Our new Chief Creative Officer, Riccardo Tisci, started in March 2018 and has brought in a new era for the Burberry brand! He has given Burberry a new visual identity with a new logo, a Thomas Burberry monogram and colour palette. In September 2018, Riccardo formally presented his new sartorial vision for the Burberry customer at London Fashion Week.
To launch this new direction for the brand, the digital teams were briefed to create moments of ‘brand heat’ to surprise and excite our luxury customers during this crucial period. It was important that these moments stayed true to our core brand strategy of behaving in a socially native way.
Our customers crave newness. They expect brands to surprise and excite them. Burberry wanted to create a programme that would do exactly that, deliver our new brand to our customers, in a completely unexpected way.
We had observed the ever-developing trend of social commerce on Instagram and how important it already was on WeChat. We wanted to capitalise on this movement and be one of the first luxury houses to truly embrace social commerce.
We introduced B Series: Limited edition product releases from Riccardo Tisci, only available to shop on Burberry’s key social media accounts (Instagram globally and WeChat in China) for 24 hours each.
In the absence of an integrated social commerce feature on Instagram, Burberry created a bespoke shopping experience optimised to be used within the Instagram application. Users could access these experiences in multiple ways, using the full Instagram eco-system: via tags in Newsfeed posts, link in bio, or through Instagram Stories. Each access point led the customer to a Product Listing or Product Detail Page specifically designed for Instagram. This included a more visual, mobile-optimised layout, a countdown timer, simplified check out experience, special product flags and navigational features based on native Instagram behaviour such as tapping on the right or left to move to the next product.
By placing these entry points on our social accounts, the drops allowed us to invite our communities into our new world and build an ongoing dialogue with them in the places where they are.
To start, we teased the programme with a surprise drop for customers ahead of Riccardo’s runway debut for Burberry in September. The product was a limited-edition T-shirt featuring the interlacing initials of our founder, Thomas Burberry. The demand was very high and sold out within the first couple of hours.
Following the September fashion show, we did a second round of B Series where a limited number of products from the runway collection were available to purchase on social media. This meant that customers could wear Riccardo’s new vision immediately after it was unveiled on the runway. We were delighted with the demand, especially in China where the products sold out within the first hours.
B Series now occurs on the 17th of every month and has expanded to include two other social media platforms, LINE in Japan and Kakao in Korea.
The launch of B Series completely exceeded our expectations! It has been key to igniting brand heat, with reach and engagement showing double to triple-digit growth. We also feel that this is a new way for customers to get the full brand experience and shop our products.
Influencer response to the drops was overwhelming: we are still receiving many requests for the exclusive ‘TB’ (Thomas Burberry) product that B Series has become famous for.
The items sold out very quickly - the October drop, for example, completely sold out within a matter of hours as consumers begin to get used to buying from us in this new way. We also saw that compared to our February capsule collection (immediately available in stores and on burberry.com), B Series attracted many new and millennial customers to the brand. The response from the Chinese consumer has been a particular highlight, where our initial ‘surprise drop’ in September sold out in a few hours, and October sold out in less than one hour.