Burberry won the top spot in our fifth annual 2013 Digital IQ Index: Fashion report for the third year in a row. At the heart of Burberry’s success is a consistent and interconnected mobile, tablet, online and in-store experience. In November, Burberry rolled out the “Customer 1-2-1” tool, which enables sales associates to look at a customers’ in-store and online transaction history. Burberry customers have the option of picking up online and mobile purchases in stores, a service only 6% of the 85 brands in our report offer.
Burberry reached out to potential customers prior to the purchase phase, all the way back to the debut of its garments and accessories on the runway. Burberry emailed teaser videos to build up anticipation for its Spring/Summer 2014 show at London Fashion Week. It streamed the show live, with a sidebar featuring individual garments and accessories in sync with their appearance on the runway. After the event, Burberry released vines of the show.
On the social media front, Burberry is ahead. It is one of the four brands with more than a million Instagram followers, the others being Christian Louboutin, Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton. Burberry has the largest Facebook community of all Fashion brands with 16,464,421 members. Its YouTube channel grew by 51% from November of last year to 27,085,823 views.
Much of Burberry’s growth has been attributed to CEO and media darling Angela Ahrendts. Since taking the helm of the brand in 2006, she unified the fragmented brand to a single identity with an iconic trench coat at the center. Prior to that, Burberry stores were selling licensed items at varying quality and price point. Ahrendts appointed a brand czar (Christopher Bailey, who will replace her after she departs in 2014) to approve every single item manufactured under the Burberry name. Our 2013 Digital Index: Fashion report suggests that Ahrendts brought that same consistency to digital platforms.
Ahrendts set herself apart from other luxury CEOs by embracing digital early on. She launched the Art of the Trench in 2009, a photo-sharing site that featuring street-style images of people sporting the coat. In 2011, Ahrendts spoke about how Facebook was important in getting people invested in the Burberry brand, even if they could not afford it at the moment. She believed that current Facebook fans would be future buyers.
Apple CEO Angela Ahrendts will soon join Apple, which L2 Think Tank founder Scott Galloway says is taking steps to become a luxury brand. We’re looking forward to seeing what Ahrendts does with her magic at the (as of now) technology company, and what changes will take place at Burberry once Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey takes over.
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