By Joe Mellor, In house Reporter
Remember when Burberry was worn by the type of people Pitbull’s cowered from?
The simple, honest, happy go lucky football hooligan could be seen sporting the checkered pattern every weekend as they battered other men wearing exactly the same clothes.
Those glory days of Albion.
But no more. Burberry grew up, put down the knuckleduster and became an aspirational fashion choice.
It appears that the success of Burberry, who during the global economic crisis increased its value from £2 billion to £7 billion, was down to one woman, Angela Ahrendts.
Now, Apple have tempted away the Burberry chief executive to boost their brand and bring some glamour to Apple’s already much sought after products.
Imagine an iphone with the Burberry check on. It would be a soccer casual’s nirvana. Probably not quite the direction they are looking for.
Instead, Apple is going to become a fashion icon.
The ghost of Steve Jobs will no longer haunt the corridors and runways of Apple HQ.
When a new product is launched, there will be no more turtle neck jumpers and jeans up to your nipples.
It feels like the geeks have taken Apple as far as they can.
“Thanks for the years of invention. Now let’s double the price, release everything in a range of colours and sell it to the Chinese.”
There’s no denying that fashion and technology have converged at Apple .From now, once the boffins have created something new, the good looking marketeers will take it from here.
It’s rumoured that Ahrendts’ move was related to their development of the “iWatch”, in which an understanding of fashion will be as important as the technology and engineering behind the product.
Ahrendts was hailed as the saviour of the brand Burberry. There is no doubt that she saved the brand, after excessive exposure of the trademark Burberry pattern alienated wealthy clientele.
Appealing to 40-year-old men to spend their entire weekly wage on a jacket wasn’t a viable business model and was destroying the brand.
But surely Apple’s brand is already en vogue and doesn’t need the same push that Burberry needed.
But what if her new focus for the Apple brand, simply open more stores in China?
It appears that might be the case. Benedict Evans, who covers mobile and digital media at research consultancy, Enders Analysis, said:
“They’ve got somebody who can take 400 stores with premium positioning and turn that into 800 stores. The do that in China, and everywhere else which at the moment they don’t yet have.”
So far, Apple has not hit its growth forecast in the Far East. In 2010, Apple’s then-retail chief Ron Johnson forecast the company would have 25 stores in China by 2012. It now has eight stores. By comparison, Apple has 37 stores in Britain.
Apple is already the world’s most valuable technology company. Surely the best she can do is maintain Apple’s position in the marketplace.
If anything, like David Moyes at Manchester United, the job is a poisoned chalice, the only way is down.
It also begs the question, what did she really do at Burberry?
She increased prices astronomically, embraced social media and sold lots to the Chinese.
I hate to take the glory away from her, but isn’t that what anyone with half a business brain would do?
If that is all Apple wants then they have the right person. It is yet to be seen if she can take an already aspirational brand and send it into the stratosphere.
She had better hope that Chinese consumers are fighting over Apple products on the shelves, in the same fashion as the Burberry clad boys of yesteryear did on terraces.