The Burberry Brand

By Mash Bonigala

With the chief creative officer recently named Designer of the Year, it seems appropriate to look at the Burberry brand. For 150 years, this old school British, yet modern and high street brand has been appealing to the upper crust and those who aspire to be them. Even with a recession driving down sales everywhere, Burberry UK clothing logo design remains financial sound and as fashionable as ever.

Whether you are into luxury brands or not, there is a good chance you recognize the signature Burberry plaid. This is a key element of the brand. First, what could be more appropriate for a UK logo design than a plaid? This plaid has been printed in many different colours and sewn into a variety of garments and accessories. With people all over the world carrying this plaid, it may just make Burberry one of the most versatile brands ever, and one of the most expensive as well.

The Burberry brand is somewhat of a paradox. It’s hard to think of another brand that is worn by the British royal family and rappers alike, but Burberry manages to carry a variety of customer bases seamlessly. More amazing is the fact that just a decade ago, this brand was in real trouble.

Burberry did not always specialize in high street fashion. In fact, the company invented gabardine, a mainstay of grandmothers everywhere. For decades they were viewed as a sensible choice for the financially comfortable. The brand did not even branch out into the United States until the seventies.

The company responded to flagging sales and less than optimal public image with a new branding campaign. Gone were fusty pocketbooks; in was the string bikini. While Burberry clung stalwartly to their British image, this was definitely a new and younger UK being represented. After more than a century, Burberry had managed to reclaim their luxurious past.

How has Burberry managed to market to so many? Part of this is due to the quality of the brand. The tousled British flair is easy to identify with for younger consumers, but the company continues to market itself to upper end shoppers. With the brand both exclusive and highly recognizable, the brand manages to have a certain swagger that appeals to people of all ages and income levels while marketing exclusively to the young and wealthy.

One positive aspect of Burberry’s branding has been the refusal to give in to fads. While other brands use humour or celebrity appeal to sell their product, Burberry sticks to modern takes on classic images. The brand is willing to have a variety of people wear their garments, but the emphasis remains on that one target audience. Another positive aspect of Burberry is the brand’s timelessness. With a long and rich history, the brand automatically has aristocratic flair. However, versatility goes even further. With a few notable exceptions, most of their products can be used but almost any demographic without appearing contrived or ridiculous.

What lies in the future for Burberry? Only time will tell. Judging from past marketing schemes, there is no reason this brand will be heading anywhere but up.