Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts outlined the soft strategies the fashion retailer has focused on during the recession at the World Retail Congress in Berlin.

Ahrendts said Burberry focused on “style, structure and values” to make Burberry “the great company it is”.

She said on style, the company focused to celebrate all levels of its staff. The company created its Icon Awards to recognise good work. “It’s our version of the Oscars,” she said.

Burberry also ensured all its employees were kept up to date on strategy before the wider world. On structure, she said “the team ethos is so important” and it recruits “as much for EQ as for IQ”.

She also set up at Strategic Innovation Council where “young visionaries can dream on how to get the best out of the new digital world”. Burberry created a social networking site, spoke to customers via Facebook and created 3D fashion shows.

On values, Burberry set up the Burberry Foundation, which “develops the creativity of young people”. She said Burberry rediscovered its purpose and values, which was to “protect, explore and inspire”. The session was streamed live to Burberry’s global offices.