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Case study burberry by digital planner

The first truly digital luxury brand: why Burberry gets it?

With the launch of The Art of the trench, Burberry certainly became the first truly digital luxury brand. The first luxury brand to really understand and adopt digital behaviours to conceive and support its brand online communications. There are many reasons why it became a clear success and digital is certainly one piece of a bigger picture.

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Case study burberry by digital planner

  1. 1. Case study: Burberry The first truly digital luxury brandAll images belong to Burberry. Crafted by @DigitalPlanner. London. June 2011
  2. 2. Case in point.Burberry created its own community inspired from its core product:the trench coat. The company describes the site ‘Art of the Trench’as ‘a living document of the trench coat and the people who wear it’.Impact on awareness? Between its launch in November 2009 andmid-2010 the site notched up more than 7M visits.On facebook, it took a year to have 1M fans, 6 mth to double thatfigure and today they reach out to 6.4M fans, took them 2 years toget there.Value creation? Brand growth: 86%. It’s ranked 4th in fastestgrowing brands by MillWardBrown. Revenues in the second half ofthis year had risen by 30% to £860m (sce: Guardian).
  3. 3. Why is this exceptional?For a luxury brand the web is a very tricky environment.The nature of the medium itself contradicts all the vocabulary ofa luxury brand is trying to express itself with:- It is not exclusive. Anyone can enjoy the same experience.- The brand cannot fully control how the final experienced ispackaged.- The consumer decides on how he wants to interact: he can pickthe device, the browser, he’s in full control with the product etc.- Any online brand could benefit from the same onlineexperience. Contrary to the retail environement where you candecide to have only one store on the Champs-Élysées, forexample.
  4. 4. “Attracting the Millennial customer toluxury started two years ago — I said that we can either get crushed or ride the greatest wave of our life” - Ms. Angela Ahrendts - CEO Burberry
  5. 5. 5 things they’ve done right
  6. 6. No.1. The Sartorialist.Art of the Trench showcases images from professionalfashion photographers, Magnum photographers and thepublic. One of the key ingredient is that Burberry leverageda digital trend that was already successul among its targetaudience: street style photo blogging.Plus, they added to the experience contributions fromcelebrated fashion photo-blogger Scott Schuman, betterknown as The Sartorialist. He was already a recognizedauthority and influencer among this target market when hecame in as a support to launch the Burberry platform.By doing so, the brand earned instant credibility among thishighly selective online audience.
  7. 7. No.2. They acknowledged.As IWC recently did with their new website, they took intoconsideration their target audience. They offered an experiencethat matches the digital knowledge and habits of their audiences.The experience invites users in an easy, intuitive, pleasant flow.Outside of the Art of the Trench platform, the website alsoprovides end-users with a great only shopping experience. UX,options, images have been treated a well as the offlinemerchandising would be, which is not something common in thatindustry.
  8. 8. No.3. Connected content.Every images post is ready to be connected and shared throughthe internet. Original content is created and spread onlinesupporting the awareness of the brand online.Like’, ‘Comment’, ‘Share’ all functions making it possible forone to:1- get the word out online,2- borrow from the Burberry brand and reflect back on youronline status as someone who has great taste, fashion-senseetc.
  9. 9. No.4. Fuelled by love.Burberry based its social media communications strategy on sendingout one single message that aligns with the brand DNA (Britishroots) and the product (trench coat). They embedded it in a digitalenvironement using its code and vocabulary properly, all steps beingthere for the brand to succeed.With such a digital statement the buzz was there day 1 (Nov. 9,2009) with 1.5M results in Google when searching for ‘art of thetrench’. Oh, and of course fans were there too because at the end ofthe day what fuels all this is a true passion for one of the mostinspiring fashion brand.
  10. 10. No.5. They embraced it.The unique democratic positioning of the brand allowed it toarticulate a digital vocabulary that is unique and consistant atevery touchpoint.We’ve briefly surfed through the social media initiative, but thisis true for many other initiatives: the brand launched its ownedYoutube channel in 2005, they orchestrated livestream fashionshows with 3D... Not only the communications are digital butthe way the company operates is truly digital.
  11. 11. Key take-awaysAs a luxury brand, Burberry showed the industry that luxurybrands can engage with their audiences online. The days of bigflash story-telling websites might be gone as new venues arecatching-up the attention of the digital savvy luxury consumer: for instance.Through its digital commintment, the brand delivered on its‘PRORSUM’ statement.The more niche your community is, the more successful it willbe. Social media is a great tool to reach out to like-mindedcrowds that can posivetly impact your online presence.Brand, culture and consumers are brought together and arepart of the same story.
  12. 12. “We could not have been more wrong in our expectations of the internet” - Alex Bolen.Chief executive Oscar de la Renta, quoted in The Economist, on the news that the brand hadreceived an online order for an $80,000 sable coat from a new customer
  13. 13. What could be next?
  14. 14. The next Monocle?"Burberry is no longer just a fashion company - today theyare a thriving media enterprise. It is successful not justbecause it makes great clothes but because it understandsthe importance of sparking interest in the community andusing social media to engage and delight their consumers." - J. Shields, VP at Facebook
  15. 15. About the beauty line?The recent launch of the cosmetic line is very interesting,very little luxury brands have succeeded in retailing theircosmetics line online.How Burberry is going to express its uniqueness in thedigital world outside of its key product - trench coat?
  16. 16. Getting mobileBurberry has a huge potential through the mobile world viathe Instagrams world.The Creative Class is currently taking over some mobiletime, could Burberry leverage this trend?Platforms like Instagram could help it go a step further andmove The Art of The Trench to a new mobile stage.
  17. 17. Thank you.Crafted by Isabelle Quevilly. @DigitalPlannerImage credits: Google Images, Burberry fans, Burberry/Testino.London. June 2011.