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Successful Rebranding Stories: How Burberry Refashioned Itself into an Iconic British Luxury Brand

Can you imagine Burberry, the iconic British luxury brand, was once likened to a brand for gangsters? People began to disassociate with the brand, and naturally sales started to fall over the years. They had to do something.

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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July 27, 2021

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

Miraculously, they managed to re-invent themselves into a fashion powerhouse of today.

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 the hooligan-like youths with lower social status.

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

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

People began to disassociate with the brand, and naturally sales started to fall over the years.

Burberry knew they needed to change people’s perception of the brand.

How Did Burberry Rebrand Itself?

  1. Piggybacking Kate Moss
  2. Visual Identity
  3. Digital Adoption

1. Piggybacking

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.

At that time, Kate Moss was dominating the fashion industry and her collaborations with multiple luxury brands brought her to fashion icon status. By endorsing Kate Moss as the face of the brand, Burberry adopted her traits almost overnight, molding themselves into a fashion icon with sex appeal.

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

2. Visual Identity

To break free from existing consumer’ perception, Burberry knew they needed to create a new brand identity.

The new identity was evident in their new logo design, emphasizing their motto “Prorsum” which means “forwards” in Latin. With a new visual direction, they continued to adopt a website redesign campaign, bringing a fresh complementary look to their brand.

3. Digital Adoption

With that mindset, they adopted digital medium aggressively to communicate with their younger audience which was something unheard of especially for luxury design house at that time.

They embraced a series of online engagement such as fashion shows live-streaming and social media ad campaigns.

Over the years, they took up an even more creative, artistic approach while maintaining their heritage to reach out to new audiences. By capitalizing on their long heritage and their core brand values, they managed to pull off one of the most successful rebranding campaigns; by molding themselves into an authentic, luxurious and fashion-forward brand.

What is your favourite successful rebranding story? Share your opinions with us below.

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