Smart Personalisation Service from Burberry

In ‘The Future of Shopping; from high-street to iStreet’  the Daily Telegraph reports on the changing face of shopping with many customers now using high street shops as show rooms where they can view, try on, get the look and feel of products before actually buying on-line.  The mix of services between the on-line world and the high street is a difficult one for retailers but there is no doubt that retail services are changing.

Burberry has not hesitated and is leading fashion retailers in service innovation, with ‘direct-to-buy’ offering fashion direct from the catwalk. A powerful mix of e-commerce and social media strategies enables shoppers to see the new season catwalk show through live streaming and to order personalised versions of clothes and handbags within minutes of seeing them. The New York Times reported in February that the 2013 Autumn show:

. . . was streamed live on Burberry.com, numerous media sites, the Burberry Facebook page and Twitter (a first, Burberry believes). There were 1,500 seats in the specially built show space in Kensington Gardens in London, but the audience potentially was more than 19.3 million, the number of Burberry’s followers across all digital platforms.

When the buy-direct service first started in 2010 it took six months to deliver the catwalk clothes to the customer but now Burberry has reduced this to eight weeks for a specific range, making the acquisition all the more exciting for the customer.  Trench coats being the first in line for the latest made to order smart personalisation service.

Burberry offers a truly innovative approach to delivering customer service, offering not only e-commerce and social media experience but also increasingly immersive content-rich experiences for the customer.

Is it successful?

Burberry plc reports that it :

….continued to advance its leading position on social media in the luxury sector. and …In 2011/12, Burberry’s revenue was £1,857m – a 23% underlying increase on the previous year.

Not only is it successful it is also an excellent example of service innovation.

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Play – create – innovate: have fun, make money

Have you ever seen a keyboard made from bananas? Playing with technology can stimulate creative thinking: a much needed quality in the field of Service Innovation.

banana piano from http://www.kickstarter.com

The picture shows a keyboard made from bananas, one example of what a creative thinker could do with Makey Makey; an invention kit which can be used to turn everyday objects into touchpads and link them to the internet.

Makey Makey was supported by Kickstarter a funding platform for creative projects including art, design, fashion, music and technology. Other innovative projects include a mask to make your dreams more lucid and a 3D printer kit that anyone can build.

‘From play to innovation’ is the title of a course at Stanford University where engineering students “Learn to enhance the innovation process with playfulness”. Students learn theory and practice and how to apply “design thinking to promote innovation in the corporate world.”

In the book ‘Think, play, do’ Dodgson, Gann and Salter examine the idea of ‘play’ as part of the design process through a series of commercial case studies. They identify the use of ‘Innovation Technology’, such as modelling and simulation, visualisation, virtual reality and rapid prototyping, as tools for playing with alternative designs. They also discuss the importance of “combining craft and code” (p 135) i.e. having people with deep knowledge and experience of their discipline as well as the ability to play with the innovation technology.

‘Think, play, do’ includes a section called ‘measuring play’ (p.109) which the authors recognise as being difficult but suggest that one “partial measure of play activities relates to the expenditure on design”.  Play can increase creativity and decrease the time taken to weigh up alternative designs; thus potentially reducing the cost and increasing the quality of the chosen design.

Play – create – innovate: have fun and (potentially) make money!

Reference:   Dodgson, M., Gann, D., Salter, A.,  2005,Think, play, do, technology, innovation and organization,  Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-926809-6

Acknowledgement: Thank you to Babis Theodoulidis for pointing me to Makey Makey

About this blog

Innovation is an exciting part of our everyday lives (or at least it should be!). The purpose of this blog is to share examples of innovation and to celebrate achievements of design and technology in creating new services and influencing our future.

Welcome!

I hope you will enjoy the blog and share your knowledge and experience.

Initially the main topics will be:

Service Innovation Cases: real life examples of innovation together with links to further resources for those wishing to learn more. Examples from all sectors and of all types will be included.

Technology: almost every day it seems we hear of some exciting new technology that could enhance existing services or help create new ones. The blog will highlight these.

Service Innovators: the blog will recognise practitioners and researchers who have contributed to service innovation as community builders, leaders, researchers or technical innovators. I have met some wonderful service innovators and with your help together we can ‘meet’ even more.

Books and resources: Books and other resources that will help us learn more.

Please do email me if you have any suggestions for inclusion under cases, technology, innovators or resources, or any other comment you wish to make.

Guest blogs also welcome.

Email: info@lindamacaulay.com

Linda

About me

My name is Linda A Macaulay and I am Emeritus Professor at the University of Manchester, UK.  I have always been interested in computers and associated technologies and in how they are used in practice. My early experience as a programmer and system designer in the UK health service impressed on me the importance of designing IT systems that people can actually use. Since then I have had many assignments with business and public sector organisations and see the importance of aligning people, process and technology towards customer/user needs. The heady days of e-commerce at the turn of the millennium and the e-business revolution that followed have opened up new and exciting ways of serving customer needs. The customer can now be part of the design process; can collaborate with others to design and innovate and with social media can create their own services.  The picture is continually changing and I believe there is much to be learnt from seeing examples of what is happening in practice now and what technology might allow us to do in the future, and hence the focus of this blog is on case studies of service innovation.

For further information about me see www.lindamacaulay.com