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Burberry ‘refocusing’ on brand to fuel turnaround

BurberryBurberry plans to “refocus” on its brand and invest at the top of the funnel to fuel its turnaround plans.

The fashion retailer saw pre-tax profits for the year ending 30 March 2024 fall significantly from £634m to £383m, while overall revenues also declined by 4% to £2.9bn.

While the financial figures have underperformed, CEO Jonathan Akeroyd is confident “refocusing” on the brand is paying off.

“We are directing our advertising more on the top funnel,” he said on a call with analysts today (15 May). Burberry’s marketing mix is shifting, with its focus less on performance marketing and more on “the top of funnel to drive traffic to the brand.”

Luxury brands have suffered a downturn of late and Burberry expects challenges to continue in the first half of its 2024 fiscal year.

“Executing our plan against a backdrop of slowing luxury demand has been challenging,” acknowledged Akeroyd.

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In response, Burberry is “realigning” its price positioning. Akeroyd claims the retailer’s pricing is now “very much closer to where it needs to be”, as the brand builds credibility. However, the Burberry CEO admitted the price shift will “take time” to fully execute.

The brand laid out its priorities for the next financial year, which include refining expression and increasing its product focus in storytelling.

Burberry has rebranded twice in five years. In 2018, the fashion house did away with its iconic logo featuring a knight and horse – which it had used since 1901 – stripping it back to a sans-serif monogram.

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Then in 2023 Burberry returned to its heritage roots, bringing back the knight and horse.

“We’ve seen a higher performance in terms of brand clarity. We’ve seen an improvement in engagement with the brand, but clearly there’s more work to be done as people start to appreciate what we’re doing,” said Akeroyd. 

He added that Burberry expects its “brand heat to improve”, claiming consumers are appreciating the work being done “in terms of coming back to really what we stand for as a brand”.

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