10 social steps to build a brand – what Angela Ahrendts’ move from Burberry to Apple can teach us.

On 15 October Angela Ahrendts moved from CEO, Burberry to SVP Retail and Online Stores,  Apple. This Burberry’s Social Story video for SalesForce neatly picks out the ten steps in Burberry’s digital strategy which have made the brand so successful, and signal what we might look for in Apple retail soon.

Click for larger view

Click for larger view








  1. Reinvent constantly
    It all started with an appreciation of the need to constantly change to stay ahead of the fast moving digital curve.
  2. Unify the culture
    People are the lifeblood of any organisation and when they’re aligned around a common culture, they become a powerful force. Ahrendts mentions that the first digital platform that Burberry implemented was “The greatest uniter of culture of any platform that had been put in place”.
  3. Enable dialogue with and amongst employees
    The common platform brought the employees together because it let 11,000 associates around the world talk to each other – enabling dialogue unlocks the energy within the organisation – best practices can be shared, ideas can evolve, collaboration can flourish, stories can be told.
  4. Visible, accessible leadership
    The platform also provided employees direct access to the Leadership Team.
  5. Clear strategic direction
    The Leadership Team in turn were able to provide real time communication and strategic direction to the workforce – Arhendts and Bailey spoke to their associates directly once or twice a week.
  6. Engaged employees drive great customer experiences
    Knowing that employees had to be on board first, and having put that in place, Burberry then turned their united employees’ focus towards their customers.
  7. Employees are empowered with the tools
    11,000 employees are enabled to respond near instantly to customer interactions in the digital space – a superior level of customer service.
  8. Weave digital into the fabric of the company strategy
    From social to physical, the Burberry digital strategy has been thought right the way through the customer’s journey
  9. Create memorable customer experiences
    Digital elements are added to the physical shopping experience, tags in garments trigger video mirrors, and trays tell stories of the provenance of products placed on them, Burberry’s flagship retail store in Regents Street, London, England is more an adult retail theme park than a department store.
  10. Don’t rest on your laurels
    Go back to step 1 and keep reinventing yourself at the speed of social.

I wonder how long it will be before the we see the first signs of an Apple make-over?

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