I don’t listen to many podcasts because I much prefer reading to listening. The exception is when I’m doing household chores. I like Garance Dore, The High Low and Big Mouth but the best one I’ve listened to in months is the Business of Fashion interview with Musa Tariq.
Musa is currently the vice-president and chief brand officer at Ford in Detroit. Before that, he was at Apple and before that, Nike. But before all that he was the digital visionary at Burberry where he had come from JWT. A non-fashion guy ‘who was probably wearing Gap clothes I’d had for ten years’, he arrived in 2007 (a pivotal year for fashion and digital – hello iPhone) and led the social media and digital strategy that has arguably become the blueprint for every successful luxury digital strategy since.
I met Musa just after Christmas one year around 2009 (I think), when he invited me via a tweet to visit him at the Burberry offices to chat about blogging and Disneyrollergirl. There was literally nobody else there and we talked for a good while about the evolving digital landscape. As an ordinary guy from Queen’s Park ‘before it was fancy!’ he has lost none of his humble charm. On the podcast, his recollections of the early Burberry digital years are a real eye opener and reminded me of the first London Burberry show in 2009. It was a big deal for bloggers to be recognised for their value and I was invited along with Ella and Stevie (above) to join the press. We were seated in the back row and I remember there was a dedicated room for ‘live-blogging’ at the after party – a huge extravaganza at the new Horseferry Road HQ. (Side note: today is the 11th anniversary of my first blog post…)
Musa has lots to say on digital media, influencers, luxury brands, personal branding and aspiration. And also workplace culture, including how his bosses at Burberry (Angela Ahrendts and Christopher Bailey) managed their employees. He reveals his social media secret weapon (*spoiler below), the eternal social media dilemma for luxury brands (how do you show rawness without losing the aspiration?) and his belief in having a personal strategy to keep yourself evolving at work.
Listen to the Business of Fashion podcast with Musa Tariq here …
*It’s LinkedIn! I can also vouch for heightened engagement on LinkedIn posts. Especially if you blog about brands or business, as it shows your posts to your network and your network’s network
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Discotheque Confusion and Coco’s Tea Party at their first Burberry show
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