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Burberry is a brand with a strong heritage and a modern approach to digital marketing. This combination has given the brand a distinct competitive advantage in the fashion industry. Burberry was founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. Burberry is most famous for its trench coat which was designed by its founder Thomas Burberry. Its distinctive tartan pattern is one of the most widely copied trademarks in the world.

By the mid to late 1990’s, Burberry had come to be seen as tired, stodgy brand that put its signature checkered print on far too many items. In 2001, Christopher Bailey joined the company as creative director. Bailey is credited with leading a turnaround of the Burberry Brand through product design and digital marketing.

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Burberry has reinvented itself as one of the most forward-thinking fashion marketers in the world. Burberry has seamlessly integrated digital into everything that it does. Digital is not an afterthought its the way Burberry conducts business today. Its digital focus has differentiated the brand and moved it ahead of its fashion competitors. In 2009, it was one of the first fashion houses to live-stream a runway show. It’s also been known to tweet images of a new collection before a show, effectively giving its Twitter followers a glance at the line before front-row celebrities and high-powered editors get one. The commitment to social media has changed its production schedule. Burberry is one of the few brands that allows consumers to buy clothes immediately after models walk down the runway in them.

Efforts such as “Art of the Trench,” which features consumers wearing the iconic trench coat, and “Burberry Acoustic,” which features collaborations with British musicians, are examples of how Burberry integrates digital. The brand is not afraid to experiment with new ideas. The latest is “Burberry Kisses”, developed in partnership with Google, which lets users capture a print of their kiss on a smart phone or webcam and send it in a digital letter to the object of their affection. Burberry does an excellent job melding the digital and physical world.

Burberry has 16.1 million Facebook fans and 2.1 million followers on Twitter and other impressive social media stats. Luxury Fashion Brands downplayed the internet in the beginning, believing it would cheapen their image, Burberry is now seeing its fastest growth in online sales as it embraces social media and blurs the boundary between its physical stores and the digital world.

Can you think of another heritage brand that has successfully embraced the digital world?

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I enjoy stories of entrepreneurs who follow a passion and start a business. I am also a fan of specialty candy stores and wrote about one of my favorite stores Harbor Candy in Ogunquit, Maine earlier in the year. I discovered Sugarfina in a story about the 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2013 on fastcompany.com. I was intrigued so I decided to dig a little deeper into the story behind their success.

Sugarfina is an online luxury candy boutique that offers a selection of the finest candies from around the world. Sugarfina is designed for adults not kids. Sugarfina is attempting to reinvent the candy category by targeting “foodies”. They offer the highest quality candy with an emphasis on premium all-natural ingredients. Sugarfina was founded in 2012 by Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick who dreamed of opening a candy boutique ever since their third date. That night they attended a screening of the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

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Sugarfina’s gourmet candy collection is unique. They offer exotic candies such as Champagne Gummy Bears, Matcha Green Tea Caramel, Licorice Cubes and Dark Chocolate Coffee Toffee. They offer more than 140 different candies. Sugarfina’s candies are sourced globally from artisan producers in the United States, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden and beyond. Many of the products that Sugarfina sells are exclusive to them in the United States.

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One of things that differentiates Sugarfina is design. Each candy is packaged individually in transparent cubes and neatly packed into bento boxes inspired by Tiffany.

Sugarfina has been described as a “pleasure” as opposed to a “guilty” pleasure. The candies contain ingredients that are good and good for you. These ingredients include nuts, green tea, all kinds of fruit, high cacao chocolate and coffee beans.

Sugarfina has received a lot of positive press. Sugarfina made the “O List” Food Edition in Oprah Winfrey Magazine in August. Sugarfina has also been featured in a number of magazines including InStyle, Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, Forbes and Travel and Leisure to name a few.

In January, Sugarfina became the first candy partner on Facebook’s gift platform. Revenues are expected to top $1 million in 2013.

Have you tried Sugarfina premium candies?

Oreo is a great example of an iconic brand that has evolved and kept up with the times. The “Oreo Biscuit” was first developed and produced by the National Biscuit Company (today known as Nabisco) in 1912 at its Chelsea Factory in New York City. Oreo has grown to become the bestselling cookie brand in the world generating $1.5 billion in global annual revenues.

Oreo stands out in people’s minds for the rituals associated with eating it (twisting the wafers apart and licking the cream, dunking in milk) and the warm feelings and memories of sharing those experiences with family and friends. Growing up, Oreo was my favorite cookie brand.

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The Oreo Brand has also established itself as a leader in social media. The brand is best known for its perfectly timed tweet during the Super Bowl power outage that set a benchmark for breakthrough marketing on one of the most visible stages. The brand which ran a regular commercial during the first quarter of the game had copywriters and artists available to react to any opportunity. 

The Oreo Brand has become a social media powerhouse. The brand has over 33 million followers on Facebook and 95,000 followers on Twitter. The brand has learned the importance of “being social”.

In addition to the opportunistic Super Bowl Campaign, Oreo has a well crafted social media strategy that has kept the brand front and center with its fan base. Oreo has had several noteworthy social media campaigns. Their Daily Twist campaign ran from June 25, 2012 to October 2, 2012. Each day Oreo released a whimsical image of the cookie redesigned to commemorate something that had happened on that day.

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Oreo has embraced social media to remain relevant. There are some great lessons to be learned from Oreo’s social media efforts. It is important to post frequently, be timely, topical, consistent and to have fun and show a sense of humor.

What is your favorite cookie brand?