OVERVIEW OF THE CASE
Overall, this case illustrates how the former Burberry Chief Executive Director (CEO), Rose Marie Bravo who stepped in as CEO in 1997, has succeeded in revitalising and revamping the company to become more successful in term of profitability and marketability. This case was took place in year 2003 whereby Ms. Bravo had successfully turned around a fading company to a rejuvenated highly profitable company and had gained their competitive advantage in luxury brand after facing disastrous situation for almost two decades (from 1970’s to 1998). She had led the brand to mass market success through marketing mix strategies by developing product diversification, adopting new promotional campaign and expanding new distribution network. Despite this success, Ms. Bravo however concerned how to keep the track record while maintaining the prestige and exclusivity of the brand. She also concerned about how they should strategize their marketing effort as well as overall business management to meet new changing and more challenging business environment and market demand in order to grow, survive and sustain in the marketplace.
Burberry, an iconic and authentic British luxury brand in fashion industry, was synonym with high-quality and durability product. It was founded by Thomas Burberry, a young dressmaker in 1856 in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. Burberry initially operated in the very niche market whereby he was produced men’s outerwear such as raincoat and boot to cater for travellers and sportsmen needs by using a high-quality garment and serve the purpose as weatherproof and comfortable. In 1901, the “Equestrian Knight” trademark has been registered using the word “Prorsum” which means “move forwards”. This reflects their vision to venture into the global market.
It was proven by the establishment of the first foreign outlet in Paris in 1910, followed by South America, the United States and then Japan in 1915 by signing wholesale agreement as their retailer. Then, in 1920, the iconic ‘check’ pattern has been developed as a lining for Burberry’s product which conveys the recognizable brand image.
In the early years, Burberry has been regarded as prestigious and distinctive product due to their niche market which targeted upper-class people such as royal family, celebrities and politicians. Burberry gained the popularity further to the First World War when the Burberry coat (after that it was called as trench coat) had been using by British military.
Burberry was taken over by Great Universal Stores (GUS) a strong British conglomerate, in 1955 to expand their business more globally. Since then, Burberry extensively established foreign outlets network in the United States of America, European countries and Japan through licensing agreement. However, in 1970s their image and reputation has been tarnished with the British casual cult and football hooliganism. Further to this negative connotation and then collapse of Japan economy in the mid-1990s, had dragged Burberry into a catastrophic situation. The sales were declining and the brand slowly disappeared from customer’s mind whereby they lost their brand image and reputation.
So then, Burberry’s management hired Ms. Bravo as a new CEO and new management team in 1997 to revamp the brand as well as expanding it. The brand then has been repositioned as “accessible luxury” with the objective to be as functional yet aspirational brand.
Burberry products are ranged in menswear, womenswear, childrens wear and non-apparel product such as leather bag, cosmetics and timepiece, While for its clothing product, there are three categories, which are Burberry Prorsum, Burberry London, and Burberry Brit. Each category is having their very own marketing strategies. Each of brand categories competes with its very own global competitors that have shown the similarities of key...
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