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Reference No. 15/011C Publication Year 2015
Author(s) Steve Yang, Pui-Sze Chow, Rohini Sharma
Company N/A
Industry Fashion 
Geographic setting Worldwide
Functional Area Marketing


During 2011, the 155-year-old British luxury brand Burberry partnered with Twitter to create the “Tweetwalk” for 2012 London Fashion Week. Backstage photos of the latest Burberry collections and runway looks were tweeted before being unveiled on the ramp, breaking with tradition. The instantaneous effect of the live tweets was tremendous: 1,620,750 avid followers of the brand were able to be the privileged frontline spectators of fresh spring collections, a benefit once enjoyed only by the elite. Within just half an hour of the fashion show, the backstage photos received more than 50,000 views.  In addition, Burberry was among the first fashion brands that cleverly deployed its marketing initiatives through social media. The case of Burberry demonstrated how fashion brands could make use of social media to increase brand equity and better connect with current customers. The subsequent benefits were tangible and significant: Burberry’s revenue increased 29%, to £829.6 million, from £641.1 million, in 2011.

Social-media platforms are becoming ever more advanced as we move toward the future, thereby allowing the booming fashion industry to enter diverse consumer markets with just a few clicks. Customers are bonding with fashion houses on a personal and interactive level. Omni-channel marketing campaigns are not only increasing brand equity, but also strengthening community ties among online user networks, with users identifying themselves with the brand and becoming loyal customers.  



This case can be used to teach students to understand the development of and current trends in social-media marketing in the fashion industry. The several benchmark examples reported in the case help students to learn about the benefits of utilizing social media as a marketing tool and stimulates their exploration of future possibilities of social-media marketing.

1. to understand the development of and current trends in social-media marketing in the fashion industry;

2. to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing social media as a marketing tool; and

3. to explore future possibilities of social-media marketing.


Suggested questions for students

1. Why has social media become a popular marketing tool for the fashion industry?

2.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of using social media for marketing?

3.  How could a fashion brand make use of social media for marketing purposes?

This case was fully supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (UGC/IDS12/14).