The Challenge: According to a study conducted by Martini Media, luxury brands have been gradually dropping TV from their multichannel marketing mix in favor of digital media. But will the move pay off in the end? Digital darling Burberry seems to think so, quickly taking the throne of luxury online marketing by creating entirely new levels of customer engagement.

While luxury marketers have traditionally trailed mass marketers in digital marketing spend, digital media has skyrocketed among luxury agencies over the past year. Context and targeting are quickly becoming the most important criteria for luxury brands, and luxury marketers are finding a need to achieve reach through the use of niche, passion-based sites.

Digital media is perceived to be more effective than offline marketing in driving favorability, as well as online and brick-and-mortar traffic. It appeals to affluent audiences on the go, who often have more money than time. And because luxury brands must deal with an extremely niche audience that is more privacy-sensitive and difficult to reach, these customers expect an engagement experience that mass marketers aren’t capable of delivering.

With its highly successful push into digital media earlier this year, Burberry has become luxury online marketing’s champion. Creative officer Christopher Bailey claims it’s become “as much a media-content company as a design company.” As proof, the company has launched its recent AW(Autumn/Winter) 2012 collection across 10 different social platforms, tailoring the presentations to best leverage the advantages of each site.


1. Use co-creation to drive brand awareness and engagement through
user-generated content.

Taking a cue from Threadless, Burberry’s Art of the Trench photo-sharing site allows consumers and fashion photographers to document how they wear the brand’s iconic trenchcoat. This unique use of user-generated content and customer engagement has generated a massive amount of brand awareness for the company.

2. Make your consumers feel exclusive by showing them exclusive content.
In its recent “Tweetwalk” event, Burberry partnered with Twitter to post backstage pictures of every look before models were sent out onto the runway, which meant that Burberry followers were seeing looks before most members of the fashion show audience.

3. Design your content to help guide your customers down the purchase path.
In a fresh twist on direct sales, Burberry live-streamed its London Fashion Week catwalk to 25 main stores as a “living catalog,” allowing existing customers to place immediate orders on upcoming collections before the looks became available to the public. Burberry also made it possible for consumers to directly purchase items by clicking through any of the image or video galleries on their social media posts.