Burberry breaking from tradition?

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Like a cucumber sandwich, an Aston Martin or a Corgi, Burberry is quintessentially British. Founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, the luxe fashion label is celebrated for its sought-after rain macs and tartan print.

Of late, British beauties – including Agyness Deyn, Rosie Huntington-Whitetely and Emma Watson – have become ‘faces’ of the brand, donning iconic trench coats and sultry poses for huge advertising campaigns. Many a fashionista has also waited with bated breath to get their first peep at the label’s latest designs.

Yet, despite being steeped in tradition, Burberry has decided to buck the trend when it comes to marketing. The FT has reported that Burberry now spends over 60 per cent of its marketing budget on digital media, having ditched glossy print ads in favour of a global Facebook campaign.

Expertly timed for the launch of its latest fragrance, Burberry Body, the fashion house is now spending triple the market average on social networking activity.

The bold move is already paying off. Today, Burberry has over 8 million Facebook ‘likes’ – an increase of 500,000 fans in just a week – and more than 250,000 people have now signed up online to receive a free sample of the new scent.

The label’s certainly come a long way since 2005, when Burberry nail art and Daniella Westbrook’s head-to-toe Burberry attire turned the brand from chic to chav!

In PR terms, Burberry is now flying the flag not only for ‘Britishness’, but also for how a brand can genuinely engage with consumers on social networking platforms. Of course there’s kudos attached to appearing in the pages of Vogue, but who can argue with a digital shift that appeals directly to people in their hundreds of thousands?