Burberry and the Next Big Brands to Come From the East

The plaid giant's significant expansion in Singapore signals the winning strategy for becoming a global brand: Woo Asian customers first.

Burberry store Singapore

Burberry opened the doors today to its largest store in southeast Asia--an 8,700-square-foot space on Singapore's Orchard Road, complete with WiFi and a video wall. The store will carry the Burberry Prorsum and Burberry London lines, as well as children's wear, fragrances, and accessories. Exclusive leather pieces will be sold to celebrate the grand opening. This will be Burberry's sixth store in Singapore, a 263.6-square-mile nation, one of the smallest in Asia.

Why is the Plaid One growing this aggressively in this economy? Frankly, it's smart strategy for a company that wants to be a successful global brand. According to research from brand consulting firm Wolff Olins for the Financial Times, the next global brands may not come from the west. "It used to be possible to be a global brand by dominating the U.S. market," Wolff Olins strategist Melanie McShane told the Financial Times. "Now you have to be number one in Asia."

Burberry store singaporeThe research also named five Asian brands to watch as the next global brands, including ChangYu, China's largest wine producer, and United Spirits, India's largest liquor company. Some global brands have decided to grow in Asia by acquisition rather than create its own presence like Burberry. PepsiCo bought Russian juice giant Lebedyansky, and Unilever acquired Russian ice-cream company Inmarko. But Coca-Cola's attempt to buy Chinese juice company Huiyan were blocked under the country's Anti-Monopoly Law.

Global wealth has already been shifting, with Asian spending on the rise. Over the past year, China's retail sales were up 15%, and Haier and Lenovo have dominant global presences. In the future, we'll be looking to the east, not the west, as drivers of global economic growth and creators of the next great brands.

[Photos Courtesy of Burberry]

[Via WWD and Financial Times]

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1 Comments

  • Freddy Nager

    I guess Russia could count as Asian, though I would still consider any Russian brand as European in nature.

    The key is whether brands like Haier actually develop their equity, as did their Asian predecessors Sony, Toyota, Samsung, etc., or whether they languish eternally in the low-priced end of the pool, like Kia and Tatung. Lenovo has been borrowing equity from its ThinkPad acquisition, but hasn't really done much beyond that.