Chief Marketing Officer
Burberry is deservedly heralded as a champion of digital innovation. The global luxury brand has not only reinvented itself, but has taken bold risks in a world that has become far more socially relevant. CMO Sarah Manley, a Burberry veteran with deep roots in luxury marketing, has undertaken daunting initiatives to insure that Burberry’s brand potential resonates with new generations in a fast-changing media world. Despite nearly 160 years of history, Burberry behaves in a modern way.
Today’s social media aficionados may bear few similarities to the traditional Burberry trench coat wearer of earlier decades, yet the ability to create one’s own bespoke trench online via “The Art of the Trench” and London Fashion Week’s first ever Tweetwalk are just two ways that the brand has captured the attention of younger shoppers and fashionistas of all ages.
Although many are involved in the reinvention of any brand, it was Ms. Manley who championed the Burberry World website in six languages and 45 countries. She also advocated multimedia and 3D technology to create interactive campaigns with motion-responsive images and videos. Her global infrastructure became the foundation for the brand’s digitization that has driven Burberry’s marketing and communications strategy in its four key regions around the globe-- Americas, Europe, Asia and Emerging Markets.
Each region has responsibility for developing specific plans, appropriate to their part of the world, based up on a worldwide marketing strategy. Yet, Burberry still creates a number of initiatives centrally to drive consistency—their “one vision, one point of view and one marketing” approach. It is critical, particularly in an age with such extensive online access, that in-store customers have a consistent experience whether in London, New York or Hong Kong.
In fact, Sarah Manley would admit that the company now acts in many ways more like a media brand than a luxury retailer. There’s no question that she is a keen observer of changing patterns of consumer behavior and believes that being at the forefront of digital marketing is central to the Burberry’s overall strategy.
Prior to joining Burberry in London, Ms. Manley was an executive in New York for internet luxury accessories retailer Luxlook.com where she oversaw their Public Relations and Advertising strategy. Earlier in her career, she spent four years at Yves Saint Laurent and six years at Polo Ralph Lauren, where she was responsible for all Public Relations & Advertising in the UK for both brands.