Who is Burberry’s target customer?
Burberry’s target customer is someone who wants luxury while being functional. The brand’s point of difference with other luxury brands is that they could be luxury, aspirational, and functional. Burberry decided they were going to reach these customers from Bravo identifying their niche betweens labels of Polo Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani on the apparel side, and between Coach and Gucci on the accessories end. The Burberry team priced the products between these price points to reach consumers. Burberry wanted to create the image of accessible luxury. Burberry wanted to target younger consumers to create a following and a loyal base.
They want to reach these customers so they continue to broaden their brand, while being profitable. For instance, they used the example of wanting their men’s products to appeal to a 25 year-old male going on his first interview and wanting to something hot while still appealing to a 60 year-old banker that wants quality and a modern, classic appearance. This can be defined as cross generational. Burberry wants their apparel and accessories to reach the different generations but keeping the image of style, protection, and functionality. They are hoping the desired young market loves their
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Burberry being popular among non-target customers can affect the brand positively and negatively. Burberry is starting to find out that their brand is becoming very popular in the hip-hop and urban youth community. These consumer markets are not what Thomas Burberry exactly had in mind when he created the company, but nonetheless it shows Burberry is crossing into new markets. Becoming popular with non-target customers is a positive. It shows Burberry that their campaign to revamp the company is working. If the youth
is interested in a company that has been around since 1856, then they are doing something right. This goes along with the desire to reposition Burberry to a younger customer base while keeping their loyal customers. This new popularity shows the company that it has reached an aspirational level to today’s youth. Some negatives involved in this recent popularity are pushing away Burberry’s core customers and changing the brand’s image. If Burberry’s goal of becoming ‘accessible luxury’ is attracting consumers that are not desirable it can be negative in every aspect. These consumers tend not to have brand loyalty, fizzle out over years, and bring a different image to Burberry. The last of these stated qualities, the changing of Burberry’s image, is the most worrisome. If the image of the brand were to change to the brand of today’s hip-hop community, then Burberry would most likely loose their core customers. Those customers are not fans of hip-hop, and would not want that image associated with them when wearing the clothing and accessories. The future will determine if there can be a happy medium between the two starkly different perceptions. One possible idea is for Burberry to create a new line for the youth, while sticking to the brand’s position and lifestyle. The new line can be for these new emerging markets, while the core customers have their favorite lines. This idea could work to keep both consumer markets happy while being profitable for Burberry, but it would be difficult to keep the image of the brand from shifting. Creating a new line with the intention of it being for the youth, urban youth, and hip-hop community would be revolutionary within the brand and would address and capitalize on the newfound popularity. It also helps create a nice flow between product categories within the brand. Burberry is in the works to create a children’s line (as of 2007 it has already been launched), so if a youth category were created then it would create clothing for all aspects of life for the next generation. This translates into a new core customer base and the possibility of attainable longevity of the company.
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