This week, British heritage giant Burberry announced they will be combining their three retail labels into one ‘Burberry’ brand, delivering the news with a star-studded online campaign. This consolidation comes as a result of lagging sales and wallet-conscious consumers shifting to boutique brands with varying price lines. The brand will carry the name ‘Burberry’, replacing their ‘London’, ‘Brit’, & ‘Prorsum’ labels.
Burberry’s recent financial woes come as a result of slowing sales in Asian developing markets. This, coupled with their saturated North American & European presence, points the company towards simplification as one of few remaining vehicles of business growth. The brand’s move mirrors the unification of labels within other brands, like Dolce & Gabbana & Marc Jacobs. The brand is doubling-down, also announcing the construction of a factory in Leeds, England.
The question remains, will this move towards a simpler brand provide the jolt to Burberry’s fading light that it needs? The emphasis on trench coats and check has isolated millenials, who leverage Instagram-relevant status symbols like Kate Spade and Michael Kors.
Luxury brands are finding their share-of-closet dwindling due to the mixing and matching between high-end and streetwear, especially for traditional fashion pillars like Burberry. The forefront of fashion culture in 2015 does not rest on the laurels of traditional luxury, but rather the inherent creativity and unique spin on blending the worlds between a Balmain and an Adidas Superstar. The notion of a trench coat cementing one’s success has been replaced with the perfect thrift store find that best mimics high fashion with an edge of rarity.
The brand’s iconic presence may be the very thing that is shifting them out of today’s market, given that true luxury in 2015 comes from extending one’s brand and personality through their wardrobe. Burberry, like many other traditionalist brands, are finding it tough to survive in a world where trying to fit in is worst way to accomplish that very task.
By Amit Kalra #TPGAmit