Case Study – Burberry and Online Media


Burberry is a famous traditional British brand founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry. Thomas started the company because he was unsatisfied with the quality of rain clothes during periods of very hard weather. He wanted to make a high quality product, so he developed a fabric called gabardine, which provided, at the same time, comfort, water-proof and resistance.

The most famous item of the company, the trench coat, has gotten its fame during the War Office, in 1914, when Burberry was chosen to make officer’s coats that could handle the warfare. Because of their notorious durability and quality even during hard conditions, the coats began to be known as ‘trench coats’ and after the war many civilians started to wearing it. Afterwards the brand started to expand its business to other areas, producing luggage and other goods.

During the Second World War (1945 – 1954) Burberry continued to supply high quality gabardines to servicemen in all brands of service, becoming the first brand to receive the Royal Warrant from Her Majesty – The Queen in 1955. The brand has also been famous in aviation by producing specially designed clothes, accessories and equipment to the sector.

The ascension of Burberry

Despite being famous for its quality, Burberry has been through some crisis, especially during 2000, when market changed and consumers were looking for best prices or popular brands.

In 2001, to rebuild the image of the brand, Christopher Bailey became the creative director for Burberry and most of the ascension of the brand is considered his job. Bailey transformed the company and invested a lot in advertising, art direction and design and he has made Burberry a competitor to the likes of Gucci and Dior.

Overtime, famous celebrities and prominent figures in society have helped to popularize the brand and models including Kate Moss, Agyness Deyn and Lily Donaldson were faces of advertising campaigns. The actress Emma Watson was one of the most recent choices, increasing the market value of the brand in more than 300% comparing to the previous year.

Marketing Innovation

According to the official website of the brand, Burberry leveraged digital technology to increase reach and engagement around key brand events, leading position on social media in the luxury sector, more than doubling Facebook fans and YouTube views, while tripling its followers on Twitter. They also emphasize that Burberry continued to extend its reach and impact through innovative marketing, leveraging its brand content to engage and connect consumers globally. [4]

Indeed, Burberry is one the most successful business in online environment. The brand is not just creating applications and sending updates about products and promotions in Twitter or Facebook, or just showing Fashion Shows in real time in the website of Facebook. More than that, the goal is to attract consumers with new ways to view products, giving the users the possibility to interact with the campaigns.

Nowadays Burberry dedicates 60% of marketing spend to digital. And the brand really shows that they know how to spend this money.

The launch campaign of the new fragrance, Burberry Body, was completely virtual, no printed media was used. Samples were mailed to 250,000 of its 10 million ‘likers’ in return for customer details. Any comments or likes on the branded page were shared with users’ friends to spread the word that the perfume can be purchased in stores or through its website [6].

Although there is a minority of the 10 + million fans that can afford Burberry branded products, all the fans have an affinity to the brand based on the level of activity on the Facebook Page [7].

Talking about some amazing marketing ideas of the brand we can cite the page “Burberry Bespoke”  who instigates the interactivity with users by being able to design and customize your own trench coat, sharing the product in social networks. Besides this page, the brand has invested in over two large digital innovations, the Art of The Trench, which brings together images sent by consumers and Burberry Acoustic, which unites fashion and music in a channel of amazing videos of new British artists.


View of Burberry Bespoke, where you can personalize your trench coat

View of Burberry Bespoke, where you can personalize your trench coat


Initial page of Burberry Acoustic, promoting British artists

Initial page of Burberry Acoustic, promoting British artists

Burberry has also opened a shop on Regent Street in London, which offers live the same experience that the consumer may have browsing the site. In the store, there are mirrors that capture the digital part reflected and open a window in which was mounted a stage for the bands of Burberry Acoustic.

Inside view of Burberry store on Regent Street, London.

Inside view of Burberry store on Regent Street, London.

Burberry wants to attract consumers by creativity and interaction. They aim to create a magical world with their products. They brand that once were selling to protect people from the weather in the war, is now a desire, dream and inspiration to millions of fashion lovers.


[1] E-how. “About Burberry”. <>. Accessed on October 16, 2012.

[2] Peterson, Steven D. (2008). “Burberry History – From the Backyard to the Runway”. <—From-the-Backyard-to-the-Runway&id=947627> Accessed on October 17, 2012.

[3] Underwood, Harry. (2009). “How Burberry rescued their image and saved London Fashion Week”. <>. Accessed on October 17,  2012.

[4] Burberry – “Our Strategy”. <>. Accessed on October 17, 2012.

[5] Roman, Ernan. (2012). “Burberry: 3 Powerful Ways to Engage Consumers Online”. <>. Accessed on October 17, 2012.

[6] Marketing Week. (2012). “Burberry: putting a value on social media”. <>. Accessed on October 17, 2012.

[7] Smith, Ian. (2012). “Burberry: A Lesson in Brand Affinity and Content Strategy”. <>. Accessed on October 17, 2012.


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