Very rarely does a creative rise to the position of CEO in an organisation. In my experience, it is rare to find creatives heading up creative companies, let alone commercial businesses. So Christopher Bailey of Burberry is a rare thing indeed, and an obvious candidate for inclusion in my lectures on Innovation and Design Management. Along with ex-Apple senior vice-president Angela Ahrendts, Bailey turned the tired old trenchcoat retailer into a world class brand, with a showcase store on London’s Regent Street that sets a new benchmark in retailing. How was all this possible?
There is no doubt that Bailey had extraordinary vision. As Creative Director, and later CEO, he repositioned the brand by bringing in the latest fashion trends and combining them with the famous Burberry check, and by exploiting the latest technology such as social media, video and online retailing he was able to transform the company into a world leader. Bailey exemplifies creative management at its most successful level, and I take my hat – or trench coat – off to him.
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