I know next to nothing about the world of high fashion. However, one show I do watch every year is Burberry. I like the designs, the music. I like the way I feel, even as a viewer, that I’m part of a distinctly British spectacle. In short, I like the branding.
A recent Guardian article explains that, as technology and fashion increasingly become one, brands are finding new ways to engage, personalise and communicate with their consumers. In an era of a universally democratic “open-to-all” fashion, instantaneous purchasing and technological innovation, the “indulgent showcase of designer theatrics,” (that is, the shows) may be falling flat.
Is this why I’m so attracted to the Burberry brand? If so, what exactly is the company doing to adapt to a stagnating environment?
Last week Burberry became the first company to be blessed with its own branded channel on new streaming service Apple Music. An extension of its Burberry Acoustic endeavour that showcases new British musical talent, the move signals the company’s repositioning as a lifestyle brand.
They’ve started giving consumers the option of designing their own clothing exactly the way they like it.
The company have upped their Instagram and Snapchat game in efforts to keep up with millennials. Last week it became the first high fashion brand to premiere its Spring/Summer 2016 collection on Snapchat ahead of its London show.
Popular campaigns starring rising supermodel and teenage-favourite Cara Delevingne signals their commitment to capture the imagination and purse of the millennial demographic. A recent campaign with Delevingne and Kate Moss is a confident blend of the ‘old’ and ‘new’; a transcendence of eras that suggests the timelessness of its brand.
It’s expanded and started selling perfume and cosmetics in addition to their original tailored clothing.
The fashion industry is supposed to be innovative by nature. It forecasts trends, sets the agenda and promotes creativity as well as beauty. Despite this foundation the industry is built upon, however, it holds a self-defeating paradox: fashion resists innovation just as much as it’s promoted.
The turnaround that Burberry has seen in the past 10 years has happened without our questioning of it. The brand’s transformed from a tartan signifier of the working-class to a high-end boutique of £1,000 trench coats. This is all down to its confident, transformative marketing approach. In my opinion, this is why Burberry are innovators.