Apr 27, 2017

From Fashion to Finance

My experience on moving from Burberry to BNZ

By Kelly Baxter

When I threw my graduation cap in to the air, celebrating the end of my Fashion degree, little did I know I would be applying the skills I’d learnt to the banking industry.

After a short internship at Topshop, and a few months of plane-hopping around the world with a backpack, I was fortunate enough to land a role at the iconic British brand, Burberry. I had long admired Burberry’s take on digital, they seemed to be the first fashion company to really take notice of the potential and impact digital could have on a brand.

When I started my job there in 2012, Burberry had amassed 12 million Facebook followers in the space of 3 years, and had launched Art of the Trench – a standalone social platform where existing customers could share photos of themselves wearing their Burberry trench coats. The brand became known for more than its classic and timeless outerwear – it became known as a digital innovator.

Working amongst the likes of Christopher Bailey (CCO) and Angela Ahrendts (CEO) was inspiring. Employees bought into their digital strategy, and by 2012, Burberry had moved 60% of its marketing budget to digital. I remember the whispered excitement at the head office of what was coming next, rumours of collaborations with Apple, Instagram, Snapchat… The bar had been set.

Fresh out of university, I wasn’t exactly one of the people Bailey or Ahrendts came running to with fresh new ideas for the next big strategic move… unfortunately. My fashion degree taught me a lot about marketing and communications, but I still had a lot to learn in the real world… let alone the digital world.

My time at Burberry taught me a lot about the power of digital, and how it can transform customer experiences. That stayed with me, and was something I took on to my next roles – always championing digital as an effective tool to market a brand.

I’ve been focussed on developing my digital skills over the years – a combination of short courses, the wonders of Google, and learning from others on the job, has brought me up to scratch. I’ve learnt to keep one eye on emerging technologies, and one eye on the customer, and see my role as somewhat of a matchmaker between the two.

Fast forward a few years and here I am in my current role as Online Content Editor at BNZ, (I felt like a change of scenery from the grey clouds that London had to offer!) but once again I feel like I’m working for a company that has a real understanding of the opportunities digital can bring. I’m surrounded by people that are like me, and have a talent and desire to provide better customer experiences, and that (to me) is exciting.

I’ve seen first-hand how the fashion industry embraced digital, and it’s now the banking industry’s turn. With the likes of e-wallets and Fintechs, who knows what’s round the corner… or maybe we do?★


Kelly Baxter

Kelly Baxter
Avid traveller and adventure-seeker. Believes all problems can be solved over a cup of tea and cake.

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The views expressed above are those of the author and do not purport to represent the views of BNZ. BNZ does not accept any liability for any loss or damage that may result from this publication. More information here.