There is lots of speculation on why Angel Ahrendts, former Burberry CEO and the best paid Executive in the UK, would quit to join Apple as senior vice president of retail and online stores. Ahrendts diversified and transformed Burberry bringing back the prestige lost over the years while increasing revenue by 250% since she joined the British firm back in 2006.
The very reason behind this move could be a radical change in the way we understand Apple. The guys in Cupertino might be considering a deep transformation from a Technology manufacturer to a lifestyle or even a luxury goods company.
It’s no secret that other luxury brands have found good success in diversifying their portfolio of products well beyond their traditional products (Montblanc, Prada or Loewe are just a few examples). When executed with care avoiding the vulgarization of the brand, this strategy has worked well for quite a few players in the luxury industry and is a great way of leveraging the value of the Apple brand, estimated in 98 billion US dollar, about four times the first luxury brand, Louis Vuitton (LV).
Does this mean that the next big thing coming from the kitchen at Cupertino would be a hi-tech line of suitcases?. Or maybe an iOS powered bike?. How about the rumored iWatch being a luxurious line of finely crafted watches?.
Thrilling possibilities, watch this space.