How digital and social media can transform businesses

Burberry case study

I’ve shown how many of the leading brands who use digital media successfully have clear statements of their vision for digital media to transform their brand and using BHAG to support these. Increasingly, these statements show how community and social media are important to support this transformation.

I think this is a really good example of how to articulate such a vision:


You may have seen the video late last year – it’s also a great example of how to use a customer testimonial by Salesforce.com as part of their “social enterprise” proposition, which promises to ‘incorporate social elements into every aspect of a business”.

I find many like this clarification of video, but many have seen it! If you have, take a look at the new video from Salesforce client Rossignol on how Social media has transformed their business.

In it, Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts explains she has taken action to explain how Social Media will transform her business. Here’s how she explains her view of the future:

1 “We have a vision – to be the first (fashion) company that is fully digital end-to-end”

2 “The experience is that the customer will have total access to Burberry across any device, anywhere…”

“…they will get exactly the same feeling of the brand, feeling of the culture, regardless of where, when and how they were accessing”

3 “To any CEO who is sceptical today about social enterprise, you have to be totally connected with everyone who touches your brand…”

“…if you don’t do that, I don’t know what your business model is in five years”

Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailey of Burberry has also spoken about the importance of digital media . Speaking to Mashable when explaining how they used local Twitter takeovers for their recent 2011 “Tweetwalk” :

4 “Burberry is now as much a media-content company as we are a design company”

5 “A brand is not just about product, it’s about experience as well, and experiences need to come from the center of a community…”

“…I get excited about using all of those platforms to communicate to all of our different communities around the world about what we’re doing.”

In Burberry’s campaigns, they will often lead with social media, either as a test, or because it’s a more cost-effective way to reach their audience. For example, it backed the launch of its Burberry Body Fragrance with with a Facebook campaign rather than the usual glossary fashion magazine ads. An ad for the fragrance launched on YouTube as a Takeover to achieve mass reach.

  • Martyn B Etherington

    Dave, Thanks for sharing and an excellent example. It reminds me when at IBM in the 90’s when the world was talking about the internet, IBMs vision was “E-Business”. Burburry’s vision is similar regarding social, while the world talks of social media, Burburry cst a vision for the “Social Enterprise”. Keep sharing, your tweets, blogs and news feeds are always on topic and highly relevant!. Martyn

  • http://twitter.com/groovegenerator David Edmundson-Bird

    Although anyone could be a little sceptical with the use of the term “social enterprise” (in the UK a term referring to not-for-profit organisations – have a ganders at http://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/ ) in this statement. It’s possible for the casual observer to wonder how this might appear in searches against the name. I fear we’ll get the same confusion as we have now between social marketing and social media marketing, which are two entirely different things.

    • http://twitter.com/DaveChaffey Dr. Dave Chaffey

      Hi David, yep agree, I prefer Social CRM for these reasons ‘though it’s not elegant.

      • http://www.eggblogg.co.uk Robin Houghton

        When I’ve talked to internal comms managers about this ‘social communications’ and ‘social business’ seem to resonate with them. I’ve heard the comment that ‘social media’ sounds too much like services you might get from an agency (setting up facebook accounts etc). For me ‘social CRM’ sounds a bit too much like an application. But I also agree there’s some confusion (at least in the UK) with what’s always been called ‘social marketing’. Then again, I took the word ‘communications’ out of my business name some years ago as people kept assuming I had something to do with phone networks. Any other elegant solutions out there I wonder?

        • http://twitter.com/DaveChaffey Dr. Dave Chaffey

          Social business or social communications work for me Robin. It’s a communications strategy ultimately.

          Social CRM is a bit corporate, touted by the likes of Accenture and Altimeter.

          I think your suggestions bring it down to earth.

  • David laurence

    Burberry’s statement about being a “media content company” reminded me of this recent blog post re Coca Cola : http://blog.junta42.com/2012/01/coca-cola-content-marketing-20-20/

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  • amayfield

    Great post, Dave – thanks for sharing.

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