It’s a Plaid, Plaid World

by Angela Duke & Erin McGuire
Instagram pictures from Burberry taken during and right after the Burberry Prorsum Autumn Winter 2012 show.

Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts is not shy when it comes to discussing the importance of social media. In fact, she, along with Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey, has lead the company into a new world of social enterprise in which Burberry is on top. The company, started in 1856, is a London-based luxury goods empire. The mission, according to Ahrendts, is to be “fully digital end to end.” She says that the goal is to be able to see the same message and get the same feel for the brand no matter what device a customer is on, where they are located, or what site they were visiting from. Burberry was the first luxury goods brand to accomplish this task, and they have done it well. The company states firmly that they are selling their brand first and foremost, but with that comes their products. They are achieving a world of new success by selling that brand in the technology world.

The front row at the Autumn Winter Burberry Prorsum show & the finale. Via Burberry's Facebook page.

According to Marketing Week, Burberry spends 60% of their marketing budget on digital channels. Burberry links social media to a 29% increase in revenue in a 6 month period last year. With Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Burberry is using the tried and true social media platform tactics that most companies are using today – but they’re taking things a step above the rest. In order to engage customers, Burberry created the Art of the Trench site, in which users can upload images of themselves in their iconic Burberry trench.

Screenshot from the Art of the Trench site.

In order to access the tool, according to Market Week, the user must sign in through a Facebook application, meaning Burberry can gain a better knowledge of their customer. One of the most innovative ways that the company has used social media recently has been so called “Tweetwalks,” in which runway looks are tweeted out seconds before they are even debuted to editors and people in the industry. According to Mashable, during the time of the show during the Tweetwalk for the Spring Summer 2012 collection last fall, #Burberry and Christopher Bailey were both worldwide trending topics, and “conversation about the brand peaked shortly after the show began at 4 p.m. ET, hitting number two on global trending charts and breaking Burberry’s personal mentions-per-minute record.”

Graph by Trendistic, via Mashable.

In addition to Twitter, Burberry also live streams their runway shows on their YouTube channel, a tactic that many other brands have copied. The company has nearly 10 million likes on Facebook, making it the most popular luxury brand on the site.

With a Klout score of 77, Burberry sets the stage for social media utilization. The company is ranked on Klout as a “Thought Leader,” meaning their “followers rely on you, not only to share the relevant news, but to give your opinion on the issues. People look to you to help them understand the day’s developments. You understand what’s important and your audience values that.” Their Klout score is based solely on their Twitter page. They’ve improved their score in all areas, including True Reach, Amplification, and Network Impact.

Burberry has been able to engage customers and increase sales because of their aggressive, powerful, and unique utilization of digital and social platforms.


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