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Rebranding Stories: How Burberry Reinvent itself from a Gangster Brand into an Iconic Luxury Brand

Can you imagine Burberry, the iconic British luxury brand, was once likened to a brand for gangsters? Consumers began to disassociate with the brand. By early 2000s, Burberry almost lost all of its brand prestige.

Reed Tan Digital Marketing Lead Generation Singapore Website Design Social Media Marketing Branding

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Reed Tan

Chief Strategist

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January 10, 2022

Can you imagine Burberry, the iconic British luxury brand, was once likened to a brand for gangsters?

Founded in the 19th century, Burberry bloomed into a celebrated brand after the first world war with their signature checkered trench coats. They also designed aviation garments that grew in popularity on the market.

People loved their brand.

Eroding of the Brand

However, during the late 90s, it slowly became a brand that was associated with ‘chav culture’, a pejorative term for hooligan-like youths with lower social status, poor etiquette, and unamicable behaviors.

Consumers began to disassociate with the brand since they didnt want to be seen as a part of the chav culture.

By the early 2000s, Burberry almost lost all of its brand prestige.

It was so bad that major UK department stores began to stop stocking of Burberry wear.

Sales started to fall over the years.

Changing Consumers’ Perception

Burberry knew the first thing they needed to do was to change the consumers’ perception of the brand.

They had to cut off any associations with chav culture and create a new brand experience.

One of the first moves by Burberry was to endorse Kate Moss, the famous British supermodel, as the face of its brand.

By endorsing Kate Moss, Burberry adopted her traits almost overnight, transforming into a fashion icon with sex appeal.

New Visual Identity

To break free, they chose to embrace a new visual identity by introducing new vibrant colours while retaining their signature colour of black and white.

The new identity was evident in their new website design that brought a fresh complementary look to their brand. Aside from aesthetic improvements, Burberry focused on delivering

They also launched a new logo design which featured their motto “Prorsum” which means “forwards” in Latin.

By capitalizing on their long heritage and their core brand values, they managed to pull off one of the most successful rebranding campaigns; by moulding themselves into an authentic, luxurious and fashion-forward brand.

This strategic move allowed them to reach out to a younger, stylish and affluent group of consumers.

Over the years, they took up an even more creative, artistic approach while maintaining their heritage to reach out to new audiences.

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