackleton on their mission to the Antarctic expeditions. [Moore & Britwistle(2004: 412-422)] 5
  • 6. Along with the prosperity of Burberry, the first radical step was taken in 1891 when it opened itsfirst store in London and thus entered into the retail and wholesale market of fashion.Subsequently, in 1910 Burberry also opened its first international store in Paris at the BoulevardMalesherbes. Burberry entered into supplying the foreign market in early 1900‟s with the footstep of Thomas Burberry who began to supply products to retail stockists based in New York,Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Later in 1920 Burberry entered into the Japanese market bywhole sale distribution licence in coalition with Japanese retailers. The relationship went strongwhen Burberry signed up with Mitsui for distribution system of their outerwear products in Japanin 1964 along with the addition of Sanyo as their licensee in 1980. [Adams (1995), Sherwood(1998), Burberry (2002)]However, along with the growth of the Burberry brand in national and international markets thebrand was taken over by British retail corporation, Great Universal Stores (GUS) in 1955 whichaided the organization in adding fund to the business for expansion in UK and USA with bettermanagement to exist in the retail fashion market. Additionally, licences were issued to variousthird parties to assist the expansion of the Burberry product range in Europe and Asia in order togarb the distribution network in the foreign market. [Cowe (1998)] Conversely, the downturn inthe Japanese economy has significantly affected the performance level of the brand in mid-1990‟s due to its heavy reliance upon the Asian market for sales and distribution. Moreover, in1997 Burberry‟s strategy became susceptible to withstand the market turmoil and suffered a hugeloss in their balance sheet. GUS was advised to sell the brand in a legitimate amount as financialanalyst predicted the plummeting future of the fashion house. Thus arises the problem of existentfor Burberry in the market place. [Finch & May (1998); Roberts (1998)]3.0 PROBLEM RECOGNITION OF BURBERRY:The key issue concerning at this point of time is, how to retrieve the lost cachet of the Burberryfashion house. The question that would be primarily rose to the management on Burberry‟sperformance in its late 1990‟s, which has caused an abrupt major drop in the business. Argonti &Janis (2002: 90) suggests that there are a number of factors which contributed to the majordisorder and irregularity in Burberry‟s management and strategy which ultimately lead to a lethalsluggish reputation. The story begins before 1997 when the Burberry management instead ofpractically developing a consistent brand across the globe adopted a liassez- faire approach and 6
  • 7. authorized each countries management team to develop the brand as they wanted. The result wastherefore quite contradictory and formed an image of confused identity in the mind of thecustomers. The reaction in different countries about the brand image of Burberry wasinconsistent. In USA the brand defines the traditional raincoats and scarves whereas in Korea itmeant whisky and in Switzerland it signifies watches.However, Ms. Bravo (CEO of Burberry) in Argonti & Janis (2002: 90) exemplifies the fact thatbefore her arrival into the business the brand had an incongruent network of licences marketingits products around the world and it was not a coherent business. She mentioned that eachcountry was representing its own domesticated version of Burberry and that‟s how the demandslowed down. She particularly commented that “the business was over exposed and overdistributed”. Another important factor which affected the Burberry‟s down fall was the confusedsate of the business. Burberry was not able to identify its target group of customers because of itsuneven distribution and licensing policies in different countries of operation. It was confusedabout what they are selling and to whom? Burberry‟s inability to configure whether they areserving the high-end consumers or the low-end consumers caused massive problems in the Asianmarket. Subsequently, Burberry products were sold in bulk to discount retailers, damaging thereflection of the elite high-end Burberry boutiques were trying to generate. Abruptly, theconflicting meaning of both types of retailers flawed the earlier pristine Burberry brand. [Argonti& Janis (2002: 90)][Moore & Britwistle (2004: 412-422)] identifies that Ms. Bravo pointed out that the only strategythat Burberry could undertake to restructure the brand is to concentrate more on the high-endretailing alone to send a consistent message to the consumers rather than having a haphazardoutlook. Subsequently, with the poor choice of products in the women segment the brand washaving a diminishing value in the eye of the consumers and the traditional ethnicity of being thepatron of trench coat, raincoats for high-end gentlemen was constructing a missing link amongthe customers about the brand identity. In the mean while Burberry was aligning excessively onthe Asian market ignoring the lack of popularity among the consumers in different parts of theworld. Though, their initial concentration on the Asian market has resulted in generating 2/3 ofthe company‟s revenue by 1996, but the adverse affect came into play with the fluctuation in theAsian economy in mid 1990‟s. [Argonti & Janis (2002: 90)] 7
  • 8. O‟ Shaughnessy (2003: 219) asserts that preference of brand is not just a matter of appraisingobjective factors but it is related to trust which is provided by a brand. Yet reliance of consumerswith a particular brand does not determine the fact that they are loyal to it. Consumers may trusta specific brand but no longer be a pertinent part of it as it might look outdated and old fashionedin the present scenario. There comes the factor of novelty or innovation into the image buildingobjective of a brand. O‟ Shaughnessy (2003: 219) states that “continuity of identity is neededeven when changes in direction are required because current strategies are not working”. If aparticular brand wants to have a continuity of individuality, there must be a storyline whichshould connect the transformation in the life of the brand, and the connection must be portrayedin the packaging and advertising of the brand.Laura Ashley, the clothing and furnishings manufacturer is a case in point where they tried to tieup their brand with the illustration of Victorian schoolrooms and country vicarage tea parties,marked in soft, shaped dresses decorated with country patterns. Updating necessarily does notmean surrendering the ancestry but the essence should be in the vitality of making narrativeconnectedness in harmony with the modern facts. [O‟ Shaughnessy (2003: 220)] Similarly,Burberry has been criticized by the author that they have “seemingly” being successful inupdating their brand image, and the use of seemingly relates to the fact that, what is new to us orpotential customers may estrange many former aspirants of Burberry. [O‟ Shaughnessy (2003:220)]However, the major strategic challenges faced by Burberry in their business year 1997 weredescribed in their [IPO (Initial Public Offering) prospectus 2002], Dependence upon small base core products. Company-owned retail distribution based within non-strategic locations. Incoherent wholesale distribution strategy whereby Burberry products were sold to a wide range of retail outlets of varying quality. Burberry products being traded by legitimate wholesale customers to other non-approved stockists and distributors. Weak licensing strategy which has less control over prices, design and quality control across the operating markets and lack of Total Quality Management (TQM) 8
  • 9. Undermining investment in corporate infrastructure development especially in the field of marketing, merchandising, product development and sustainable functions.4.0 IMPLEMENTATION OF RE-POSITIONING STRATEGY:As described by Fletcher (2003) that the scenario particularly in London was quite bizarre aboutthe distribution of the Burberry brand. The brand was available in 60 different stores acrossLondon but was stocked up in the esteemed high end retailers like Selfridges, Harvey Nicholsand Harrods. Furthermore, the Bravo management recognized the need to revive the entireoperational structure of the brand and implemented a reposition strategy addressing the problemsassociated with insufficient command over product design and distribution occurring due tounsystematic licensing and circulation contracts. [Fletcher (2003)]According to [Burberry IPO Prospectus, 2002] the management‟s new strategy was to re-designthe unique luxury brand with a clear design, merchandising, marketing and distribution strategyin order to appeal the new younger fashion forward customers rather than being stuck with anarrow customer base encompassing fashion conservative middle aged men. Subsequently, thepresent management undertook and range of initiatives to reform Burberry‟s brand image,restructuring of the distribution channel and implementing more inclusive controls over productdevelopment, sourcing and allocation of products both internationally and domestically.[Burberry IPO Prospectus, 2002] However, these initiatives were taken as the first step toconstruct a platform for realigning the new Burberry business model with a focus to achievestrategic growth and development of the brand in the future with the intention to attain stabilityin the market with innovation. Apparently, it is quite clear from their [IPO Prospectus of 2002,]that the management‟s motive to “reposition the Burberry brand” is concerned with modernapproach towards brand management, brand distribution and product design and sourcing.4.1 Brand Management:The rebranding of the Burberry brand started with the attempt to change the name of theorganization from Burberry‟s to Burberry which is more prominent and determines it as aspecific brand rather than an association with someone‟s name and was sustained by the newbrand logo introduction along with a fashionable packaging. Moreover, in order to enhance the 9
  • 10. picture of Burberry in the fashion market they have taken utilized the importance of advertisingin international fashion brand positioning and endorsed British super model Kate Moss for theirlucrative advertising campaign along with upright fashion photographers. [Moore & Britwistle(2004: 412-422)] Argonti & Janis (2002: 90) reveals the fact the brand saw a major turnaroundafter the Kate moss campaign of Burberry came into the silver screen where she was claded in asignature plaid bikini. The add sore the sales of Burberry to a peak and also added a newdimension of customer segment to the business appealing more younger generation to it.However, Argonti & Janis (2002: 90) commented that the action of Burberry in their newrevamping advertising campaign was rather daring but that acted as the most viable point ofturnaround to put the picture of the brand with a complete makeover preserving the conventionalBritish themes an important aspect of the advertisement.Subsequently, the next step for the contemporary and highly credible fashion brand was to opena flagship store in the New Bond Street area of London, where all the existent fashion brand likeGucci, Versace, YSL, Prada. Chanel, Bulgari Ted Baker has portrayed their wardrobe collectionin the form of their patent shops targeting the fashion conscious Londoners. The insight into thematter of opening of the flagship store was supplemented by the motive of the management toget the attention of the International fashion press that would facilitate Burberry to get anexposure to the editorial world of fashion and media. [Moore & Britwistle (2004: 412-422)]Schultz, Jo Hatch and Larsen (2000: 61) suggests that brands are very important to consumersand are having overwhelming impact on the purchasing behaviour of the consumers. There arecertain factors why brands are becoming an integral part of the society. Primarily, the world hasbecome a very complex place with all extremities and in this situation it is very hard to choosefrom the offerings which are quite similar to one another. However, the choices of products arebased on rational judgement of the consumers and selection of products is critical but brandsplay a vital role in distinguishing products and form an identity. Schultz, Jo Hatch and Larsen(2000: 61) state that “brands are the device we use to differentiate between otherwise almostindistinguishable competitors”. Additionally, without clear branding of specific productsconsumers are confused about the offer and brand creates a continuity and association with theconsumers forming a narrative connectedness. Secondly, brands offer consistency. It can bejustified by the thought that what we are today is the same as it was yesterday and the same 10
  • 11. continuation will be there tomorrow. Brands always reassure the consumers that we are anintegral part of your culture and it‟s a form of their identification signifying their personality.The thought can be connected with one of the major aspect of branding i.e. empathy. Therefore,brands helps consumers to build a relationship and forms a link between why consumers aretypical and shapes the people to form identity of them to communicate with the rest of the world.(E.g. fashionable (Max Mara) Sporty (Umbro) or Peppy (Brooks Bros.) However, consistencyshould always be embraced by variety and diversity of products along with the changing patternof society and trend. [Schultz, Jo Hatch and Larsen (2000: 61)]4.2 Marketing Communications:However, according to the IPO Prospectus (2002) of Burberry its is clearly identified that thecompany has paid concern of the vitality of marketing communications for the development andenhancement of the brand which is capable of producing attention among the fashion retailersand wholesalers in the market. Subsequently, in order to continue a coherent brand identityBurberry has made efforts to manage all its marketing activities from its headquarters in London.They have divided their core marketing communication strategy into 3 major strands. Advertising Fashion Shows Editorial PlacementBurberry has made an active effort to make the presence of itself in the fashion market bylaunching a seasonal brochure and website targeting the leading fashion life style publicationsfor its publicity through its twice yearly advertising campaigns. However, their advertising isfocused on keeping the brand image of Burberry rather than the products offered and strongemphasis has been given in the „iconoclastic‟ British images drawing attention from the firm‟sheritage and history. Additionally, they have focused more on product mix of the brand ratherthan individual products with prominence on key products as the trade marks but bringing up theoverall brand image of Burberry. However, in their major operating wing in Japan, thepartnership companies Mitsui and Sanyo both are advised to manage their local advertisingcampaigns maintaining symmetry with the London ads and with approval of the centralmarketing department. Moreover, with the introduction of the „Burberry Prorsum‟ product line 11
  • 12. the brand has accentuate more on fashion shows as an important element in their marketing planto project the luxury segment of the brand. Furthermore, in order to get the international fashionaudience in the forefront the „Burberry Prorsum‟ fashion shows are held twice-yearly in Milanenhancing the fashion credibility of the brand. Another addition to their marketing effort is madethrough proactive public relations strategy intended to target the international fashion press byexploiting the global editorial column in support of the Burberry brand ensuring regular productplacement in the leading fashion, business, trade and newspaper publications.[Moore & Britwistle (2004: 412-422)]4.3 Product design and resourcing:Kapferer (2008: 448) describes that Rose Mary Bravo knew the fact that if she has to revitalizethe brand the foremost step would be segmenting the product lines into different categories andsub-branding them into specific subsections. However, Kapferer (2008: 448) suggests thatrejuvenating a particular brand is not an easy task to be accomplished. Only advertising cannotchange the whole image of the brand radically but it needs to be boosted up by creating newproduct lines and the reason behind this is concerned with the time frame between the past andpresent where the perception of the consumers, their habits, consumption of fashion trends andcompetition within the market has changed and therefore a break of connectedness happens.Subsequently, the major objective is to regain contact with the customers as customers perceivebrand as relationship with their identity rather than just an association of name of a product.Additionally, [Moore & Britwistle (2004: 412-422)] suggests that in order to furnish theBurberry‟s flagship store in central London and competing alongside with the major fashionbrands with their product lines the Burberry in house design team recognized the need to extendtheir product range. In order to bring a turning point in the designing section of BurberryChristopher Bailey was appointed as a design director who bought in his extensive experienceand knowledge from other fashion houses like Gucci and Donna Karan. However, Tungate(2008: 167) describes that Bailey was later replaced by Roberto Menichetti who launched theupmarket prorsum (derived from the company‟s Latin motto which means “Forwards”) range ofwomenswear that allowed Burberry to compete along with the prestige lines offered by its rivals. 12
  • 13. As stated in the [Burberry IPO Prospectus, 2002, p.22] that the main mission of the designingteam of the Burberry was to improve the product range under the banner and creating newproducts which makes a connection with the updated lifestyle re-positioning of the brand.Consequently, the company launched a multi-dimensional brand strategy comprising of six newbrand levels. These new brands include the premium Burberry Prorsum range, Thomas Burberryaimed for teenagers, Burberry accessories and Burberry London for the patent UK customers.Alongside they have also developed four distinctly variant ranges integrating the conventionalBurberry style and tradition and named then as Burberry blue and Burberry black for its inspiringcustomer segment in Japan. However, Kapferer (2008: 448) commented that the first segment ofthe product range generates cash flow for the brand and facilitates the company to take acalculative risk on the cash-demanding fashion stores and outlets. Moreover, with the creation ofdifferent product ranges under the Burberry clan it has exponentially increased the marketgrowth prospects and caters them to compete with their rivals without being abolishing from thehigh street. Additionally, Burberry has taken the opportunity to expand its products in alldimensions from traditional menswear, womenswear, children‟s clothing and accessories whichincludes „soft‟ goods like scarves and ties and also „hard‟ goods like luggage and eyewear.[Moore & Britwistle (2004: 412-422)]Tungate (2008: 167) signifies the fact that the multi-dimensional brand strategy has facilitated inmaximization of its market coverage and achieved a higher customer attention. Furthermore, thisapproach has provided the brand with flexibility and market sensitivity which is evident from itscountry specific Burberry blue and black brands. Subsequently, the broad spectrum of productofferings has enabled Burberry to capture a wide area of market and its differential pricingstrategy among the brands provided the opportunity to trade with the levels in parity rather than asymbol of „aristocrat British living‟.It has been also exemplified by [Bravo for Burberry, 2005] that Burberry believes in the strategyof keeping its products as continual (products with long life span) and seasonal (products moreresponsive to a specific fashion trend and short lasting period) However, their strategy asreflected in the [Burberry IPO Prospectus, 2002, p. 26] states that they “seek to achieve arelatively high proportion of continuity products in order to minimise our exposure to changes in 13
  • 14. consumer preferences and fashion trends.” O‟Shaughnessy (2003: 219) suggests that nationsseeks a continuity of identity in order to associate themselves along with the tradition andheritage of the particular brand and making a noticeable connection of being the citizen of thecountry of origin of the brand. It gives them the feel of who they are and how the brand hasevolved making a narrative connection through the generations producing a sense of culturalsharing. However, O‟Shaughnessy (2003: 219) argues that multiculturalism and multiethnicitycould be perceived as a threatening for brand loyalty rather than being enriching as it acts as abarrier in the way of assimilation. Examples could be taken from the tendency of the Europeannations to break into smaller units of sub groups like Scottish, Welsh and English rather thanBritish, as along with time loyalties move to smaller and smaller groups nurturing their deep-rooted interests. Thus, O‟ Shaughnessy (2003: 219) narrates the fact that the scholastic Britishmonarchy often fail to recognize the supportive pictogram of continuity among the qualms ofchange.4.4 Brand Distribution Strategy:However, another core aspect of the re-positioning strategy of the Burberry brand was toreconstruct the distribution channel and formation of a centralized approach to its supply chainmanagement and the need to reinforce the management‟s control over the distribution of thebrand within U.K. and in the international market. Furthermore, Tungate (2008: 167) suggeststhat the company was focusing more on the central benefit to be acquired by perfect distributionstrategy that would support the newly formed image of the brand reflecting the fact that Burberryhad not only been „re-positioned‟ in the market but also „re-imagined‟. This would relate to theopinion given by Tungate (2008: 167) that Burberry has successfully manipulated the consumerswith their re-position strategy by delivering „what is being promised‟ through its advertising,stores, designs and availability of the products in the right place to satisfy the real taste palate ofthe fashion cultivators. Moreover, Jackson and Shaw (2006: 79) describes that Burberry hasreduced its operating licenses as a first step towards exercising greater control over its brandimage. Subsequently, it has extracted all the necessary licenses which the company evaluated asincompatible along with the re-positioning strategy defined by the brand, but restricted licensesto those companies which produces specialized goods like fragrances, eyewear, time pieces andchildren wears and implemented the regulation that these producers have to be consistent with 14
  • 15. the Burberry‟s brand image. It has been prominent from the (Burberry, 2003) that due to thisstrategy all „unprofitable‟ and „non core‟ retailer stores were closed in Europe and wholesaleaccounts with inappropriate stockists or known parallel traders (i.e. firms which sales brandedgoods that have not been obtained from authorized sources) were suspended.Jackson and Shaw (2006: 79) suggest that Burberry distributes its products through retail andwholesale networks. Retail distribution is done through flagship and regular price stores,concessions, designer outlets and factory shops whereas wholesale distribution is managed byindependent retailers like departmental and specialist stores, duty-free retailers and free standingBurberry stores operated by wholesale customers acquiring license through the company‟slogistics channel. The company does holds a website but is solely use for product and brandpromotion with an objective to promote the history and tradition of the brand along with timeand showcases the new catalogue of the Burberry fashion with model portfolios. All theseactivities are configured to generate the brand awareness and its latest offerings to the targetaudience rather than commercial purpose. Additionally, [Moore & Britwistle (2004: 412-422)]illustrates that the flagship stores are an important feature of the Burberry brand as theyshowcase the brand and the ambience is of a fashion theatre where all the Burberry product linesare promoted in order to create grow it as a life style brand for the consumers. However, Jacksonand Shaw (2006:79) suggest that as part of Burberry‟s re-positioning strategy a number of retailstores were closed or either renovated and relocated in order to align with the newly createdbrand image of the brand. Similarly, they have kept the product mix consistent over its priceretail stores across different geographical locations in order to portray consistency and allowingvariation in retail space availability and consumer requirements. On the other hand themerchandising process is customized to reflect the local environment and variation of theBurberry products within that specific demographical area. Moreover, Moore & Britwistle(2004: 412-422) suggests that Burberry selects the wholesale retailers on the basis of theirreputation and market positioning and negotiates along with the wholesale retailer from store bystore basis to certify that the right product mix is rotated throughout the distribution system.According to (Burberry, 2003) its has been clarified that the company has retrieved back thedistribution rights with Hong Kong, Singapore and Australian markets in December 2001 andwith Korean market in 2002. Accordingly, they have acquired their Spanish licence in June 15
  • 16. 2000, and bestowed agreements with Japanese licence partners to achieve greater control overproduct design and manufacturing activity.5.0 CRITICAL DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS:Moreover, it is quite prominent from the re-positioning of the Burberry brand that the perceptionof culture and its association with the consumers are relatively important in creating adistinguishable identity along with heritage and tradition mix, which is carried along fromgenerations and reflected in the metamorphosed representation of the brand. However, Sparke(2004: 208) suggests that in Britain and elsewhere during the 1990‟s there was a drift from thepatronized production oriented buying behavior to consumption oriented which has a connectionof experience and characteristic of culture along with it. Moreover, Sparke (2004: 208) describesthat in the 20th century identities were lined with place, nation and in particular it came to apoint where it was less culturally inherited and more on consumption of pattern. Therefore, thedifferent nations became linked within the boundaries and more frequently with taste andproducts which got associated along with the culture having particular characteristics were seenmore predominantly in the field of food, clothing and lifestyle related products. Hence, Englandbecame recognized along with the upper-class image reflected by Burberry, Mackintoshes,cashmere sweaters and jaguar cars.Another important facade argued by McCracken (2006: 96) is the importance of symbols andmeanings that are connected along with the aspect of belief and understanding within thecommunity. Precisely saying it is our perception about class and status which is associated alongwith our beliefs for summoning Mercedes Benz or gender along with Marlboro, nationality withBurberry accomplishment with Nike, family with Disney etc which are all representations of thecultural matrix of categories and the distinguishing variety exist along with class, gender,nationality, accomplishment and other things in our society. McCracken (2006: 96) alsoillustrates that these are the vital meanings which consumers highly value from buyingperspective and the brand manager of an organization has to match up with the perception ofthese meanings which specifically get attached with the brand in order to satisfy the perception.Brands which are constantly trying to pursue new meanings of perception end up having thefoundation of the brand into peril. 16
  • 17. Consequently, Solomon (2006: 38) suggests that the perception of the consumers termed as the„perceptual process‟ plays a major role in the positioning of the product. Majority of theconsumers use a few basic dimensions to classify the competing products and thus forms anopinion or assessment in terms of the comparative standing of these dimensions. Moreover, thistendency of the consumers has helped the marketers to develop a unique tool of assessment i.e.the „perceptual map‟ used solely for product positioning, seeking judgement from the consumersusing the variety of dimensions of the product and placing it adjacent to the competing productsin the identification process of the consumers. Thus, it has given an opportunity to test theperception of the consumers concerning similar/dissimilar product offerings and prospect ofgrowth for new product development, encompassing the attributes which are not visible in thecurrent brands. [Solomon (2006: 38)] Similarly, Burberry has used the perceptual map to modifythe consumer perception of the brand from its so called „old position‟ of 1980‟s and 1990‟s to therevised iconic outlook in the modern era.Moor (2007: 107) justifies the fact that consumers play an important role in the creation of valuefor a brand not only by their purchasing behaviours which account to be as a part of profit for thebrand but its association with wrong group can harm and tarnish the brand as well. Subsequently,the damage of „exclusivity‟ of a luxury brand is not reliant upon the wide spread circulation butthe popular adoption of an allegedly „exclusive‟ brand with the mundane and the ordinary ratherthan the elite which alters the connection of the brand with its real consumers who hasparticularly tried to cultivate a relationship with the brand echoing their own personified aura.The similar consequence has happened along with the Burberry brand where it‟s unregulatedwide spread distribution has incurred the loss of prestige and became associated along withfootball hooligans and came to be identified as „chavs‟ clothing which resulted in the dilution ofthe pristine image of the brand. Therefore, Moor (2007: 107) recommends that as brands areincreasingly becoming an asset for the consumers, brand equity has to be measured according tothe reputation and recognition of the brand and companies should pay attention indentifying thepublic perception of their brands and the people or participants with whom the brand is gettingconnected with. 17
  • 18. However, it can be argued that with the endorsement of Kate Moss in the Burberry advertisingcampaign [see appendix no. 1] and other models like Stella Tennant, Liberty Ross, VivieneSolari, Jerry Hall, Marie Helvin, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Sam Riley Burberry hasreflected a feminism in there brands and a more touchy feeling of seductiveness through thefamous British models who are recognized as a symbol of sex tantrum in the society, which hascreated a real propaganda into the crowd through the mode of print media.[advertisingarchievs.co.uk] Moreover, Keenan (2001: 97) assert that Burberry men have beenseen predominantly as the privileged class in the society and they are termed to be theconstructer of the nation, like the way mind is privileged over the body; whereas Burberrywomen are seen as the body of the nation. Whist, prompting the fact that men are privileged overwomen. Burberry women were considered to be the male subordinate having an inert nature witha backward integration shadowing their male counterparts. But, this phenomenon as beencompletely transformed by the re-positioning strategy of Ms. Bravo who intended to tap thefemale audience and created the glamorous add campaigns, accessories (mainly feminine byincorporating the Burberry tartan) to target the elite women and turned Burberry to a morefeminine brand.6.0 CONCLUSION:The whole project about the Burberry brand repositioning tells us the fact how Burberry hasturned out to be an exclusive brand in the Britain from brick to brisk. They have used theheritage and tradition mix of the old pristine brand to transform the positioning of the brand.However, with a new sensation of glamour and exclusive designing it has placed the brand intothe highly competitive market to stand along with established brands like Gucci, Prada, YSL,Louis Vuitton etc. However, it has been identified that the modern fashion industry is seeking anew challenge from the customers where tradition and heritage are not the basic constraint ofconsumption for the elite and civilized. In order to maintain a sustainable brand Equity it ishighly recommended that the brand should respond to the customer needs and place theirproducts with customer value proposition. In case of Burberry the brand lost its highly acclaimedcachet due the wide spread and unregulated distribution network where the brand was readilyavailable to the mass rather than the prestige class, who has civilized them along with the brandassociation and can identify themselves along with the tradition and richness of the brand. 18
  • 19. However, this observable fact has been destroyed by its association along with the „Chavs‟ inU.K. where the sustainable customers realized a sense of threat in their self built aura. Butadditionally, the important objective was to rewind the distorted image and bringing back theexclusivity into the brand with a modernized representation. This particular task has beenefficiently handled by Ms. Bravo (CEO, Burberry) who has seen a missing link between theheritage and the modernization of the brand. The Burberry culture was substantially much backdated and concerned about the British monarchial people, typically the old gentleman class andwas not been nourished with the 21st century „Britpop‟ attitude which was one of the majorconcern for its banish from the fashion world. However, intelligent recycling of the heritage andtradition of the Burberry brand along with the modern British culture which is exclusively acosmopolitan mix has given the brand a competitive edge to place in the market. Moreover, thecreation of new and variant product portfolio to serve different customer needs has given thebrand a chance to classify their product line in different markets. They have strategically seen theweakness of the brand and studied the market to identify the opportunity which has resulted insuccessful restructuring of the brand. 19
  • 20. 7.0 REFERENCES: 1. Adams, M., (1995), „Burberry Coats: a king provided them with their most familiar alias‟, Incentive, pp.68. 2. Argonti, P.A., and Foreman, J., (2002), „The Power of Corporate Communication: Crafting the Voice and Image of Your Business‟, McGraw-Hill, London, U.K., 3. Burberry (2002), Burberry PLC Annual Report and Accounts 2001-2002, Burberry, London., 4. Burberry IPO Prospectus (2002), „Burberry group global offer of shares‟, Burberry IPO Prospectus, Summer., 5. Burberry (2003), Burberry PLC Annual Report and Accounts 2002-2003, Burberry, London., 6. Cowe, R., (1998), „Burberry fails to weather the Asia storm‟, The Guardian, 25 June,. 7. Finch, J., and May, T. (1998), „Reputations: putting a zip in a Burberry‟, The Guardian, 27 June,. 8. Fletcher, R., (2003), „Brava, Bravo!‟ The Sunday Telegraph, 5th October., 9. Gucci (2001), „Gucci Group Annual Report and Accounts‟, 2000-2001, Gucci, Amsterdam,. 10. Gucci (2002), „Gucci Group Annual Report and Accounts‟, 2001-2002, Gucci, Amsterdam,. 11. Haig, M., (2006), „Brand Royalty: How the World‟s Top 100 Brands Thrive and Survive‟, Edition: illustrated, Kogan Page Publishers, London, U.K., 12. Jackson, T., Haird, C., (2003), „Gucci Group: the new family of luxury brands‟, International Journal of New Product Development and Innovation Management, Vol. 4 No.2, PP.161-72 13. Jackson, T., and Shaw, D., (2006), „The Fashion Handbook‟, Edition: illustrated, Routledge, London, U.K., 14. Johnson, P., (2007), „Astute Competition: The Economics of Strategic Diversity‟, Emerald Group Publishing, U.K., 15. Jones, M., and Beamish, K., (2006), „Customer Communications 2006-2007‟ Edition: illustrated, Butterworth-Heinemann, London, U.K., 20
  • 21. 16. Kapferer, J.N., (2008), „The New Strategic Brand Management: Creating and Sustaining Brand Equity Long Term‟, Edition: 4th illustrated and revised, Kogan Page Publishers, London, U.K.,17. Keenan, William J.F., (2001), „Dressed to Impress: looking the part‟, Edition: illustrated, Berg Publishers, London, U.K.,18. Mc Cracken, G.D., (2006), „Flock and Flow: Predicting and Managing Change in a Dynamic Marketplace‟, Edition: illustrated, Indiana University Press, Indiana, U.S.A.,19. Moore, C.M. and Britwistle, G. (2004), „The Burberry business model: creating an international luxury fashion brand‟, International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management Vol. 32 No. 8, pp. 412- 422, online available at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/ViewContentServlet?contentType=Article&Filename=P ublished/EmeraldFullTextArticle/Articles/0890320806.html , accessed on 20/02/09 @ 15:36pm20. Moore, C., Fernie, J., (2004), Retailing within an international context‟, in Bruce, M., Moore, C., Birtwistle, G. (Eds), International Retail Marketing; a Case Study Approach, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, pp.3-37.21. Moor, L., (2007), „The Rise of Brands‟, Edition: illustrated, Berg Publishers, London, U.K.,22. O‟ Shaughnessy, J., and O‟ Shaughnessy, N.J., (2003), „The Marketing Power of Emotion‟, Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K.,23. Roberts, D., (1998), „Burberry is not really tailor –made for Far East‟, Birmingham Post, 25th June.,24. Schultz, M., et. al., (2000), „The Experience Organization: Linking Identity, Reputation and the Corporate Brand‟, Edition: illustrated, Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K.,25. Sherwood, J.,(1998), „Born-again Burberry modelled by Stella Tennant, worn by Jarvis and Noel and shot for the pages of Vogue and Frank…..‟, The Independent, 3rd October.,26. Solomon, M.R., (2006), „Consumer Behaviour: a European Perspective‟, Edition: 3rd, Pearson Education, London, U.K.,27. Sparke, P., (2004), „An Introduction to Design and Culture: 1990 to the present‟, Edition: 2nd illustrated, Routledge, London, U.K., 21
  • 22. 28. The “Bravo” for Burberry: From bust to boom – creating a luxury fashion brand,. (2005), Strategic Direction Vol 21 No. 1 pp. 22-24, online available at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/ViewContentServlet?contentType=Article&Filen ame=Published/EmeraldFullTextArticle/Articles/0560210107.html, accessed on 20/02/09 @ 15: 39 pm29. Tungate, M., (2008), „Fashion Brands: Branding Style from Armani to Zara‟, Edition: 2nd illustrated, Kogan Page Publishers, London, U.K., 22
  • 23. Latest Adverts of Burberry (Appendix Number: 1)All these Burberry Advertisements shows the symbol of BURBERRY as a pristine crest of British fashion andthe prominent Burberry check is endorsed in all the adverts. Celebrities like Kate Moss, Liberty Ross, HughDancy and Stella Tennant are used in the averters to give Burberry a new dimension in the fashion world. Itis quite evident from these ads that once the royal gentlemen’s wear has now transformed into an exclusivefashion level for the elites, grabbing more attention from female consumers.(Courtesy www. advertisingarchives.co.uk) 23
  • 24. Marketing Communications Strategy Diagrammatic Representation (Appendix Number: 2) [adopted from the marketing communications model of Burberry. Source: Moore and Britwistle (2004), „The Burberry business model: creating an international luxury fashion brand‟] Marketing Communications Model: Aims at promoting the image of Burberry and create a Burberry lifestyle among the potential customers through the use of powerful media channels.Advertising Fashion Shows Editorial Placement British Burberry PR- editorial Images Prorsum-Milan coverage Fashion Week Heritage Burberry London- Product London Fashion PlacementProduct Mix Week 24