History of Burberry Burberry is a luxury British fashion house established in 1856 by Thomas Burberry. Not only does it manufacture clothing, but also fragrances and fashion accessories. Burberry’s distinctive check pattern is one of the most widely copied trademarks in the world. The first Burberry store was opened in Basingstoke in 1856, and by 1870 had established itself by focusing on the development of outdoor attire. The brand is most well known for the creation of the trench coat primarily for the First World War, which became extremely popular after this. The iconic Burberry check was soon placed in the lining of the garments and sold more widely. Not only this, but the brand have also been the outfitters for explorers such as Roald Amundsen, Ernest Shackleton and George Mallory, as well as designing aviation garments and sponsoring the fastest flight to Cape Town from London in 1937.
History of BurberryBurberry was an independent companyuntil 1955 when it was taken over by GreatUniversal Stores (GUS). In the 70s thebrand was strongly associated with footballfirms, hooliganism and later the ‘chav’stereotype. Fake garments with thedistinctive check printed on the outsidewere sold to the masses, giving theimpression that Burberry was no longerexclusive and took away its highdesirability. Since then the brand has triedto reinvent itself, with advertisements in arange of different magazines (i.e.GQ, Esquire, Vogue, Harper’sBazaar, etc.), and by using celebrityendorsements from Kate Moss, AgynessDeyn, Emma Watson, Rosie Huntington-Whitely and many more.Burberry operates under 4 different brands– Burberry Prorsum, BurberryLondon, Burberry Brit and BurberrySport, with 2 regional brands recentlyadded (Burberry Black Label and BurberryBlue Label).
Brand ValuesBurberry has always been devoted to providing high quality, long lasting garmentsfor their customers, especially when it was first established and creating outdoorsattire for various explorers. Their use of gabardine (a hardwearing, water-resistantfabric) demonstrates this, and their intent to protect their customers and ensurethat they have the best quality items. When the brand first began it was alsoregarded as very gentlemanly, which is still the case today.In more recent times Burberry has been seen as very classic, chic and high-end. Inthe 70s when the brand’s unfortunate link with football hooliganism began, theirname gained a negative connotation and their customers no longer wanted to beassociated with them. In 2006 when Chief Executive Rose Marie Bravo retired andAngela Ahrendts took over the company, the check was placed back on the inside ofthe garments and British celebrity endorsement helped gain a positive view onceagain.Burberry value:• High quality• Desirability• Class• Exclusivity• Trust• Charity• Innocence• Devotion• Success
Product Life CycleThe Product Life Cycle is based upon the biological life cycle and is made up of 4steps: introduction, growth, maturity and decline. However, the product life cycleof a brand such as Burberry is different – instead of Burberry’s products decliningcompletely and people losing interest, they constantly develop their garments tokeep a firm grip on their customers.New lines are always added – different ranges for each season appear, and havenew celebrity endorsements each time. This is the development stage of theproduct life cycle and is what helps maintain Burberry’s success. Not only this, butclassic brands like Burberry will always be around; there will always be a demandfor high-end fashion and that feeling of exclusivity. Customers will even fight topurchase older stock in the sale, just to get that buzz of buying from a designer.Even older Burberry items are sought after, which proves that the brand wont justdecline like an ordinary item on the market (i.e. smart phones).
Target AudienceDespite originally being designed for men,Burberry has a female dominated targetaudience; they would also have a high disposableincome. They are most likely to be around 26years old and over, with a good career and nochildren. However, the brand also have theirown childrenswear range which means that theymay appeal to some parents, although these willprobably be more successful business people andthose from wealthy backgrounds.Burberry’s main garments such as coats anddresses have an extremely exclusive and high-end appeal. These would appeal mainly tocelebrities and very wealthy customers. Nextthere are items such as bags and shoes – despitestill being very expensive, they are moreaccessible and affordable than the othergarments, which broadens the brand’s targetaudience. As well as this, the Burberry fragrancesare very much in ordinary people’s price range,meaning that the brand does appeal to everyonein some way.
Pricing Strategy Burberry use competition pricing – the brand price their goods at a similar price to its competitors. For instance, it has a similar price range to other big labels such as Louis Vuitton. This gives a psychological effect on Burberry’s customers; if the brand had a lower price range then they may believe the quality isn’t as good as the competitors. If Burberry began lowering its prices it may leave people wondering why; if something had happened to make it lose its value. Despite it being extremely expensive, the exclusivity and high-end feel of buying something from a designer such as Burberry is what people are after. The pricing suggests quality and desirability, which is what its customers are after.
Marketing & PR StrategyBurberry use more of a viral marketingapproach – it is not often that you see TVadvertisements or billboards promoting thebrand, yet there are always banners onfashion websites (as well as printadvertisements in the same magazines)which advertise Burberry.As well as this, the brand appear at fashionweeks around the world without fail, andalso host their own shows to showcase newlines. This means that they are always inthe press (whether that be fashionmagazines, newspapers, blogs, etc.) andtherefore have constant coverage.Burberry rely hugely on celebrityendorsements, and they helped the brandwin back their reputation after theirdownfall during 1970-2000s. Faces such asKate Moss, Agyness Deyn and RosieHuntington-Whitely keep the brand freshand appealing.
Place/DistributionBurberry own 475 stores in 48 countries, which are all located in largely populatedcities where they will gain most custom. For instance, there are eleven stores inLondon alone. These are ideal locations due to the type of people that populate theareas; a huge number of them fall into Burberry’s target audience.By opening stores in wealthy cities, especially those which are huge touristattractions, Burberry have the opportunity to make more profit and appeal to theright audience. If there were stores in smaller, less wealthy cities, they wouldprobably not get as much custom, and the brand may also lose its sense ofexclusivity and expense. The distribution of stores is very much psychological, andgives people all the right impressions of the brand.
Successes/FailuresBurberry’s management has made smart decisions in investing in revamping itsbrand as well as expanding it. The company recently purchased its licensed storesin China to operate directly and further expand in the fastest growing luxurymarket in the world. As well as this, the idea to feature all its lines under onestore concept instead of separating the different lines has helped its success.In 2012 Burberry was the first brand to hit 10 million likes on Facebook, and stillremains the most liked brand on the social networking site. It has excelled in thepast 3 years, despite all its troubles at the turn of the century, after its associationwith football hooliganism and chavs from 1970 onwards.When the brand was strongly associated with the British casual cult, footballfirms and violence, it saw a huge loss in profit and custom. In 2006 when newCEO Angela Ahrendts stepped in, the company was rebranded entirely which kickstarted its success story once more.
SWOT Strengths: Weaknesses: • Well established brand • Damaged name after football • High price point causing high hooliganism and association with desirability ‘chavs’ • Strong celebrity endorsements • Not accessible to the working • Distinctive check – instantly class/those who aren’t as wealthy recognisable – could also be seen as a strength (exclusivity)Opportunities: Threats:• Could open more stores • Competition from other big worldwide to broader range of brands (i.e. Louis Vuitton) cities • Threat of still being associated• Could cater for a wider age range with violence/hooliganism – (i.e. selling more products such name still has negative as fragrances which are more connotations accessible) • Not enough stores in smaller• Sponsor more events cities• More celebrity endorsements• Host more Burberry shows in different cities