Burberry. Luxury Engagement.

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Despite being established in 1856, Burberry is anything but old fashioned. Their digital marketing and engagement strategy is one of the most progressive of brands.  Burberry has proved itself as one of the leaders of digital media by obscuring the lines between it’s online platforms and its physical stores.

Labeling themselves as a “young-old” brand, they combine heritage status with innovative pushes.

Let’s take a look at what makes their digital strategy so great.

1. They perfected their brand

The first step Burberry took was to identify where they wanted to take their brand. In 2006, Christian Bailey, Chief Creative of Burberry, and Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry until 2014, stated, “the vision was to be the first company who is fully digital” and they wanted “to build a social enterprise” by focusing on digital and targeting a younger consumer.

Burberry put large amounts of time and effort into perfecting their brand.  To do this they needed to ensure the consumer experience in London was the same as in London.  They refocused their brand on their iconic pieces and moved away from products for the masses.

2. Created a digital culture

Burberry didn’t make major changes to their social media accounts, but they did want to seamlessly integrate Burberry into the daily lives of their consumers through social media.

Bailey stated:

“Technology is an intrinsic part of most people’s lives. All we’ve done is make sure to weave technology into the fabric of the company. This is how customers live, they wake up with a device in their hand and life begins.”

 3. Took advantage of social media

Facebook:

Launched in 2009, Burberry was one of the first luxury brands to utilise Facebook. They now have a colossal 17 million followers.
They use the page to product campaigns, behind the scenes content, catwalk footage, company announcements and store announcements.  The page is incredible with a massively high rate of engagement.  It has become a place for fans to not just hear about new products, but a place where they feel like they have a real connection with Burberry and hear from Christopher Bailey himself.

Twitter:

Along with their Burberry account which boasts 6.4 million followers, in 2012 they launched @BurberryService for handling customer service issues. And yes, it’s a verified Twitter account and it’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Boom.

YouTube:

Burberry uses their YouTube channel to post a plethora of different content that keeps the consumers engaged and in sync with the company. They share videos and playlists of different products and campaigns, music events, eyewear and behind the scenes footage, make-up and hair tutorials and other unique content.  With over 250,000 followers and hundreds of thousands of plays, success and growth looks promising.

Snapchat:

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Burberry became the first luxury brand to run a Snapchat Discovery ad which they dedicated to promoting Mr. Burberry, the latest men’s fragrance and other male grooming products.

Within the channel was a collection of articles, videos and interviews, along with styling tips.  All centered around the theme “how to be a modern man”.

As always its approach is to bring customers closer to the brand.

Instagram:

Location change, shooting @maddiedemaine1 @BrooklynBeckham for #THISISBRIT

A post shared by Burberry (@burberry) on

 The fashion industry has used Instagram to debut collection, post backstage shots and give its fans a glimpse into the fashion world.  Burberry took it a step further by including England’s most sought after sons – the Beckhams.

They allowed Brooklyn Beckham to “takeover” the account.  Photos posted during his takeover earned nearly 45,000 likes.  To up the ante, they film the event live – posting the shots under the hashtag #THISISBRIT – while promising more coverage on the Snapchat.

Romeo, the youngest male Beckham (Don’t worry Harper, I didn’t forget about you) is a regular Burberry model.
Burberry cleverly targeted a newer and younger target audience to generate the engagement and buzz around their brand.

Finished on set 🎬 @BrooklynBeckham for #THISISBRIT

A post shared by Burberry (@burberry) on

4. Unique digital content

  • Art of the Trench: One of the original digital campaigns Burberry launched was ‘Art of the Trench’ microsite.  It was virtually its own social platform that allowed Burberry owners to take photos of themselves wearing the iconic trench and share the photo.  It allowed users to slide their mouse around to view hundreds of others wearing the coat.  All while playing a selection of up and coming artists.
  • Burberry Bespoke: This feature allows customers to customise their own trench coats for purchase.  It allows users to change everything from the colour, sleeves, lining, buttons, even a personalised monogram.  The customer can purchase online, request an appointment, chat with customer service (of course) and, share the design on their own social media platforms.
  • Burberry.com: The Burberry website is known as one of the top fashion websites because of how hard they work to align the website with the stores.  If you’ve ever been to the flagship retail store in London on Regent Street you can see that is is inspired by the site map on Burberry.com.  The layout and architecture reflects that of the website.  The space in the store is divided into bespoke, ready to wear and acoustic – similar to the website.  To further engage the customer, Burberry embedded digital chips into its products which activated short films to bring the product to life, telling the story of creation, from sketches to runway edits.

Bailey’s social media vision was to not keep social media online, but to bring it to life. He explained to GQ:

“We had realised that we had created a lot of platforms that only exist online so we decided we had to bring these to life. Our approach to the store was to make a bridge between the online and offline experience. Today I think we’re less concerned about where we actually shop, and more concerned about the experience we have while we’re shopping.”

Thanks for the help: We Are Social, Brian Solis, Digital Engagement, Mashable and Harris Associates.


I hope you enjoyed this read! Are you a fan of a different brand’s digital engagement strategy? I would love to hear your thoughts on what they do differently – Comment below! 

 

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