Even if you don’t know the name “Burberry” yet, you would probably recognize its trademark checkered pattern on its trench coats, bags, and other fashion accessories. But if you’ve heard it already, you instantly associate the name with “high fashion” and “quality excellence.” Indeed, Burberry is one of the world’s most recognized luxury brands.
But like its iconic pattern, Burberry’s history is pretty checkered. It has met some hits and misses just like any other successful company today. But from these challenging experiences, Burberry pulled itself up by revamping its brand and keeping itself abreast of the latest marketing trends while celebrating its history and heritage.
The 4Ps of Blueberry
To define “marketing mix,” it is a set of four different elements that a company uses to promote its products (or services) to its target market in order to generate sales. These four elements are product, price, place, and promotion. The marketing mix is often popularly referred to as the “4Ps”.
In Burberry’s case, this is how it uses the 4Ps to successfully launch its brand and market its goods to its customers:
Burberry’s product strategy includes several business segments that cater to all age groups. Broadly, the company sells apparel, handbags, small leather goods, jewelry. Burberry has an extensive product line that includes men’s, women’s, handbags, outerwear, sunglasses, perfumes, etc. All of Burberry’s products are manufactured from its own factories, made with its distinctive aesthetic and fashion style in mind. Every product that the company produces has a story behind it. In the international market, Burberry is known for its high-quality and durable products with intricate designs, and so the company develops them accordingly.
One of the things that Burberry is proud of is its product development culture. It invests heavily in research, prototyping, and production to create the best products for its customers. The company follows a premium pricing policy because it caters to the high-end elite clientele since it sells luxury goods based on quality materials, craftsmanship, and innovative designs. Burberry is among the most expensive retailers in the world, and it certainly knows how to price its merchandise. This is how Burberry deals with its pricing strategy.
This is about Burberry’s place and distribution strategy. Being a global company, Burberry operates in all continents except Antarctica. Currently, Burberry has 459 stores around the world and has a strong presence, particularly in Europe and Asia. Its stores operate on the line of providing the luxury store experience and elevated customer experience. Today, the luxury fashion brand has shifted its focus on selling its products through e-commerce mediums. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Burberry has switched its focus of consumers towards digital channels and forced the company to reconsider its distribution touchpoints.
Burberry’s promotion strategy mainly consists of conducting consistent promotional activities. It employs both traditional and modern marketing tools and methods to market its brand and products. When it comes to traditional marketing methods, Burberry promotes itself through commercials, print, and outdoor advertising. But in recent years, Burberry primarily has focused on promoting itself through online and digital advertising. The luxury fashion brand regularly comes up with new marketing campaigns and events. Burberry has also signed celebrities, star athletes, and other famous personalities as brand ambassadors to promote its products. Over the years, the company has increasingly shifted its focus to extensive digital campaigns.
Burberry’s marketing strategy
As a global brand, Burberry has incorporated various marketing strategies to reach its goal of getting people to purchase its products.
Like many other global brands, Burberry has signed many celebrities, star athletes, and famous personalities as its brand ambassadors, who act as a bridge between the company and potential customers. They also help drive traffic, generate buzz, and build trust in their niche communities.
Among the brand ambassadors that Burberry has signed include Manchester United’s star forward Marcus Rashford, Chinese actress Zhou Dongyu, and South Korean celebrities such as actor Yoo Ah-In and K-pop idol Eunwoo.
Burberry continues to challenge itself and others, and it is the core of this culture that Burberry’s growth strategy has always been rooted in. A key element of the company’s growth strategy is the ability to innovate, both in on-premise and digital campaigns. Burberry continued to push its marketing borders by launching its video games B Bounce in 2019 and Ratberry in 2020. Through these video games, Burberry has increased the consumers’ engagement with the brand both at its retail stores and interacting online with family, friends, and fellow customers throughout the world.
When a brand opens a pop store, it serves two main purposes: one, to engage with customers and inform them of their products and/or services; and two, to introduce new products without requiring an ample physical store space.
Burberry’s trendsetting pop-up stores consist of unique kiosk-like rollouts to launch new products to customers in select locations.
From “gangwear” to luxury clothing
Rebranding is defined as the process of changing the corporate or public image of a brand. In Burberry’s case, it was a drastic move from being gangwear to a luxury clothing brand.
During Burberry’s early years, its coats were worn in the trenches by British soldiers during World War I, and since then, it had become a big part of the British culture. But unfortunately, Burberry had started to look more like gangwear. Because of the rumors that Burberry was favored among hooligans, certain city pubs even banned anyone wearing Burberry clothing.
In no time, Burberry was on the brink of decline. It was about time that Burberry should change its image while still preserving its iconic design.
Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s creative director since 2001, took the challenge of overhauling the brand’s image. Through his direction, Burberry introduced a mix of classic and modern looks that included a sexier trench coat and swimwear. The company signed high-profile celebrities such as supermodel Kate Moss and actress Emma Thompson.
Since its rebranding, Burberry’s sales rose by 27% to $747 million in the third quarter ending Dec. 31. The business expanded as far as China and built 50 stores in 2010.
In 2018, Burberry also gave its logo a new look to make the brand more appealing to today’s generation of consumers. It also added a new design (monogram) paying homage to the company’s owner, Thomas Burberry, and featuring a vibrant color scheme that still resembled its iconic “Nova Check” pattern.
The revamping brought Burberry astounding success – it recorded a revenue of 2.8 billion British pounds (US$3.7 billion) in 2017 and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 8% from 2013 to 2017. It recorded profitability of 260 million British pounds (US$344 million) with a margin of 17%.
Burberry brand value, in US dollars (2010 – 2021)
Data source: Statista.com
This is a great example of how it’s sometimes possible, through no fault of your own, that your brand can be adopted by an unintended audience, but there’s always a way to get back on track. And this is what precisely Burberry did.