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Burberry highlights craftsmanship, heritage in sunglass email blast

British fashion house Burberry is highlighting the craftsmanship behind its newest line of sunglasses with an email blast sent to subscribers.

The label has created a collection of shades inspired by its iconic trench coat, and used imagery of both its trench coats and its sunglasses in the email campaign to connect the two lines in consumers' minds. By including photos of the eyewear being made with the images of the finished products in the email, Burberry was able to communicate its craftsmanship before the click-through.

"[This is a] bespoke branding strategy," said David Schwartz, CEO of SOS eMarketing, Los Angeles.

"Overall, the bespoke approach works," he said. "To luxury buyers, handmade means exclusive."

Mr. Schwartz is not affiliated with Burberry but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Burberry was unable to comment directly.

Burberry?s email was sent with the subject line, ?Discover the Trench Collection ? new Burberry eyewear.?

Email from Burberry

Inside the email was a large spring campaign image showing three models wearing both trench coats from the brand in a khaki color and sunglasses from the Trench collection.

Below the featured image, three select pairs of frames from the collection were shown next to copy that informed consumers about the line. This explains how the line was inspired by the trench coat, with a signature color palette and Burberry check, and is handcrafted.

Links to the men?s and women?s lines of sunglasses are posted below the copy.

At the bottom of the email are images of the process of making the sunglasses, showing hands holding the frames as they are buffed and nose pieces are screwed in.

On the click-through the consumer is taken to the Burberry sunglass page on the brand?s ecommerce site. The same campaign image seen in the email is at the top of this page for continuity.

Burberry ecommerce site

The 17 pieces of the Trench collection are shown at the top of the products listed. The collection features leather temple tips to mimic the buckle on the trench coat and metal supports on the nose pads that refer to the hook and eye closure on the jackets.

Burberry also incorporated its check print into the designs in the form of bespoke nose pads and details on the inner and outer temples.

Layered on top of the campaign image at the top of the page is a ?discover? button that takes consumers to a separate page.

Burberry Trench sunglass page

As the user scrolls down a video automatically plays showing the artisan craftsmanship behind the trench collection, and comparing it to the making of a trench coat. The sunglasses are designed in Britain and handmade in Italy.

Shots of the glasses being buffed by hand with the help of a machine are juxtaposed with images of a button being hand sewn onto a jacket. Similarly, as checked fabric is woven together the checked temple details are show. Interspersed between the craftsmanship footage is video clips from the campaign shoot.

Burberry trench sunglass video

Below the video are large images depicting the making of the sunglasses, with text overlay talking about the inspiration, craftsmanship and materials used. A button at the bottom of the page links back to the ecommerce page.

Brand insiders
Email marketing gives brands a platform to share their latest creations with an audience that is already familiar with the brand.

For instance, French outerwear label Moncler educated consumers on the high-tech process behind its Longue Saison coats with a dedicated microsite.

To draw consumers to the microsite, Moncler sent an email blast to subscribers showing a video still of the coat featured to hint at the content on the click-through. Craftsmanship content often focuses on the artisan techniques employed by brands, but this innovation-themed video is appropriate for the performance wear featured by Moncler (see story).

Compared to Moncler, Burberry?s email focuses more on traditional luxury craftsmanship. Emails are also a good method to draw attention to a specific timely collection.

Accessories label Jimmy Choo targeted soon-to-be brides in the early planning stages with an email blast to newsletter subscribers that focuses on its new shoe and handbag offerings that are wedding-appropriate.

The email itself relied on product pictures to generate click-throughs and the landing page sends consumers directly to the product page to browse. By focusing on ecommerce rather than exploration, Jimmy Choo might have shortened the path to purchase and convinced brides to commit to a shoe early in wedding season (see story).

The email does not feature a very direct call to action, but in this case, that is not a hindrance.

"In this case, a call to action would not be effective as this appears to be a branding campaign," Mr. Schwartz said.

"We are seeing more enlightened clients realizing that extended email efforts should be primarily for branding purposes, as constant calls to action exhaust subscribers and rise un-subscribes, hard and soft bounces," he said. "As social media should follow the 5-1 rule, five branding messages for every sales message, so goes email marketing.

"Stop selling and inform, enlighten, entertain."

Final Take
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York