Area of innovation: Customer experience
Year: 1997 to date
To survive in the intensely competitive industry of high fashion, companies typically compete by continuously reinventing their styles and offerings. Burberry, the traditional British clothing brand, decided to gain a competitive edge by focusing on providing an enhanced customer experience - both in their brickand-mortar stores as well as online.
The new customer experience was created by combining traditional British fashion designs and in-shop boutique displays, with cutting-edge technology. This unique mix enabled Burberry to reinvent itself as a highly desired and admired luxury fashion house.
To deliver superior customer experience, Burberry prioritised its own branded boutique outlets over multi-brand stores. The new boutiques were re-styled to combine the traditional Burberry designs and classical British style with modern technology, such as touchscreens, iPod docking stations and the like - a mix that resonated well with today's luxury shoppers who value tradition, but at the same time embrace modern technology and lifestyle.
|Innovation breeds efficiency|
In the rapidly growing and dynamic market of today, innovation is necessary for a company's growth, as well as to establish a brand. In this fast-paced world, increasing efficiency is the key requirement in order to face competition and sustain growth. Hence, innovation is essential as it breeds efficiency. With the impact of globalisation, increased access to the Internet and Web 2.0, there is significant development for companies that undertake quick, intelligent solutions that will help them build sustainable competitive advantage.
Burberry has focused on creating customer delight through innovation in technology and providing best-in-class customer experience, both online and in its boutique stores, which is the right step forward. Burberry's customer approach is based on the premise that customer experience needs to be enhanced in order to elevate the brand's perception.
India is potentially a big market for the brand, and Burberry has changed its global product, as well as its marketing strategy in accordance with the demographic changes in the Indian market. The products that have been added to the Indian offering are from the global portfolio, but still aligned to Indian audiences' preferences and taste. So the brand is moving in the right direction.
Keeping the Indian context in mind, I would say it is extremely crucial Burberry uses Indian models on its website, as it would give potential Indian customers a realistic product presentation that they can relate to. In order to drive faster adoption, Burberry could try a hybrid model, in which it could display its key products in a few stores across major cities in India and use this to drive purchases online.
In the present market scenario, it becomes important for all companies to innovate in order to stay ahead of competition. Local industry bodies and the government should set up innovation hubs and forums to drive leadership through innovation in growth industries such as retail, travel and technology.
Also, companies should allocate funds to incubate projects that breed innovation and experimentation. But at the same time, they should build resilience for failure if it happens.