Technology leader Apple appears to lack marketing pizzazz and had to reach out to the fashion world.

The Financial Times has raised the question of what can Apple learn from Burberry’s outgoing chief executive Angela Ahrendts?  In a nutshell, it is emerging markets!  According to the FT there are a few statistics to ponder. Burberry has 206 stores worldwide.  Of those, 173 are in emerging markets, according to the company’s latest annual report. Apple has double that total, at 416 stores around the world.  But in emerging markets? Just eight, all in China.

Burberry has 84 per cent of its stores in emerging markets (EMs), compared to Apple’s 2 per cent. In fact, Burberry opened more stores in China in 2011 alone (10) than Apple has ever had.  It has over 60 stores in China, and the PRC mainland is Burberry’s fastest-growing major market.  Of course, stores aren’t the only way to sell products. And for both Burberry and Apple, they are as much a marketing beacon as a point of sale.  Their presence is a statement of intent.

When it comes to revenues, the geographic split of the two companies is interesting to compare, too. Apple has over 40 per cent of its revenues in the Americas, and 26 per cent in Asia Pacific. That’s almost exactly the reverse for Burberry, with 39 per cent in Asia and 25 per cent in the Americas. Although that isn’t an exact developed-emerging split (Americas includes LatAm; Asia includes Japan), it illustrates Burberry’s bigger push into China and other EMs.

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