Virtuosos: An In-Depth Look At Burberry's Digital Success

December 09, 2011 BY CAPSULESNEWS

When Burberry debuted a 3D holographic runway for a show in Bejing earlier this year, Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey said that “Burberry is now as much a media-content company as we are a design company”. That quote truly reflects a new era for our industry.

These days, every brand and store must go beyond creating and selling fashion to creating content. In addition to finding new and innovative ways to tell a brand’s story online, every brand must communicate with their customers directly and use social media in all its capacities to engage and retain customers in a way that has never been possible before. That means that fashion brands must truly start thinking beyond the products themselves, and envision a fully integrated virtual marketing and content strategy with every season in order to be successful. Social media, blogs, Twitter and photo sharing sites are no longer to be considered a novelty, or something a brand can run as a hobby, or as a side project. These platforms are crucial to building a brand’s success, and every fashion brand and retailer must invest time, creativity and energy into developing their brand’s presence in the social sphere.

As part of our ongoing series on fashion and the digital realm, today we’re taking a look at Burberry’s online initiatives. There’s plenty of great ideas that any fashion company can learn from, and possibly incorporate into their own digital strategies.

Burberry has been consistently innovative and experimental in the virtual realm, utilizing Twitter Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and other platforms in innovative ways that allow the brand to have a two way dialogue with their consumer base that’s helping them solidify their position as a brand with global dominance. Additionally, the brand has experimented with new technologies in its fashion shows, using holograms, 3D presentations, and live streams of its fashion shows, partnering with key media sites to host the global live stream of its shows. These include CNN, Sky News, Vogue, GQ, The Times (UK), The New York Times, The Telegraph, Elle, Wired, Gulf News, Google, Yahoo, Mashable, MSN, Weibo, WGSN and AOL. Music tracks from Burberry shows are downloadable through the on demand service at using iTunes technology.

Burberry has been recognized by several digital organizations as a fashion trailblazer. In October 2011, Burberry topped the L2 Think Tank Fashion Digital IQ Index, which assesses the digital competence and level of innovation among global brands. In March 2011, Burberry ranked as number one among luxury goods brands in the Headstream Social Brands 100 report, which ranks brands by social media activity and crowdsources its nominations via Twitter. In February 2011, Burberry was voted 13th most innovative company and the No. 1 in Fashion by Fast Company due to its pioneering digital initiatives.

Here's a brief overview of some of Burberry's successful digital properties:


Burberry’s Facebook page has over 9.4 million fans, the highest of any luxury fashion brand on Facebook.The page offers visitors exclusive video and image content, as well as personal messages from Burberry Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey.

Burberry streamed its Spring Summer 2012 womenswear show in HD through Facebook and created a link for every one of its 8 million+ fans to stream the show through their own personal Facebook pages; sharing with their friends, broadening the social experience and the show audience.



The Burberry YouTube page features interviews with Christopher Bailey and CEO Angela Ahrendts, videos of Burberry shows, ad campaigns, events, and exclusive behind the scenes content. Additionally, Christopher Bailey has created Burberry Acoustic—a video series in which he selects British musical artists to create short videos exclusively for the brand. The Burberry YouTube videos have had over 9.2 million viewers globally.



Burberry has over 650,000 followers on its global Twitter account, and the brand also operates local Twitter accounts in France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and Russia, all featuring brand news and Music Monday music videos selected by Christopher Bailey.

In September 2011, Burberry partnered with Twitter to create the first ever live ‘Tweetwalk’ show, premiering the Spring Summer 2012 collection with instant Twitpics of every look live from London’s Hyde Park show space.



Burberry was one of the first brands to launch on Google+. The brand is currently in over 16,000 circles.



In January 2011 Burberry launched on Instagram, sharing brand content including events, behind the scenes, product and campaign images with over 95,000 followers.

So what's the takeaway from this? If your brand doesn’t have a well thought out digital strategy, now’s the time to start planning. With the A/W 12 season just around the corner, creating a digital plan, and finding someone to manage your social media properties is as crucial as a strong sales strategy or public relations plan. While a global giant like Burberry has many resources at its disposal, even a small, independent company can, and must, achieve digital success on little to no budget.

There are several agencies and consultancies popping up now to help fashion brands achieve their goals online. If you’d like more information, feel free to contact us at

Read more stories from the Virtuosos series here