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Branding Strategies

Submitted byAbinash Naik


Summary of Zara current market situation

Zara is a publicly listed company and belongs to the Inditex Group, founded
by Amancio Ortega in 1975 in Spain. Zara always continues to bring
excitement to fashion and fulfills customer demands. Currently Zara has
1,600 stores in 77 countries and continues to force its logistics system to
complete stock rotation every 15 days. Zara needs 14 days to develop a new
product and deliver it to stores and launches around 10000 new designs
each year. The online expanding strategy in international key markets as the
U.S. and China is one of the hot topics. Zaras online shops feature all major
functions, although does not correspond with Zaras local presentation
(prestige image), even more a bit disappointing, especially compared with
H&Ms creative way to convey fashion online with the dress room function,
moreover, by saving outfits or share on Facebook, Twitter, send a link or email. Online expenditure in sales not only increases the economical profit, it
boosts the online ranking worldwide and creates an added value of the
brand. The aim of this report is to build a strategic marketing plan for the
online shop.


The Zara business model is characterized by a high degree of vertical
integration compared to other models developed by our international
competitors. It covers all phases of the fashion process: design, manufacture,
logistics and distribution to its own managed stores. It has a flexible
structure and a strong customer focus in all its business areas.The key
element in the organization is the store, a carefully designed space
conceived to make customers comfortable as they discover fashion
concepts. It is also where we obtain the information required to adapt the
offer to meet customer demands.
The key to this model is the ability to adapt the offer to customer desire in
the shortest time possible. For Zara, time is the main factor to be considered,

above and beyond production costs. Vertical integration enables us to

shorten turnaround times and achieve greater flexibility, reducing stock to a
minimum and diminishing fashion risk to the greatest possible extent.



The segmentation strategy of Zara can be described by the principles of

demographics segmentation like gender, age

Product lines are segmented into womens, mens, and childrens, with
further segmentation of the womens line, considered the strongest, into
three sets of offerings that vary in terms of their prices, fashion content,

and age targets

Clothes for people with the combination of attitude and play
The customers usually are busy people which combine with ZARAs tactic,
making the customer to buy by instinct.


Zaras target market is very broad because they do not define their target

by segmenting ages and lifestyles as traditional retailers do.

Its target market is a young, educated one that likes fashion and is

sensitive to fashion.
Today, people around the world through various communication devices
have more access to information about fashion. Therefore, fashion has
become more globally standardized and Zara uses this to their advantage

by offering the latest in apparel.

For that reason, 80- 85% of the products that the company offers globally

are relative standardized fashionable products.

The international strategy of this fashion chain is excellent because it
adopted a balanced mixture of standardization and customization.


Zaras main target is women, and their primary age group is between 25
to 40. They are looking for the women that likes to be fashionable but at a
low cost. The everyday woman that wants to go well dressed to work. The
secondary target customer for Zara could be man in the same age range,
25 to 40. Classic men that like fashion but that are not going to the
extremes. They want to be well dress to work and in their leisure time.
Zaras customer spends their weekdays busy in the o"ce or in their
workspace and likes to hang out with their worker friends or with other
couples on the weekends. They are classic but understand about fashion
and dont want to take it to far. They like comfort and good fitting but
dont care that much about quality because they can wear what is new at
a low cost. TARGET CUSTOMER BUYING BEHAVIOUR Zaras customers are
early majority. They love fashion, they are aware of fashion but they are
more conservative in their dressing. Zara has been characterized for
having the latest trends on their collections, many times criticised for
doing garments similar to other top European designers


Products position is important because represents the place the product

occupies in consumers minds relative to competing products: is the key

of the success in selling the product.

Product positioning is a marketing tool used by a company to gain










differentiate its product offering from that of its competitors and ensure

that the same reaches the exact market profile for which it is intended.
Product positioning strategy is critical in today's hyper-competitive
marketplace where everybody competes for the same shrinking budget
and differentiation is hard to come by.

The customer is attracted by the inherent characteristics of the product

itself, either due to its low cost, which provides a price advantage to the
custode, or due to its differentiation, which introduces unique features

that the customers value and for which they are willing to pay a premium.
In the fashion business analysis position is usually developed using the
matrix value clothing styles that allows translating the reading of the
market positioning decisions coherent, considering the choices of

On horizontal axis are placed clothing styles (classic / traditional,
contemporary, avant-garde) whereas on vertical axis is placed the market
segmentation based on price (couture-designer-diffusion bridge- better).



A Product is anything that can be offered in a market for attention,

acquisition, use, or consumption that might satisfy a need or want.
Consumer products are products and services for personal consumption.
They can be classified by how consumers buy them into following

Convenience products
Shopping products
Specialty products
Unsought products
Zaras products fall into shopping products category.

Each of Zaras three product linesfor women, men, and childrenhave a

creative team consisting of designers, sourcing specialists, and product

development personnel.
The creative teams simultaneously work on products for the current
season by creating constant variation, expanding on successful product
items and continuing in-season development, and on the following season
and year by selecting the fabrics and product mix that would be the basis

for an initial collection.

Zara creates two basic collections each year that are phased in
through the fall/winter and spring/summer seasons, starting in July and

January, respectively.
Zaras designers refer to catalogues of luxury brand collections, and work
with store managers to begin to develop the initial sketches for a
collection close to nine months before the start of a season. Designers
then select fabrics and other complements. Simultaneously, the relative
price at which a product would be sold is determined, guiding further

development of samples.
Samples are prepared and presented to the sourcing and product
development personnel and the selection process begins. As the
collection comes together, the sourcing personnel identifies production
requirements, decides whether an item would be in sourced or
outsourced, and set a timeline to ensure that the initial collection arrives

in stores at the start of the selling season.

Product development personnel played a key role in linking the designers
and the stores, and were often from the country in which the stores they

dealt with were located.

On average, several dozen items are designed each day, but only slightly

more than one-third of them actually go into production.

Time permitting, very limited volumes of new items are prepared and
presented in certain key stores and produced on a larger scale only if
consumer reactions are unambiguously positive. As a result, failure rates
on new products are supposed to be only 1%, compared with an average

of 10% for the sector. Learning by doing is considered very important in

achieving such favorable outcomes..


Pricing is marked-based. However, if a decision was taken to enter a

particular market, customers effectively bore the extra costs of supplying

it from Spain.
Prices are, on average, 40% higher in Northern European countries that in
Spain, 10% higher in other European countries, 70% higher in the

Americas, and 100% higher in Japan.

Zara and historically marked local currency prices for all the countries
in which it operates on each garments price tag, making the latter an
atlas as its footprint expanded. The higher prices outside Spain did
imply a somewhat positioning for Zara overseas, particularly in emerging

For example, in Spain, with the prices they have and the information
available to the public, about the 80% of Spanish citizens can afford Zara.
When they go to the Mexico, for cultural reasons, for incremental reasons,
for economic reasons-because the average income in Mexico is $3000
compared to $14000-their targeted customer base is narrower is the
upper class and the middle class. That is the class that knows fashion that
is accustomed to buying in Europe, or in the United States, in New York or

Prices, which are determined centrally, are supposed to be lower than
competitors for comparable products in Zaras major markets, but
percentage margins are expected to hold up not only because of the
direct efficiencies associated with a shortened, vertically integrated
supply chain but also because of significant reductions in advertising and
markdown requirements.

Like each of Inditexs chains, Zara has its own centralized distribution
The stores are huge, with big window displays. They are always very modern
and very well organized. Zara has always characterized because they dont
advertise so their windows are really important. They always have an
amazing display to make the costumers come in, and you can notice they
spend a lot of money in it. You just have to walk by to see their ultimate
collections and be tempted to come in.
You can find mannequins that support the windows display everywhere
showing the costumer how they can combine the di#erent garments and
showing what they have available. The clothes are separated by brand. The
layout of the store displays clothes against the wall in a very particular way
with some clothes hanging and accessories on the bottom and in the top.
They alternate a lot of their clothing with shoes so the people want them
even thought they where there just to buy clothes. The garments are
displayed in racks all around the floor mixed with tables that have clothes
folded on top. Their hangers are of metal and wood or the combination of


Zara spends only 0.3% of its revenue on media advertising, compared

with 3%4% for most specialty retailers.

Its advertising is generally limited to the start of the sales period at the
end of the season, and the little that is undertaken do not create too
strong a presence for the Zara brand or too specific an image of the Zara
Woman or the Zara Girl (unlike the Mango Girl of Spanish competitor

These choices reflect concerns about overexposure and lock-in as well as
limits on spending. Nor did Zara exhibit its merchandise at the ready-to-

wear fashion shows: its new items are first displayed in its stores.
The Zara name had nevertheless developed considerable drawing power
in its major markets. Thus by the mid-1990s, it had already become one
of the three clothing brands of which customers were most aware in its
home market of Spain, with particular strengths among women between
ages of 18 and 34 from households with premium to super premium

Price market-based, not cost-based. Premium pricing in higher cost
markets, but still, the price is affordable.


The size, location, and type of Zara store affected the number of
employees in it. The number of sales assistants in each store is
determined on the basis of variables such as sales volume and

selling area.
And the larger stores with the full complement of stores-within-stores
womens, mens, and childrenstypically have a manager for each
section, with the head of the womens section also serving as store

Personnel are selected by the store manager in consultation with
the section manager concerned. Training is the responsibility of the

section manager and is exclusively on-the-job. After the first 15 days, the

trainees suitability for the post is reviewed.

Personnel assessment is, once again, the job of the store manager. In
addition to overseeing in-store personnel, store managers decide
which merchandise to order and which to discontinue, and also
transmit customer data and their own sense of inflection points to Zaras
design teams. In particular, they provide the creative teams with a sense
of latent demand for new products that could not be captured through an

automated sales-tracking system.

Zara promote approximately 90% of its store managers from








turnover. Once an employee is selected for promotion, his or her store,

together with the human resources department, develop a comprehensive
training program that included training at other stores and a two-week

training program, with specialized staff, at Zaras headquarters.

Such off-site training fulfils important socialization goals as well, and was
followed up by periodic supplemental training. Store managers receive a
fixed salary plus variable compensation based primarily on their
stores performance, with the variable component representing up to one-

half of the total, which make their compensation very incentive-intensive.

Since prices are fixed centrally, the store managers energies are
primarily focused on volume and mix. Top management tries to make
each store manager feel as if she were running a small business.


Zaras drawing power reflects the freshness of its offerings, the creation of
a sense of scarcity and an attractive ambience around them, and the

positive word of mouth that resulted.

Freshness is rooted in rapid product turnover, with new designs
arriving in each twice-weekly shipment. Devout Zara shoppers even

knew which days of the week delivery trucks came into stores, and

shopped accordingly.
About three-quarters of the merchandise on display is changed
every three to four weeks, which also corresponded to the average
time between visits given estimates that the average Zara shopper visits
the chain 17 times a year, compared with an average figure of 3-4 times

a year for competing chains and their customers.

Attractive stores, outside and inside, also help. Luis Blanc, one of
Inditexs international directors, summarized some of these additional

We invest in prime locations. We place great care in the presentation of
our storefronts. That is how we project our image. We want our clients to
enter a beautiful store, where they are offered the latest fashions. But
most important, we want our customers to understand that if they like
something, they must buy it now, because it wont be in the shops the
following week. It is all about creating a climate of scarcity and

Store Operations

Zaras stores function as both the companys face to the world and

as information sources.
The stores are typically located in highly visible locations, often
including the premier shopping streets in a local market

and upscale

shopping centre.
Zara actively manages its portfolio of stores. Stores are occasionally
relocated in response to the evolution of shopping districts and
traffic patterns. More frequently, older, smaller stores might be
relocated as well as updated (and typically expanded) in new, more
suitable sites. The average size of the stores has gradually
increased as Zara improved the breadth and strength of its
customer pull.

Thus, while the average size of Zara stores at the beginning of fiscal year
2001 was 910 square meters, the average size of the stores opened

during the year was 1,376 square meters. In addition,

Zara invests more heavily and more frequently



competitors in refurbishing its store base, with older stores getting

makeovers every three to four years.

Zara also relies on significant centralization of store window displays
and interior presentations in using the stores to promote its market
image. As the season progresses and product offerings evolve, ideas
about consistent looks for windows and for interiors in terms of themes,
color schemes, and product presentation are prototyped in model window

and store areas in the headquarters building in Arteixo.

These ideas are principally carried to the stores by regional teams of
window dressers and interior coordinators who visit each store every
three weeks. But some adaptation is permitted and even planned for in
the look of a store.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Zara sources fabric, other inputs, and finished products from external
suppliers with the help of purchasing offices in Barcelona and Hong Kong,
as well as the sourcing personnel at headquarters.

About one-half of the fabric purchased is gray (undyed) to

facilitate in-season updating with maximum flexibility. Much of this
volume is funnelled through Comditel, a 100%-owned subsidiary of
Inditex that deals with more than 200 external suppliers of fabric and
other raw materials.

Comditel manages the dyeing, patterning, and finishing of gray fabric for
all of Inditexs chains, not just Zara, and supplied finished fabric to
external as well as in-house manufacturers. This process, reminiscent of

Benettons, meant that it took only one week to finish fabric.

Further down the value chain, about 40% of finished garments are
manufactured internally, and of the remainder, approximately twothirds of the items are sourced from Europe and North Africa and

one-third from Asia.

The most fashionable items tend to be the riskiest and therefore are
the ones that are produced in small lots internally or under contract

by suppliers who are located close by, and reordered if they sell well.
More basic items those are more price-sensitive than time sensitive are
particularly likely to be outsourced to Asia, since production in Europe is
typically 15%20% more expensive for Zara. About 20 suppliers

accounted for 70% of all external purchases.

Internal manufacture is the primary responsibility of 20 fully
owned factories, 18 of them located in and around Zaras headquarters
in Arteixo. Room for growth is provided by vacant lots around the principal

manufacturing complex and also north of La Corua and in Barcelona.

Zaras factories are heavily automated, specialized by garment type,
and focused on the capital-intensive parts of the production process

pattern design and cuttingas well as on final finishing and inspection.

Vertical integration into manufacturing had begun in 1980, and starting in
1990, significant investments had been made in installing a just-intime system in these factories in cooperation with Toyotaone of
the first experiments of its kind in Europe..


Zara aims to offer fresh assortments of designer-style garments and

accessoriesshoes, bags, scarves, jewellery and, more recently, toiletries

and cosmeticsfor relatively high prices in sophisticated stores in prime

locations in order to draw masses of fashion-conscious repeat customers.

Despite its tapered integration into manufacturing, Zara places more
emphasis on using backward vertical integration to be a very quick
fashion follower than to achieve manufacturing efficiencies by building up
significant forward order books for the upstream operations.