Burberry is officially the world’s most popular luxury brand online, having amassed more than 10 million Facebook fans on the social networking site. The London-based fashion house has embraced social media and digital marketing, and they’ve been rewarded as their revenue has increased 29%. Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, recently stated: “Burberry has delivered a strong first half, reflecting our continued investment in innovative design, digital marketing and retail strategies.”
“Ten million Facebook fans! Thank you so much for all your incredible support,” Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s Chief Creative Officer, posted on the Burberry Facebook page (with multiple images and a YouTube video, all below).
10 million Facebook fans is a major achievement for Burberry as they take leadership on the social media platform — this is almost more than Dior (5,920,960 fans) and Gucci (5,811,295) combined. Chanel is also at 5 million fans, followed by luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Dolce & Gabbana.
Burberry is regarded as one of the most forward-thinking luxury brands in the world. The New York University think-tank LuxuryLab named Burberry “the World’s most Digitally Competent Luxury Brand” in October.
“From live streams to runway shows to an arms race on social media platforms, brands are seeking the halo of innovation that comes from inspired online programming,” Scott Galloway, professor and co-founder of LuxuryLab, told Vogue. “However, most fashion brands still approach digital as a series of pet projects rather than presenting a coherent multi-platform strategy. Although 94 per cent of brands in the Index have a presence on Facebook, one in five still lacks e-commerce capability.”
“Almost 100 percent of brands cite Facebook as a source of upstream traffic,” Galloway told WWD in August, 2011. “[Burberry] is getting more traffic from Facebook than Google. It’s the largest source of traffic to its site. Brands are transitioning from spending money on Google into Facebook programs. All of this [Facebook] traffic and investment is leading towards commerce.”
What can you learn from Burberry?
Luxury brands need to be focused and targeted online. On Facebook, they’re unique clubs that discerning fans want to join, the opposite of a Walmart for the masses that offers everything for everyone. The attraction, and connection, to a luxury brand is all about affiliation to a unique experience – it is a dream, a desire and something to aspire to. If you’re a Mercedes-Benz owner, you want to make a connection with that brand on social media channels and share your affiliation. You want to mingle with like-minded friends, share stories and reminisce.
Luxury brands need to be on the cutting edge, as the affluent consumer is demanding – and always up on the latest technology, from amazing apps to the latest Apple iPhone. Luxury brands need to create killer content for these devices and social media platforms – from inspiring videos, cool apps, to exclusive content that offers an insider’s look into the brands. Louis Vuitton has numerous travel apps for the iPhone, with city guides for cities like Paris and New York, featuring Sophia Coppola and Rachel Weisz sharing their favorite restaurants and shops.
Pull back the curtain and allow customers to have an emotional affinity with the brand. Karl Lagerfeld brilliantly unveils videos on the Chanel Facebook page — previewing first with teaser images and videos – and then full-length videos. A luxury brand that basically recycles a TV spot or a magazine ad will ultimately fail at social media and engagement with their fans.
Affluent consumers are active and vocal. Never passive. They’re in the know, they’re insiders, they love to be engaged and share their favorite fashions, autos and destinations. It’s all about social, and sharing their favorite things with their friends. As a luxury brand, you need to engage your affluent consumers. Invite them in, inspire them – and in-turn, convert them into brand-advocates.
Christopher Parr is an industry leader with over 15 years of experience in digital marketing. He is an award-winning luxury marketing veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. He launched Pursuitist as a curated list of the good things in life, with guest contributors from Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, Glamour, Saveur and more sharing their favorite luxuries. Askmen.com recently named him “one of the 6 coolest guys in fashion,” his family is featured in Disney’s new social media campaign, and Marc Jacobs leverages Pursuitist’s editorial.