Burberry In China

by Adam the Editor

Burberry is definitely making waves in China.

Next week the British luxury goods company, founded in 1856 and famed for its trench coats will host an exclusive, global event.

The event will celebrate both the opening of the new 12,000 sq. ft. Beijing flagship store at Sparkle Roll Plaza, designed by Bailey himself, (see imagery below) as well as British music, technology and fashion. A live stream will take place, similar to its catwalk show earlier this year, to 50 of its stores simultaneously (24 of which are situated in the Asia Pacific sub-continent) as well as at Burberry.com and other select partner sites.

Christopher Bailey has been quoted as saying: “I love the creativity, vibrancy and history of China with its exciting and dynamic energy and it is a huge privilege to be flying the flag for Britain in the magnificent city of Beijing connecting all of our global communities to celebrate everything Burberry represents today from music, to heritage and innovation.”

Burberry have released a short video on their YouTube channel starring the ever-enthusiastic Tom Chaplin from Keane announcing that the band will perform at the Beijing store event. It’s nice to see that they have chosen a British band that hasn’t had a lot of press recently. I think it’s quite tactical and subtle in the message it sends.

Burberry will be the first luxury brand to pioneer some pretty amazing virtual technology.

Burberry will combine live models with animated footage and life-like holograms along with a fully immersive audio, visual and sensory experience connecting the physical and digital. This experience, in my opinion, will be difficult to match by any other fashion brand.

Guests will feel like they’re on the front-row. Instead, many will be hundreds if not thousands of miles away from where the action is taking place. This development in technology is not only a great marketing tool for Burberry. It also allows the brand to feel accessible to people across the globe; through live-streaming on Burberry.com and partner sites individuals do not need an invite to one of the store events in order to take part.

Burberry has steadily increased its presence on Chinese social media sites in order to accommodate its move into this growing, lucrative market. Back in February, the brand launched on 4 Chinese platforms: Kaixin001, Douban, Youku and Sina Weibo. All four of these sites co-hosted the 7th live stream of the Burberry Prorsum fashion show and all will highlight the upcoming event on April 13th.

I think it’s very interesting how Burberry is embracing technological change as a proactive strategy to success. Its digital strategy is remarkable to behold and is definitely a benchmark that many brands are now setting themselves up against. I think it surprises some people that it is Burberry embarking on these initiatives and not a bigger conglomerate brand such as Louis Vuitton or Gucci. I respect how Burberry has evolved and continues to evolve. The brand does not rest on its laurels in this respect. It is difficult for any big brand to stand out in the crowded, ever-competitive luxury goods market but I think Burberry have definitely established their USP. I am excited to see what other tricks Burberry have up their sleeves especially come September when they debut their SS’12 collection in London as well as globally through live-streaming.

If you would like to view the live-stream on April 13th you can do so by visiting Burberry.com. The live-stream will start at approx. 1.30pm UK time with the Keane performance scheduled to take place at 2.15pm. I for one will make sure I check it out and see if the technological innovations live up to their hype!


All images courtesy of Burberry