How Burberry Reinvented Its Employer Brand

WRITTEN BY: Carolien Daalderop

When we say tartans, what comes to mind? Burberry of course! Pretty much the same thing with its incredibly famous rain-safe trench-coat. It doesn’t matter where or how you’ve come across it, let’s just say you have.

In 2018, Riccardo Tisci revamped Burberry’s consumer brand, but what about its employer brand? Let’s find out if the employer brand is just as unique as the Burberry tartan!

In a Nutshell

Just to make sure you’re familiar with the company, we’ve summed up a few facts and figures:

  • Burberry Group PLC is a British luxury fashion house that focuses on and distributes trench-coats (for which it is most famous), ready-to-wear outerwear, fashion accessories, fragrances, sunglasses, and cosmetics.
  • The headquarter is based in London, United Kingdom.
  • The company was founded in 1856 when 21-year-old Thomas Burberry opened his own store in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England.
  • The most recent number of employees is 10,417 (May, 2019).
  • According to Forbes, Burberry reached a revenue of $3.6 billion.

Future Vision

Burberry = London, England. Therefore, Burberry = history. End of story. But, what’s the actual mission and purpose in relation to employer brand?

“Our vision is to establish Burberry’s position firmly in luxury fashion. By sharpening our positioning in the most rewarding and enduring segment of the market, we will drive sustainable growth and higher margins over time, while continuing to deliver attractive returns.”

The company is going through a transformation, both internally as well as externally. Burberry is currently going through a two-phased transformation journey. The first phase “build the foundation” is defined by:

  • Re-energise the Burberry brand
  • Rationalise and invest to align to luxury distribution
  • Manage creative transition

Since the appointment of Marco Gobbetti and Riccardo Tisci, Burberry has been reinventing itself. Including a brand new logo & a fresh take on Thomas Burberry’s heritage:

Employees & Community

The employees at Burberry are divided into a few divisions. There are retailers in the shops, in various locations, but also corporate & marketing departments at the Burberry headquarter. This is what Burberry mentioned in their 2017/2018 Annual Report:

“Our employees drive our strategy. From talented creative teams and highly skilled craftspeople, to knowledgeable sales associates and office-based colleagues, all our people play an important role.”

Burberry established the ‘Inspired People’ strategy in the latest report to ensure the business has the right capabilities to keep all its people motivated and inspired. Teams also operate in a fully open-plan office environment to encourage greater mobility and collaboration. Go TEAM!

Burberry’s Value Proposition

Burberry’s employer value proposition is reasonably clear. If you land on the careers page, you’ll see this statement:

We make amazing happen every day. We are passionate about Burberry. We all have the power to make a difference and make the incredible happen. Working here is all about creating exceptional experiences for our customers – that’s why we make working here exceptional for you.

Burberry’s core values continue to resonate internally, but they have deepened their focus on culture by identifying more specific pillars or sections. These are:

  • Responsibility. As a global luxury retailer, we are passionate about driving positive change for our industry, our communities and the environment
  • Diversity & Inclusion. We know that in our diversity lies our strength, and our creative spirit. Everyone is someone at Burberry.
  • Learning & Development. Working here is all about creating exceptional experiences for all our customers. That’s why we make working here, exceptional for you.

It seems like Burberry’s overall core values are Protect, Explore & Inspire. However, these are slowly taken over and/or integrated with the more specific employer brand pillars. Which is interesting, very interesting…

Corporate Responsibility

When it comes to sustainability, Burberry has always been acting responsibly and with integrity, since it’s literally in Burberry’s DNA. So let’s dive into the segment that sits on the careers website, as they state the following:

“As a global luxury retailer and manufacturer with more than 10,000 employees and a supply chain that touches the lives of thousands of people worldwide, we are passionate about making a difference to our industry, our communities and the environment.”

Burberry has set some serious ambitious goals for 2022. Starting in 2004, Burberry has established its ethical trade, community investment and environmental programmes. They recently launched a global sustainability campaign in May 2019 with the tag #ReBurberry.

Diverse Board Members

After some digging, we’ve found that Burberry is actually doing a pretty good job when it comes to diversity. The most explicit example would be that Christopher Bailey dedicated his last collection to LGBTQ+ youth organisations all over the world.

As of 31 March 2017, out of the global employee population of over 10,000, approximately 67% were female. Quite impressive, with women occupying 51% of senior management roles.

According to the 2017/2018 Annual Report, five out of 11 Board members are female (including the Chief Operating and Financial Officer), comprising 45% of Burberry’s Board membership. So keep up the good work when it comes to diversity!


Burberry, you’re finally getting your stuff together! The careers website is filled with relevant content for potential candidates, but also employees. The company is still very clearly in a state of transformation. Inherited core values and the employer value proposition are slowly intertwining, to attract the very best of talent.

Let’s just say, Burberry should still have faith in its amazing trench-coats, but also keep an eye on restructuring the employer brand with a clear, consistent strategy and articulation. Turning Burberry’s employer brand into a Talent-Attracting Tartan, so to speak!


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