Challenges facing Burberry
According to Sharma’s case, Burberry had to face a number of challenges through the years, including the loss of its balance between the brand and the company, and the damage of its glamour between the luxury brands (Sharma, 2011). A few years ago, Burberry’s name was connected with the “chav culture” and the Burberry check was everywhere, because of the Chinese Counterfeits (Radovic, 2011). The company became associated with football hooligans and celebrity cocaine users, while the media ridiculed actress Daniella Westbrook when she and her daughter were pictured fully dressed in Burberry check (Kilby, 2007; WIPR, 2013).
By the early 2000s this look was adopted all over the country and became the uniform of the chav, “the stereotypical white working-class delinquent looking for trouble” (The Economist, 2011). The worst though was yet to come. In 2004 taxi drivers, pubs and clubs across Britain banned the customers that wore the brand, something that lead the company in reducing its checks visibility (Bothwell, 2005; The Economist, 2011).
While Burberry was trying to position itself among the leading fashion labels, its sales decreased by 7 per cent in 1998 due to the Asian economic crisis, the deteriorating trength of the pound, the fact that it started reducing its shipments to the Asian grey market and the closing down of three production facilities in the UK (International Directory of Company Histories, 2001) How did they use Digital Marketing to contribute to the revitalisation of the business?
Burberry made an extensive use of Digital Marketing and effective combination of online tools that contributed to the revitalisation of the business. This British home- based brand managed to be established globally and by using the digital marketing achieved to reach even more customers and followers, reflecting at the same time its British culture. Burberry invested in social networking in order to promote an online brand image but also to engage the customers in an online community.
Despite being a luxury brand that should create a high-class experience instead of a reachable product, it joined the social media in 2009, and today it has a significant number of fans (see Appendix 1). Burberry reached the 1st place in Luxury brands in April 2013, the 2nd relating to the retail brands and the 4th between the sport brands (see Infographic).