In spite of many licensing deals and manufacturing inconsistencies until the 1990s an initial
revamping effort by then Chief Executive, Rose Marie Bravo, carried Burberry’s revenues
to £740 million by 2006.
The brands biggest challenges were those licensing deals(23 of them) that diluted the
image and quality of Burberry as well lots being a brand that was infamous for being
counterfeited and associated with gangs and drug trading.
The company was established in Basingstoke, England in 1856 by Thomas Burberry through his
outerwear shop focusing on his patented gabardine fabric. They are credited with inventing the
1. The case talks about a multi-
dimensional strategy for Burberry? What
does that mean?
● “One brand, One Company”
○ One of the first goals was to unify Burberry’s branding
● Focus on the Core
○ Focus on what made Burberry strong
● Improved Organizational Structure
○ Streamlining the organization
● Embrace New Technology
○ Burberry is a digital media company
A “One Brand, One Company” mindset
Angela Ahrendts(the outgoing CEO) and Chris Bailey’s(incoming CEO) focus was around
steering the company towards what was best for the brand over anything else. This
created a cult-like culture.
The design and marketing of Burberry even down to the types of models and music
played all emphasized the “Britishness” of the Brand.
Focus on the Core
Burberry focused back on what made their brand strong. Their gabardine trench coat.
They reduced product variety and ensured they had a top-of-the-line replenishment
Through this, customers would always be to buy their best selling item when they came
in-store to shop. Additionally, they also realize some of these items were their most
Improved Organizational Structure
They added regional chief executive officers, amongst many other specialized positions,
to overlook regional areas rather than each country reporting to management.
Previously, the product lines of outlets in different countries were highly varied because
of the poor structure.
They realized that the younger generation who was a considerable portion of their staff
and could contribute to their future growth. A strategic innovation council for the
younger generation’s voice and a strategic executive council for those who were more
experienced was an additional measure towards improving the collaboration in the
Embrace New Technology
- “Art of the Trench”
- Burberry Chat
2a. Burberry's products are
divided into four categories
excluding the beauty
category, what are they?
2. Women’s apparel
3. Men’s apparel
4. Children’s apparel
2b. How does Burberry manage design,
product development and merchandising
○ Each of the labels has a dedicated design team
● Product development
○ Teams handle tasks likes sourcing raw materials for prototypes and final
products, interacting with suppliers, and planning seasonal development cycles
● Merchandising and planning
○ Merchandising, planning, and supply-chain teams create a focused, marketable
product assortment, forecast demand and negotiate with suppliers
3. Was the current strategy the right one to
lead Burberry into the next 150 years or so?
Should they stay on their current positioning
or should they reposition?
We believe that the HBR article encompasses a viable marketing and growth strategy for the
next 10-15 years, but can’t say it will be the case for the next 150 years. As the physical retail
presence of retailers and their digital presence begin to “blur”, we feel Burberry is well
positioned in the luxury category. Additionally, Ahrendts is confident that Burberry’s chief
creative officer, Christopher Bailey, will continue the company’s transformation, and that
putting creative people at the forefront is the future of Burberry.
The challenges present in the reading of having to grow their beauty business and taking
control of their Japan presence are definitely important, but not big enough to come in the
way of the strategic initiatives they have already undertaken.
Burberry - Repositioning to Change
Technology keeps advancing and the way people interact with it and receive information will
be a challenge for brands, especially luxury ones where a personalized in-person experience is
We feel the efforts made by management at Burberry are in line with Repositioning to
Change with their focus on becoming the leading digital luxury brand in the world. They
acknowledged a large and young segment of the market, Millennials to exact, who can be
highly profitable and like to engage with brands digitally.
Burberry in Shanghai
Our products sit at the very heart of our business and we are focused on creating the icons of
the future. Our “see now, buy now” model means that our customers can purchase our new
products as soon as they see them on the runway. We also have a large selection of non-runway
products that carry each show’s themes into our wider collections to give our customers more
opportunities to buy into the excitement of the show at a wider range of price points and styles.
Burberry has a broad product offer, with strength in both heritage and fashion across genders
and categories. Simplifying the product offer will enable the customer to discover new products
more easily. It will also provide the opportunity to tailor the assortment more effectively for
local customer needs. Burberry aims to implement a new approach to managing product
Our multi-year Retail Excellence programme focuses on making our stores as productive as
possible. This means providing our customers with a seamless luxury Burberry experience in
every store with impeccable service and a personalized approach. We build strong, ongoing
relationships with our customers and we listen closely to their views through our global
customer feedback tool which allows us to carefully manage the experiences our customers
have in our stores and on our website. The business model has evolved from being a
predominantly wholesale to a predominantly retail model. There is a significant opportunity to
improve Burberry’s end-to-end retail disciplines and to continue to evolve the omni-channel
E-commerce is the fastest growing channel in the luxury and retail industries. Our customers
will continue to move fluidly between the on and offline worlds and expect seamless,
personalised experiences. Our strong digital capability means we are well placed to respond to
this evolving landscape through both our owned channels and through relationships with digital
platforms, social media companies and retailers. We are experimenting with virtual reality,
augmented reality and the latest developments in social-commerce to ensure that we stay
ahead of evolving shopping behaviours and respond quickly to changing trends. With an
estimated 70% of Burberry’s retail sales having involved support from digital technology at
some point in the customer journey, the ambition is for digital to remain a clear point of
differentiation with scope to be more ambitious commercially.
Operational Excellence is a multi-year programme and involves re-engineering Burberry’s
systems and processes to ensure that they are fit for purpose for the Company’s next phase of
growth. This means structuring our business in a way that gives greater consistency globally to
better meet the needs of our customers locally. We are simplifying our ways of working to allow
our teams to focus their time where they can have the most impact and are free to do their best
work, feel motivated and be inspired. The key areas of focus include process simplification,
procurement effectiveness, inventory management and improving technology.
Our people are the engine of our business and the most important asset that supports the
success of Burberry. With employees in 34 countries, representing over 112 different
nationalities we are a diverse team, guided by Burberry’s core values of Protect, Explore,
Inspire. We are dedicated to fostering a distinctive culture with a global team mind-set and a