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Burberry brings breadth and customizability to consumers with scarf bar

British fashion label Burberry is empowering consumers in its latest celebration of cashmere scarves with its new scarf bar.

The scarf bar, which can be accessed online and ordered for in-store pickup or with complimentary shipping, will offer consumers a selection of more than 100 colors across classic and lightweight cashmere as well as an option for monograms at an additional $75. With a large variety of options for consumers and a video that showcases Burberry’s materials and craftsmanship, the scarf bar provides positive reinforcement for the brand’s image and will likely provide a boost in sales as loyal Burberry’s consumers treat themselves or purchase a gift for a loved one with their initials.

“Personalization is a trending approach, which provides a differentiating factor towards purchases,” said Dalia Strum, professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and founder of Dalia Inc., New York.  “Customization is a major indicator that the consumer has put more thought into that purchase whether for themselves or as a gift.”

Ms. Strum is not affiliated with Burberry, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Burberry was unable to comment directly.

Heart, soul, craftsmanship
The release of a video clocking in at approximately two minutes accompanied the announcement. The video takes viewers to Elgin and Ayr, Scotland, where close-ups of cashmere in slow motion give an idea of the material’s softness. Intercut with shots of cashmere are exteriors of the mills, covered with the words “artisanal techniques” and shots of the mill’s inner workings.

Introducing the Burberry Scarf Bar

Viewers then see the cashmere being spun and tightened in a variety of different colors, with more close-ups of the scarves themselves being produced to personalize and humanize the process. Text and image both remind the viewer that scarves are also hand-checked for quality, sourced locally and finished by hand, with shots of scarves gift-wrapped intercut to convey to viewers that Burberry scarves will make great gifts.

Shots of scarves also feature changing colors and patterns, reinforcing the vast selection the brand offers with its scarves. At the end of the video when the scarf is finished, the Burberry tag is placed on the product in close-up.

The Classic Cashmere Scarf in Check and Hearts - Parade Red
Burberry cashmere scarf

A responsive marketing campaign is being launched alongside the Burberry scarf bar, which may lead to higher click-through rates and increased sales. Digital advertisements will now account for the user’s location as well as time of day and weather, showing an appropriately weighted and colored scarf.

In addition, the ad will show a different scarf each time to showcase the brand’s numerous options.

The Burberry Classic Cashmere Scarf – Craftsmanship Images (1)
A Burberry scarf in the making

The personalized monogramming dovetails well with two of the video’s touchpoints – local sourcing and concern for quality – and may give consumers a feeling of alignment with the brand’s values in addition to empowerment in being able to customize their scarves.

“The YouTube video highlighted Burberry’s heritage, quality and precision that goes into each piece,” FIT and Dalia, Inc.’s Ms. Strum said. “They are empowering the consumer to become part of the design process which provides them an individual and memorable experience. More importantly, they are giving a voice to the craftsmanship of how Burberry is actually created.”

“[Also], the video and campaign appear to be a return to and a reminder of Burberry’s roots, and aside from the references (visual and the song) to color, the video’s focus does not play up the fashion element of the brand,” said Marie Driscoll, chief financial advisor at Driscoll Advisors, New York. “The video reminds one of Burberry’s heritage, the care and the controlled expertise that goes into the making of a Burberry product.”

Power to the people
Other sectors are also making use of smart advertising to spur a boost in sales.

For example, German automaker BMW saw a surge in mobile traffic at one Washington location thanks to a digital advertising platform.

PureCars employed its SmartAdvertising solution, which utilized geo-targeting, location-based bid adjustments, mobile-specific advertisement scheduling and other forms of mobile boosting to turn customers toward the BMW dealership. Thanks to the campaign, the store was regularly at the top of search results and experienced an increase in clicks by almost 66 percent, a 60 percent jump in impressions and an improvement of almost 4 percent in the click-through rate of mobile ads (see story).

Similarly, some brands have sought to increase revenue by emphasizing customizability and individuality amid positive brand values.

In a particularly luxurious case, Christie’s International Real Estate became a leader in a new initiative to build self-sufficient and eco-friendly private islands around the world for consumers looking for a unique residential opportunity.

Amillarah Private Islands allows guests to make their own self-sufficient island and determine its location. Brands often provide luxury services by adhering to the consumer’s every wish, and Christie’s, along with its partner Dutch Docklands, will be bringing both luxury real estate and customization to a new level with these islands (see story).

Burberry’s customizable scarf bar is likely to foster consumer loyalty in the long term.

“A monogrammed scarf allows for greater involvement with the brand,” Ms. Driscoll said. “It personalizes the item and the wearer is part of the decision making process in terms of thread color. It becomes ‘hers’ or ‘his.’

“This strategy gives the iconic brand and opportunity to embrace modern trends, empowering their target market with more options and developing a stronger emotional connection to these scarves that they were able to fully design according to their preferences,” Ms. Strum said. “It’s important for luxury brands to provide ‘behind-the-scene glimpses’ to truly appreciate the ‘heart, soul and craftsmanship’ that goes into each individual item.”

Final Take
Forrest Cardamenis, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York