When Angela Ahrendts took over Burberry the brand was associated with British hooliganism and the products that were bellow par having in mind the brand’s prestigious heritage.
The first decision was done, the brand’s intellectual property had to be recollected and in control. The famous Burberry checkered pattern could not be seen anywhere, the brand had to gain it’s exclusivity back.
Burberry were making a new history for themselves, and the story told had to be a masterpiece in order to save their reputation. Back in 2006 the majority of the high end designers were shying away from the internet and digital storytelling, not Burberry. They were aiming at a rather young group aged 25-40, and those are the people who are in tact with contemporary technologies and means of communication. The new image of the brand had to be consistently projected where the target audience would most frequently see it. There Burberry decided to start a heavy integrated marketing campaign, one that will place them in the niche that they wanted to penetrate.
The emphasis felt on the online communications, they started a tremendous online campaign. It included them streaming live fashion shows, taking part in music and art shows, engaging the audience with various social media games and incentives and so on and so forth.
They managed to embed the modern vibe that was vital for their new target audience, yet none of the great British heritage was lost.
Burberry had taken the best from two distant worlds, they kept the great history of the brand and took the best of it while creating their new vision. A vision that no longer had them associated with rural English old timers nor the metropolitan football hooligans who wore their checkered not so long ago.
How did they manage to place themselves as a modern luxury brand that is a part of the contemporary pop culture and is as British as it could get in the mean time it is the brand that has clothed the Arctic expedition of Ernest Shackelton and has dressed the UK troops in WW1. Blending two visions as different as those two is not an easy task, though they did it as it was the smallest thing in the world.
They appointed numerous UK celebrities as their ambassadors, they started supporting emerging UK rock, groups, painters and other artists.
Their storytelling was focused on projecting the never aging Burberry style within a contemporary setting. As you can see from the home page of their website the Burberry coat and distinctive style are blended with a sophisticated youthful look. This website cannot be associated with country lords, it makes you think of a hip London night club/ restaurant, one of those places where the bottle is 2-3K pounds and the people surrounding are not working in the nearest factory. The site projects the whole story behind the brand, as it should be.
I started with mentioning their integrated marketing campaign and the wonders it did for them. The fact is that this brand can be used as a perfect example for successful re-branding. They pinpointed their flaws, found their strengths and made the best of both worlds. Their message was consistent no matter the medium, they managed to project themselves as they wished to. The numerous online and social media campaigns, the ads, the fashion shows, the sponsorships, the ambassadors, every bit of communication was perfectly aligned, every bit of communication represented Burberry and the exact story that they wanted to tell.
They brought back what belonged to them, their history, and they successfully introduced themselves to the future.