Today, everything is digitalized. Shopping, reading, and even dating have all been sucked into the digital stratosphere without so much as the bat of an eyelash. We have come to accept that most things will eventually catch the digital bug, if they haven’t already. However, traditional companies can still teach some lessons to the digital world. Last week Angela Ahrendts, former CEO of Burberry, made the move to Apple, bringing years of retail experience to the digital powerhouse.
Ahrednts, who was almost single-handedly responsible for rescuing Burberry from becoming a victim of its own success, will be leaving the signature brand in the hands of former Creative Director Christopher Bailey. Credited as a business person with an eye for fashion, Ahrendts seems like a good choice for the image-conscious Apple. It’s less clear whether Bailey, whose skill sets are primarily rooted in the design field will transfer seamlessly into a CEO position. While a sense of fashion is hard to cultivate, corporate decision-making requires a different skill set.
More importantly, how will Ahrendt’s move affect Apple’s ability to continue to produce cutting edge technology and innovation? She did demonstrate innovative thinking when uplifting Burberry from out of its brand rut. For example, she made the bold move of removing Burberry’s trademark pattern from the majority of its items—a big risk which paid off for both the brand’s reputation and Ahrendts herself.
Apple’s penchant for blending function and fashion has become increasingly clear over the years. From sleek and modern iPhone 5S to the very specifically marketed iPhone 5C, Apple has done a stunning job of maintaining relevance and inspiring innovation. However, consumers might also contend that in terms of the market, Apple has no more room for improvement and might even be losing its momentum. With her knack for making the best of any situation, Ahrendts may just be the perfect person to resurrect an established brand on the cusp of either phenomenal greatness or waning collapse.