Management – Design Process – Burberry & Experian from UK Essays

Design Process – Burberry & Experian

According to Kotler and Rath, most companies lack a design touch but that successful design is integral to a companies success. Design is not just the look/ feel/ styling of a product, rather it is much more than that and that companies may experience an increase in profitability by taking on board the design elements of performance quality, durability, appearance and cost. (Kotler et al) and ensuring that customers needs are met both practically and aesthetically.

Using the above concepts, pertinent questions, such as those suggested below, may be asked of existing and potential clients. By understanding and communicating the design requirements appropriately, Experian and Burberry can aid their corporate performance by selling products and services that customers want and increase satisfaction because they are delivering what the client needs.

1. providing access to a wide variety of markets

2. a core competence should make a significant contribution to perceived customer benefits

3. should be difficult for competitors to replicate.

GUS is a retail and business services group ( which has been stream-lined from a diverse conglomerate into a group with three clear divisions or strategic business units (SBU) ARG, Experian and Burberry’s (Appendix 1). Each division is clearly defined and cover the mass market (ARG), the quality high end market (Burberry) and customer intelligence (Experian).

It can be seen from the SBU review (Appendix 1) that individually, non of the business units ‘pass’ the three step competency test, however, taken corporately as one, the GUS empire, together they form a unique portfolio and work together for the benefit of the overall group (GUS) and quite possibly unique in having three such distinct, and yet complementary divisions, all necessary to ensure corporate advantage and market growth.

Market Growth/ Market Share (Boston Group Matrix) overview and recommendations.




  • What information do you require and how should it be

  • What function do you require from your coat, warmth and
    or water resistance?


  • What format should the information be in, electronic e.g.
    html or the printed word

  • Quality and standard of finish is synonymous with the


  • Is this to be a one off report or repeated at regular

  • Is this to be a seasonal/ fashion item or a long term


  • Does the information need to integrate with other that
    you hold, does it need to be formatted in a certain way?

  • Do you want high fashion or classic look?


  • What budget do you have? ok, so these are the options
    available to you

  • The range varies in price from x to y dependant upon the
    item purchased. Let me know what you wish to spend and I will show you
    what is in that range.
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Having ascertained the customers’ exact needs and product requirements, Trueman and Jobber take the concept further by taking the design principle to a competitive level and introducing the four dimensions Value, Image, Process and Production (VIPP). Should Experian and Burberry’s introduce such a system, then this value added process ‘monitors’ the new product/ service development through concept to delivery.

Value represents the customers’ perceptions of value and whether expectations have been met, whilst the image portrayed by the company in delivering the product or service to the client is of paramount importance to the company. This should all be driven by a process from concept to fruition and the production timely and efficient.
All elements within the VIPP process can be monitored by undertaking research throughout the four stages and by imposing quality control systems for both the customers’ and companies benefit, as demonstrated in the table below.

Customer attitudes

Company performance


  • Design
  • Quality
  • Standards
  • customer expectations

  • Perceived and actual product value
  • profit margins
  • product retail price


  • Perceived identity
  • Promotion

  • Perceived company image/ attitudes towards brand
  • Brand equity


  • Needs/wants to company

  • Translation of needs/ wants
  • Idea generation to concept/product testing
  • Working coherently as a team


  • Availability when required

  • Efficiency
  • Materials/ associated costs
  • Time to market

(Based on article Competing through design)

Note: Ms Bravo

Further to our recent discussions, please find listed below an overview of how the design process may be managed at Burberry’s.

Firstly, it is most important that the process has not only senior management buy in, but has a senior member of staff with overall responsibility to drive the process and show commitment to all staff concerned. I would recommend taking the following steps if they are not in place at present:-

  • Brief staff on the importance of design within the organisation, the role that it plays and the impact on individual departments.
  • Continue to employ leading edge fashion designers to keep up to date with trends both in the UK and abroad.
  • Employ designers to innovate luxury must have items and involve customers in think tank sessions, offer incentives to take part.
  • Appoint an overall design champion within Burberry’s and a learning circle group formed by representatives from each of the internal departments.
  • Create one or more focus group of target customers to test design ideas and concepts and advise on the way forward. Consider offering incentives such as discounts off products to take part in these research discussion groups.
  • Introduce a total quality management process to ensure quality of both systems and processes throughout the design and delivery phase.
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By undertaking the above activities the company will introduce and maintain a stronger design and customer focus.


Brassington, F, Pettitt, S (2000) Principles of Marketing (2nd Edition) (Essex, Pearson Education Limited: 2000)

Donaldson, B (1995) Customer Service as a Competitive Strategy Journal of Strategic Marketing, Vol.3 No.2: June 1995

Doyle, P (1998) Marketing Management and Strategy (2nd Edition) (Hemel Hempstead, Prentice Hall: 1998)

Drummond, G, Ensor, J, Ashford, R (2003) Strategic Marketing: Planning and Control (2nd Edition) (Oxford, Butterworth Heinemann: 2003)

Egan, C (1997) Creating Organisational Advantage (3rd Edition) (Oxford, Butterworth Heinemann: 1997)

Grant, R (1992) Contemporary Strategy Analysis (2nd Edition) (Cambridge Massachusetts, Blackwell Publishers: 1992)

Johnson, G. Scholes, K (2002) Exploring Corporate Strategy (6th edition) (Harlow, Financial Times, Prentice Hall: 2002)

Kotler, P (1997) Marketing Management – Analysis, Planning, Implementation and Control) (9th Edition) (New Jersey, Prentice Hall: 1997)

Kotler, P Rath, A (year of journal to be inserted by customer??) Design: A Powerful But Neglected Strategic Tool(???name of journal to be inserted by customer)

Lynch, R (2003) Corporate Strategy 3rd edition. (London, Financial Times Pitman: 2003)

Porter, M (1985) Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance (New York, Free Press: 1985)

Prahalad, C.K. Hamel, G (1990) The Core Competence of the Corporation (Harvard Business Review May – June 1990)

Trueman, M Jobber, D (1998) Competing Through Design (Long range planning, Vol.31, 1998)

Whittington, R (1997) What is Strategy and does it Matter? London, International Thompson Business Press: 1997)



  • Burberry’s offers quality designer clothes
  • Operating in a niche market it is currently being further developed to offer luxury accessories and has recently appointed young Italian American designer to broaden the age range appeal of its clothes and to concentrate on attracting younger women, by using both young celebrity (Kate Moss) and young royal (Frederick Windsor) endorsement.
  • Burberry’s has a strong brand image with it’s strength in being known as offering high quality products, whilst it’s weaknesses have been the perception of the age of woman who wears the brand, this is now being addressed.
  • According to Prahalad and Hamel’s first core competence test, Burberry’s were not originally providing access to a wide variety of markets as their core customer was middle/ older aged women. This has now been addressed and access to the products increased by introducing a younger profile and a range of luxury products from watches to jackets for dogs.
  • The Burberry check is synonymous with the brand and one would presume, patented so should be difficult for competitors to replicate. Core competence 3.
  • In 2002 sales amounted to £625m and profit before tax of £64. In 2003 GUS sold shares in Burberry and now holds 66% of shares in the company (
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  • Experian is a global leader in the information services market place (
  • Experian emerged in the 1990’s and offered customer intelligence information to corporations prepared to pay for such and has grown in strength to offer a wide choice of information services covering a variety of industries. Core competence 1.
  • In today’s market place, knowledge is power and Experian offers a wide variety of up to date services to different markets. Core competence 2.
  • Whilst it should be difficult for competitors to replicate the exact information held by Experian. it is not the only company offering intelligence. Core competence 3 not satisfied.
  • It’s strength is in the brand name and the quality of the information held on it’s database and level of service it offers it’s customers’. In market research fields the name experian is very well known for the databases of information it holds and many credit card companies and the like use their services to perform credit card and financial rating checks
  • In 2002 sales amounted to £1092m of which £229m was profit before tax. Experian are the rising stars of the GUS portfolio and are concentrating on a growth strategy, recently announcing the purchase of the company (

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