The Burberry brand was founded by a young man, named Thomas Burberry, in 1856. Burberry, 21 at the time, was driven by the belief that clothing should protect people from the British weather. In 1879, Burberry invents a breathable, long-lasting waterproof fabric called gabardine. Before this fabric came to existence, rainwear was uncomfortable and heavy. Burberry's creation was patented in 1888 and revolutionised rainwear. Later, he designed the very first Tielocken trench coat, which was patented in 1912. This coat was popular amongst WW1 officers and, today, has become one of Burberry's iconic items. In the 1920s Burberry introduced the chequered rainwear lining that has since become the company's trademark. In 2000 Burberry opened its first store on Bond Street, reflecting the brand's status of luxury.
According to Burberry's official strategic report (2018) Burberry is “a 162-year-old global luxury brand with a distinctive British identity.” Burberry takes pride in its popular luxurious brand, rich history and innovative reputation. Burberry's products range includes women and men's apparel, beauty products, children's apparel and accessories. All their products are simple, plain and high quality, reflecting English style and British weather. Burberry uses this British identity as a Unique Selling Point, differentiating them form their luxury brand competitors: Gucci, Dior, Chanel, and Louis-Viton. Reaching annual revenue of £2,733 million in 2018 with sales in 47 different countries, Burberry distinguishes itself as a global brand.
1.1 Product Life Cycle and Boston Matrix
Just like humans go through a biological life cycle, products also go through a series of stages known as the product life cycle. This cycle includes stages of introduction, growth, maturity and decline. When products are new to the market they are considered to be in the introductory phase, as they begin to grow in market share and popularity they enter the growth stage, as they maintain popularity in the midst of competitors they are in maturity phase and then finally, when the product loses value it enters the decline stage. Burberry has been running for a long time and their products remain popular. They maintain their products' popularity amongst competitors by creating line extensions. This is the maturity stage. Although many Burberry products are in the mature phase there are a few exceptions. August 2, 2018 Burberry introduced a new monogram for the brand. Burberry has started introducing new products featuring the new monogram; this product is in the introductory phase.
The Boston matrix is used to analyse businesses' product lines. This chart has four sections: stars, question marks, cash cows, and dogs. Stars are products with high market share and growth, cash cows are products with high market share and low market growth, question marks have low market share and high market growth and finally, dogs have both low market share and growth. Analysing Burberry's product line products such as the plaid scarf are stars. This product is the most popular and most purchased Burberry product. Childrenswear is a question mark. These products have a very low market share according to Burberry's official Strategic report that childrens wear accounts for 4% of Burberry's sales. Although trench coats are the most popular Burberry product, its market is not growing any further. For this reason, the trench coat is a cash cow. Beauty products are Burberry's dogs. Burberry's Official Strategic report states that the sales for these products has decreased by 26% and it accounts for only 1% of Burberrys sales.
2. Price and Promotion
Because Burberry is a luxury brand they target the upper and middle class. Their pricing and promotion, therefore, is segmented to that demographic. Most of Burberry's products are in the maturity phase. For this reason, Burberry's pricing strategies focus on maximising sales and their promotion is focused on reassuring advertising. They find convincing strategies to persuade their customers to continue purchasing their products and give them reasons to chose Burberry over its competitors.
Burberry usually uses Customer Value Pricing, which is defined, as pricing items based on the price customers are willing to pay. This is why Burberry focuses on the quality of their products rather than the price. They advertise high quality, durable, and most importantly, luxurious products which increases the product's value in their customers eyes. To retain their luxurious British image, Burberry usually advertises in luxury magazines using famous British models such as Romeo Beckham, Cara Delevigne and Max Rendell.
The place part of the marketing mix refers to the strategies a business uses to get the product to the customer.
3.1 Distribution Channels
Burberry's distribution channel consists of wholesalers and retailers. Their products are sold through their retail stores and online globally. They are also sold through third party partners online and in stores. Some examples of these third party partners are Selfridges, Harrods, Nordstrom and other luxury department stores around the world.
Burberry has not only uses the Internet as a major platform to buy and sell products but to communicate with their customers and create and excellent customer service. Burberry has a chat box via Facebook messenger that was launched in 2016. Through this platform customers may receive pricing information, recommendations and even view current collections. Burberry also has a shopping app and even works with Uber to get customers to the nearest Burberry store. Burberry conducts live streaming of their runway shows and has recently integrated a new feature. This feature, knows as the ‘see now, buy now' feature, allows customers to buy products they see on the runway immediately after the show. Burberry's new communication strategies attract young buyers to the brand. This also allows customers to stay connected to the brand and its evolution. Burberry's customer service increases brand loyalty amongst its consumers and attracts others to the brand.
Burberry has a successful marketing strategy that is continuing to grow. They create a caring, high quality atmosphere for their customers. All the elements of Burberry's strategy, work together to portray the brand's identity and image. The quality of their product; the image they portray through their advertisement; their luxurious retail stores and locations; and the extra mile they take to communicate with their customers, helps the brand to maintain its image and meets customers wants and needs while allowing them to feel valued.
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