Thursday, 20 October 2016

Why not having a Marketing Strategy is actually Zara’s best competitive edge

The Inditex owned company has reached a very profitable position with a 17% increase in its sales figures. Other competitive fast-fashion retailers like H&M are however, expressing slightly disappointing figures. In this modern time where marketing is seen as an essential in business models to win over consumers and create brand awareness; how are Zara able to not only survive but very successfully compete with the largest fashion retailers in the world?

Their ‘zero investment in marketing strategy’ actually puts funding they would have spent towards opening more stores. Consistently growing, the company are currently at a point of having 6,777 stores across a total of 88 countries all strategically located in ‘fashion forward’ cities.

The chain focuses more on the customer having an experience from in store and from their online presence as opposed to creating an expectation through marketing. Through billboards or TV ads the consumer might see a few items they don’t like and assume they shouldn’t visit store because they don’t like the collection. Whereas, a lack of them sparks curious customers so they are more inclined to visit stores to see what’s new.

This is joined with the fact that unlike other retailers bringing out seasonal collections; Zara’s approach is to restock stores not once, but twice a week. This keeps their items up to date and on trend, therefore resulting in more frequent visits from customers.

This also helps them to promote more ‘urgent’ buys, meaning that if a customer sees something they like they know that by the next time they visit stores the item might not be in stock anymore, so buy the item to avoid missing out.

 As a result of such frequent updates in stores, advertising would be difficult as it would only be appropriate and effective for a short period not to mention that with such high stock turnover there are low numbers of products given to stores so once stock is gone, the advertisement would be useless.

It’s rumoured that Zara designers typically turn out about 500 designs per month…with their job not yet finished; constant changes are made to initial ideas to ensure designs are always up to date.

Their brand thrives off of being innovative and not just following predicted trends but being exclusive and affordable for their target market. Having differentiated products ensures that their main feature of promotion is successful. Not a tactic implemented by Zara, but as a result of their successful strategies; word of mouth.

A very popular and well-known example of this at the moment is #thatcoat. The same coat that’s been purchased by everyone as a wardrobe staple… This particular coat went so viral it has own hashtag and Instagram account under #thatcoat. The secret behind this? A coat that’s on trend and appears to flatter all body shapes and sizes and well as a mass appealing print.

This kind of attention on one item, all over social networking sites will certainly have boosted their traffic online and in store, proving the point of why not having a marketing strategy works so well for Zara.