Brands as Stories

Burberry and the power of creative consumers

Image courtesy of BurberryThe pace of cultural evolution is both accelerating and fragmenting into a mash-up of sub-cultures and micro-communities. We are less passive consumers of culture and more empowered to create culture ourselves. In doing so, we claim a share of ownership over the brands we connect with.

Whether they’re the ‘connectors’ identified by Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point (often the artists, writers, film-makers, musicians, bloggers or cultural conduits who help create culture), or the creative consumers who are now empowered by social media to take control of brands and culture themselves in a more creative way, these people can be targeted with fresh, original content that they’ll want to engage with, consume and share; influencing their networks, driving a brand’s story further and creating new customers.

Burberry were one of the first luxury brands to truly ‘get’ social, a huge step in a world where carefully guarding your brand is the norm, by letting go of their brand in social and using cultural  influencers to target these creative consumers.

Harnessing fashion photographers, celebrity ambassadors and new media stars like The Sartorialist, their ‘The Art of the Trench’ campaign created a community inspired by the iconic Burberry trenchcoat. The influencers inspired the fans and the fans drove word of mouth amongst their own networks. A democratised way of engaging meant that it delivered huge volume and high engagement.

Most importantly, they continued to innovate, placing greater emphasis on digital by making it an integral part of the brand experience. From live-streaming catwalk shows in 3D, to creating one of the best digital shopping experiences in the business, they’re now positioned to take advantage of many more opportunities offered by the new content marketing and brand storytelling.

“Burberry is no longer just a fashion company – today they are a thriving media enterprise. It is successful not just because it makes great clothes but because it understands the importance of sparking interest in the community and social media to engage and delight their consumers.” – J. Shields, VP at Facebook

For more about our Brands as Stories approach, check out the Slide Share below...