What makes a Fashion Retail Brand, and One That Can Be Trusted: Zara?

What makes a brand?

A company’s product or service is identified by specific qualities such as sign, symbol or name among others. The most valuable element of a product or service is its brand since it is used in advertising to show what is offered in the market. A brand is therefore a representative of the valuable qualities that a product possesses to the customers. Brands have elements such as names, logo, shapes, graphic, color, smell or taste (Jackson & Shaw 2009, P. 67-123).

Zara is a brand of Inditex that in 1975, it built its first stores in Spain, and is most profitable. Zara brand serves different continents such as Europe, Africa, Asia and America. The brand has developed in the markets through choice of style and clothes, short deadlines and decreased quantities. Ever time, there is new choice of style thereby making reasonable prices.

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Zara retail brand has succeeded through first determining when people want the kind of style they have in store without advertising to convince people to buy from them. This means that the company offers the public with the kind of style they desire at the moment. When the company learns the desires of people, it is at a position to know what people want at a particular time, and provide it in the market. Zara retail brand has also gained success through trust accorded to its employees.

The employees are entrusted with decision making to determine which clothes should be put in the stores. For a specific collection, the employees make garments by pair. The employees learn the current trend of the customers, and design clothes that will only serve that specific time. This is very important for the company because it avoids back logs in the stores. To become successful as a retail brand, it aims at convincing people to buy their clothes since they have no other option but to get the clothes they need from the company.

Zara takes the shortest time to design a new product and have it in the stores thereby making it launch a variety of designs in a year. The company, as noted, does not believe in advertising its product due to its belief that it provides what the customers need at a given time.

Zara therefore, has a zero advertising policy thereby using the revenues to open new stores to be at a position to provide more of its products to the customers (Jackson & Shaw 2008, P. 278). Its products are fashionable, and customers are able to get them at low prices. Its strategy in business makes it the most innovative fashion brand globally.

Zara brand has three sections, which serve men, women and children. The sections are divided into lower and upper garments, shoes, cosmetics and other compliments. The sizes for their products are also very accommodative to serve anybody any time.

Zara stores are all over in the world located strategically for the customers to access them. It is through these stores that Zara communicates its brand image. This is why Zara invests very little money on advertisements, and uses a lot to locate the stores in the best spots in the world’s biggest capitals. Having several stores all over, Zara believes that its stores shop windows serves to advertise it more than any other means.

The Zara brand has grown tremendously to overtake the world’s first fashion retailer. It is very competitive in the market through its famous brand. Both its management and its premium positioning have served to make the brand very competitive. Zara also has effective production and supply chain as evidenced in the way it designs its clothing fast, and makes them available to its stores within the shortest time possible.

Zara is viewed as a fast fashion, capable of providing very fashionable products to the customers. Customers are very loyal to Zara since the brand always renews its collections. Zara therefore has a very effective branding method to build trust in its customers. There has never been any other fashion brand that has been able to catch up with Zara.

Its powerful brand is going to flourish even in future. Zara has been able to spread itself all over as a high fashion, and low cost brand through its unique and effective practices. It had managed to open stores in high trafficked areas where it’s sure to sell its products. Through its management, it is able to execute its brand’s strategy. The company itself is responsible for manufacturing half of its products thereby guaranteeing flow of new items at low prices (Tungate 2008, p. 67-85).

What makes a brand trusted?

In the fashion industry, for a fashion brand to gain trust, it must be at a position to use very little time to serve the demand in the market. To achieve this, the management should do some market research, and capture the current market trend. This way, the brand becomes a fast fashion. Zara has always been a fast fashion for so long.

The brand provides its customers with designer products at low prices thereby making it a disposable fashion. The Zara brand concentrates on the most recent fashion trends in all times of the year. This guarantees the customers clothing of all occasions and weather despite of the place or time. The customers trust the clothing because they get them quickly and cheaply, and in all kinds of style.

Zara objectively produces its products cost effectively. To do this, the retailers research the market well to know the needs. They then come up with high fashion garments at a low price. Through this strategy, Zara is able to satisfy its customers’ needs, and become profitable through its increased sales. People trust the brand so much since they know they will be served at any season any time they have a need for the products. The customers therefore remain loyal to Zara.

The Zara brand uses the concept of quick response to improve its manufacturing efficiencies (Lowson, King & Hunter 1999, P.43-67). Through this, it is able to create new products therefore making customers trust in them, and keep on coming for more. Zara has decreased the time between design and production.

Quick production enables Zara to manufacture more than 30,000 products a year, and the manufactured products only takes about two weeks to get to the stores. Customers therefore, gain trust in the brand because their garment choices is improved and made available to them.

Through marketing, customers desire to buy new designs whenever they are created and made available to them. Zara does this by its fast production and low prices. Zara operates with no advertising as many people would expect but focuses more on the layout of the stores, which it believes creates an instant hook thereby pulling more customers to it.

This creates a very beautiful experience in customers when they shop, and keep on returning to the stores for more. When little is spent on advertisements, Zara maintains low prices for its products since it’s able to produce them at low prices thereby pulling more clients to remain loyal to it (Bruce & Lucy 2006, P. 329-44).

The consumers are able to trust the brand because of its constant change. New products are made available for the customers frequently. This makes Zara to be considered as a supermarket within the fashion market.

Zara is good at timing to make sure its products are produced within the shortest time. On the other hand, whenever a consumer makes a decision to but a thing, cost is the most important factor. Low prices for the produce are achieved through proper use of lower cost of resources to produce at low costs (Hines & Bruce 2001, P. 57).

Zara has efficient supply chains to deliver the promise of fast and price efficient products to the customers. Zara responds quickly to the customers to avoid back stocks. Zara has a tight relationship with its suppliers such that the suppliers who are close to the market are used to supply the trendy items (Hines 2004, P. 102 (a).

Ways in which fashion industry has recently changed

Fashion industry changed due to the changes in the society. As people change, the clothing and style also changes. Changes also occur as the technology advances and as the attitude in the society changes. Events and trends in the world also affect the trends of fashion. The changing economy and environment also changes fashion greatly. When the economy is affected, fashion is also affected (Hines 2001, 1-24 (b).

The fashion industry has embraced the internet. For example, Zara has a site “zara.com” which makes people to visualize it to see how stylish and modern the products are. The site is easy and fast to load, and has some music just as found in the stores. It has superior clothing retail branding and an online execution.

Customers are directed to the locations through some symbols. Information about a product is a click away, and customers can access it, and get the retail price online. The area for customer service gives the customers great retail experience through photos of Zara storefronts. The company launched into cyberspace after online demand rose where the prices are the same both at the stores and online (Hines 2001, P. 26-47 (c).

In the past, internet had never found its use in the fashion industry. However, today, internet is viewed as convenient for shopping any time, from wherever a buyer would be. It also gives people an opportunity to dictate trends from wherever they are. Additionally, mobile technology is today available for people to shop from the palm, of their hands. The fashion designers are therefore launching their own iPhone applications.

Traditionally the runaway looks were shown to people more than six months before they landed to the stores but today, they are available online minutes after they have been shown by the designers. Magazines are now less looked for the styles. This move is propelled by the facts that not only are the people able to read from the internet, but are able to participate very well in it. TV and movies are also used by shoppers to offer them fashion guidance (Anderson 2008, P. 33).

References

Anderson, K. (2008) Alternative Strategies to the ZARA Fast Fashion Model. AATCC Review, 8.4, 33

Bruce, M. and Lucy, D. (2006) Buyer behavior for fast fashion. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 10, 329-44.

Hines, T. (a)(2001) From analogue to digital supply chains: Implications for fashion marketing. In Fashion marketing: Contemporary issues. Oxford, Butterworth Heinemann.

Hines, T. (b) (2001) Globalization: An introduction to fashion markets and fashion marketing. In Fashion marketing: Contemporary issues. Oxford, Butterworth Heinemann.

Hines, T. (c) (2004) Supply chain strategies: Customer driven and customer focused. Oxford, Elsevier.

Hines, T. and Bruce, M. (2001) Fashion marketing – Contemporary issues. Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann.

Jackson, T. & Shaw, D. (2008) Mastering Fashion Marketing. London, Palgrave Macmillan.

Lowson, B., King, R. & Hunter, A. (1999) Quick Response – Managing the Supply Chain to Meet Consumer Demand. Chichester, Wiley.

Tungate, M. (2008) Fashion Brands: Branding Style from Armani to Zara. London, Kogan Page