Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Burberry goes on a Street Roll

Burberry's online community aptly named the 'Art of the Trench' which made its debut online on 11th November came along with a bang rather than the buzz that is often associated with online sensations. The website which is based on the simple concept of paying homage to the brand's signature trench coat, has been created as a collaborative space where clients can converge, share their affinity for the brand through images, recommendations and opinions and of course experience the brand in an environment that doesn't feel like it is 'controlled'. The bang was so strong that in less than two weeks following its launch, the online fashion e-zine, The Business Of Fashion conducted a poll that included user feedback and ratings of this website versus Gucci's social networking initiatives. Guess who came out tops...

Other blogs  and news articles  have written in detail about the website and nearly all the reviews I've read and the experience on the website points to several fa that set it apart. Here are three main differentiators in my opinion.

- Art of the Trench created its own social media platform because Burberry recognized the evolution currently taking place in the cyberspace and found its own way of responding to this. Please note that I've used the word 'created' and not 'joined'. By doing so, Burberry is saying to other luxury brands that the world of social networking doesn't begin and end on the bandwagon train (is anyone thinking Twitter, Facebook, iPhone Apps...)
- Art of the Trench recognizes and respects the 'codes' of the social web, that is to say recognition, inclusion, participation, sharing, conversation and connecting. It is created for the 'people' and nobody is excluded.
- Art of the Trench offers a unique and elevated brand experience that is based on a recognizable signature of the Burberry brand. It is not about the classic luxury marketing but about using new media to usher people into the brand universe. It is about sending the same message with a different language. Think of it like going to Japan and learning Japanese to communicate better.  

More analysis of this website will be featured in the next edition of Luxe-Mag.Com and this interesting topic will be dissected at the next Club e-Luxe Breakfast Seminar on 8th January in Paris. And of course an entire chapter is dedicated to the social media in Luxury Online. In the meantime it's refreshing to know that I can finally say that at last a luxury brand seems to be 'getting it' in terms of the online social media.

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