Burberry has positioned itself well among its competitors as a result of focusing on “functional luxury”. By augmenting its product line to include both fashion and continuity products, Burberry can meet the needs of a wider range of customers. The fashion component addresses the latest trends while continuity products maintain the integrity of the timeless and very classic Burberry “feel”. While many of its competitors do offer a complete product line of apparel and accessories, some are known only for one or the other. Coach and Gucci, for example, are known mostly for shoes and accessories while Polo and Armani are high-end apparel. Burberry has positioned itself well, somewhere in between, to offer a full line of apparel and accessories, at a price-point that appeals to a wider audience. Burberry’s competitive position is sustainable over the long term because of its branding strategy: fashion products, which include the latest trends and are meant to change frequently; and continuity products that are the classic staples of their line.
The changes made by Bravo and her team seem to have mitigated Burberry’s risk profile for the most part. While changing any brand image holds inherent risk, in the case of Burberry it was obvious that a change was needed in order to survive. Keeping functional luxury as the focus, Bravo wanted to reposition the brand and target a younger, trendier audience, while retaining its “core brand values”. Several factors helped make her strategy successful. First, the change in the product line, which could have been a huge disaster, was implemented very well. She ensured that Burberry the target younger customer by adding updated, trendier styles to its line. All the while, keeping its continuity styles (classic looks) as part of the mix, which greatly diminished the risk that might come with a more drastic image change. Another key factor in mitigating its risk was the pricing strategy. By positioning...
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