Last week I was talking to a strategic director at a digital agency. We were discussing fashion brands that have embraced digital, as I’ve had several fashion clients and she wants to expand into that arena.
Naturally, digital superstar Burberry because part of the discussion. Known for turning a heritage brand into a cool, fun and fresh brand using digital tools, Angela Ahrendts (now at Apple) and Christopher Bailey (Chief Creative Officer & CEO of Burberry) are to be applauded for embracing digital. You can find Burberry on Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, tumblr – The Art of the Trench is classic, and embracing live-streaming their catwalks on Periscope, as well as Burberry.com. In-store events, especially at the flagship on Regent’s Street, host live concerts with large digital screens that can be used as pure video or create unique light shows.
What first caught my attention for this refreshening the brand in the digital world, was the Burberry acoustic series, when Keane performed on top of The Great Wall of China, a few years ago and I was smitten. I read a few interviews with Ms. Arendt and Mr. Bailey that made me keen, pun intended, for more.
The point is, while Burberry has done a tremendous job, there is always room to do more, experiment more and with and that’s what I love about digital. The runway is endlessly full of possibilities. Okay, engineers, calm down, I get how coding works and how it’s never “done,” however look at wearables and A.I. and everything that was the stuff of science fiction novels and movies in the 60’s, which exists in reality today.
I told this woman I wish Burberry had an APP. She questioned whether a consumer would be willing to purchase a £2000 Burberry handbag through an APP and if it could redeem the cost. Oh agency mindset, why so cynical? My answer was a resounding yes. As we all know mobile use is only on the rise, with consumers stating mobile purchases motivation is more about free shipping, then lower pricing.
If you go and buy a car, you’ve done all your research. 90% of people who walk into a car dealership already know what they want, they want to make sure the stock is there and they can get the features they want, and of course, “negotiate” in floor mats. This woman was very skeptical, but all the research, and sales habits show when you have brand loyalty, consumers will buy it in the easiest way possible. Perhaps she isn’t a research person, so I suggest watching ‘Rich Kids of Beverly Hills’ and reading Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians,” to understand that when money is not an issue, getting what you want the moment you want it, is why Amazon Prime is so successful (and hello, they sell Burberry.)
Burberry does create customer accounts, which sales associates can access on a tablet in-store, but does not have an app for customers to purchase, giving access to exclusives first. I can think of half a dozen ways that could benefit them and loyal members.
When you limit the possibilities at the onset, the amazing ideas may never find a way to live. I have worked with minimal to unlimited budgets for artists and clients, and there is always room for creativity at all sizes, the only limit is your imagination and execution.