The 2011 Best Global Brands features a British brand that was the biggest non-tech riser on the list: Burberry.
The forward-thinking fashion innovator has mastered the art of engaging audiences on digital—from its early embrace of live-streaming, the iPad and Instagram, it has managed to stay ahead of trends and even set them.
I witnessed this for myself on September 19th, when I had the honor of attending the Burberry Prorsum Womenswear Spring/ Summer 2012 show in London’s Hyde Park (not too bad for a girl from Scottsdale, AZ!) Oh yes, it had the beautifully crafted clothes, bags and hats along with all the glamour that only the A-list fashion crowd can bring, but the show itself was truly a multi-sensory experience.
Upon arrival, guests were led into a sweet-smelling room and romanced by a first-of-its-kind 4D hologram of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Burberry’s campaign for new fragrance, Body. As models graced the catwalk, original tracks by Burberry Acoustic artists filled the space, with the soundtrack to the show immediately available for download on iTunes. (Insider favourite: finale tune, Taste the Rain by Kill It Kid.)
Arguably more impressive was what was going on, quite literally, behind the catwalk. As fashion’s elite looked on from their prime seats in the FROW, Burberry, in partnership with Twitter, produced the first ever Tweetwalk, where each look from the line was introduced via Burberry’s Twitpic stream moments before the models hit the runway. And it gets better. Online viewers all over the world seeing the collection for the first time were able to make purchases simultaneously in what Burberry calls ‘runway to retail,’ utilising real time platforms to equal real sales for Burberry. Genius.
Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter. Tick, tick, tick and tick. The way technology is seamlessly sewn through every Burberry touchpoint the world over, offering truly unique experiences to a widening audience, is a testament to the strong creative leadership behind the brand.
Enter Christopher Bailey, the brand’s Chief Creative Officer. Bailey, in perfect managerial synergy with CEO Angela Ahrendts, has transformed the Burberry brand by strategically placing creativity right at the heart of the business; the look, the feel, the sounds, smell, all the different platforms and ways of interacting with the brand are handpicked by the creative mastermind.
In 2010, Burberry was ranked #100 on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report, and jumps five spots this year to #95. Moving from strength to strength in 2011, Burberry’s exciting innovations are completely redefining how a luxury brand operates in the digital and social space, elevating the bar for its category and gaining worldwide fan favour. We can’t wait to see what this great British brand has in store (literally or virtually) as we move into 2012.