Digital is not an afterthought

The chief executive of fashion company Burberry, Angela Ahrendts, has been in the news recently after being chosen to take charge of Apple’s retail and online businesses. She has been a big success at her company by using technology far more sharply than most competitors, and I was intrigued by this quote from her in a recent interview:

“There are going to be seven billion smartphones in everybody’s hands in the next five years. Now, everybody is a digital customer, so doing things digitally is no longer a niche [play]. Doing things digitally is how the entire world communicates.

“That’s our language today. Digital is not an afterthought. Our design teams design for a landing page and the landing page dictates what the store windows will look like, not the other way round. In creative media, they’re shooting for digital, then we are turning it back to physical.”

While the techniques which apply to the fashion world have very little to do with our less glamorous work in industry and science, there’s a lot we can learn from this. Here at BMON, we have AdWords management clients who have switched their entire advertising budget to online advertising, and yet I notice even they tend to think physical presentation (e.g brochures) first and online presentation (which will be seen much more) only when it’s necessary. Daft really, but we all do it.

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