Burberry, once an outdated fashion brand associated with designer rip-offs and council estates has rejuvenated itself into a forward facing, engagement pioneer. A giant part of Burberry’s transformation, along with reviving its heritage and strong design credentials, is their communications with their target audience – through digital innovation.
Burberry have pushed all areas of their brand into the digital arena, with every activity undertaken helping to support its positioning as a very British, high quality, heritage clothing manufacturer.
Here are our four favourite digital activities:
In 2013, Burberry launched Burberry Kisses as an online engagement incentive, allowing customers to kiss their smartphones, sending an outline of their kiss print to a loved one over the internet. The kiss-a-gram did not require any pre-purchase and was solidly grounded in the premium British-ness of the brand, featuring London skylines and personalised messaging imagery. The idea of digitally connecting long distance loved ones, allowed the brand to reach a younger demographic of potential customers, without the high priced initial entry barriers.
Twitter click-to-buy Button
Burberry was one of the first to trial the Twitter ‘Buy Now’ button, instantly monetising their social media feed during London Fashion Week 2014. So not only was Burberry streaming its fashion shows on its website and creating up to the minute, shareable content on its social media feeds but it allowed instant eCommerce interactivity with the brand. This allowed consumers, wherever they were, to engage with the brand as well as removing as many barriers to purchase as possible.
Alongside the visual content shared on its social media channels, Burberry is also involved in digital engagement and brand building through its use of music. The Burberry Acoustic section of their website acts as a platform to promote British band and singer-songwriters and create an immersive audio-visual experience – all in line with the brand positioning. The music is proving to be very valuable to the brand with Burberry’s CEO Christopher Bailey stating “the average person is on Burberry.com for 7.8 minutes,” but on Burberry Acoustic, “they stay for 18 minutes.”
RFID Chipped Clothing
Down perhaps a more sci-fi route, Burberry have sewn personalised RFID chips in to some of their products, which when worn in front of an RFID-enabled mirror or held in front of your mobile phone, allows details of the item’s history, heritage and ‘biography’ to be shown. The aim is to take the customer back to the start of the item of clothing’s existence, beginning with the roll of fabric, engaging them with the journey to create the product and involving them as personally as possible. This not only links back to craftsmanship and history, but also could lead to further storytelling – how will they continue the story?
Digital engagement is clearly a core area of the brand’s strategy, one that is paying off for them. The brand’s engagement strategy along with a revival of the design have been catalysts in their recent success with the brand’s revenue increasing threefold in eight years, to $3.1 billion in fiscal 2013.
Hannah is a Digital Producer at Copper.