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Our world is filled with apparel retailers. The competition among them is intense, which makes it incredibly difficult to stand out. One brand that has passed this test successfully is Zara. Zara is a very prominent retail brand in the world of fashion.
It is a Spanish apparel retailer that came into existence in the year 1975. Back then, the first Zara store was opened in a Spanish town. From such modest beginnings, Zara has come a long way to become the largest apparel retailer in the world. Now Zara designers can manage up to 20 clothing collections per year.
Zara designs are such that they inspire great interest among its consumers. Their designs have been widely accepted by people of different age groups and cultural backgrounds. Zara produces clothing for men, women, and children. Besides, the brand also deals in shoes and various other accessories.
The million-dollar question is how Zara has become so successful. The factors that have made Zara designs so widely accepted and successful are plenty. We have prepared an investigative list of the 10 most important things you can learn from Zara’s designers. Go through them to learn about the reasons behind the spectacular success of this popular fashion brand. These points could come in handy for your clothing brand.
Most clothing brands rely on using a top-down strategy. This strategy implies that the basis of designs is the prediction of what is likely to become popular next season. As such, most brands operate on this speculative method. This is a risky approach as the designs may or may not be successful.
Zara takes the opposite approach, a reverse strategy. Under this strategy, Zara collects information regarding consumers on a consistent basis. The scouts of Zara go into the malls, shops, and market streets to collect information right from the source.
These scouts observe what people are wearing and how it changes over time. Then they report this information to the store managers of Zara. On this basis, Zara designs are prepared by keeping in mind the exact preferences of the consumer. This has proven very beneficial for Zara as there is no speculation involved.
So, if you want your clothing brand design to be successful, follow this strategy. Send down your scouts to the streets to gather first-hand data from people.
In the world of fashion, creating a sense of urgency often does the trick. This is because it makes the people start talking and thinking about items that are available for a short duration. Nobody does the job of creating urgency in consumers better than Zara. In fact, Zara has been doing it for decades.
The main question is, how does Zara do it? Well, it changes its products on display very quickly. In fact, every three to four weeks, Zara replaces its product offerings. This rapid design replacement has provided Zara with two massive advantages—avoiding discounts and higher customer traffic.
Zara is able to avoid discounts because of its rapid turnover. Also, customers are attracted to the new designs, which Zara duly offers them. Unlike other fashion brands, Zara customers visit stores several times a year in a thirst to try out new designs.
You can also do the same by maintaining a rapid turnover rate. However, for this, your designers should be highly skilled, at least somewhat resembling the extremely talented Zara designers.
High Customer Engagement
It has been said that a brand must treat its customer like a king. Zara does not merely believe in it but has also put it into practice. The policy of Zara is an intense focus on the customer. This is one of the most important reasons for the success of the brand.
In 2015, customers living in different parts of the world went to Zara stores with the same demand—a pink scarf. However, none of the Zara stores had pink scarves. A week later, Zara started selling pink scarves in more than 2000 stores globally. Zara designers managed to come up with a whopping half a million scarves.
This is how Zara operates. They lay a very high level of emphasis on customer insights. Zara makes use of Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) to communicate very quickly. It also uses the latest technological systems to instantly track the location of garments and make them available to customers.
You can also do the same by heavily prioritizing customer requirements above everything else. Having good communication technology will help your clothing brand in this regard.
Highly Efficient Supply Chain
A good supply chain is instrumental to the success of a brand. Zara has facilitated this activity very well. The company has a vertically integrated supply chain that is extremely reactive to changes. This is why Zara can export at any time of the day or year. Zara’s items make it to the stores in 10 to 15 days after being designed.
The processing of all the items takes place at Zara Spanish distribution center. The vertically integrated supply chain offers Zara various advantages like providing correct fabrics in accordance with customer preferences, providing correct fabrics in time, maintaining a high capacity of fabric processing, and exercising control over processing and dyeing.
Just like Zara, you should also emulate a vertically integrated supply chain model. This way, you will be able to enjoy all the advantages that a Zara designer enjoys.
The importance of diversity and inclusion for a business has grown in recent years. The current situation is such that diversity has become almost obligatory for any business to come out on top. Zara has taken inclusion and diversity very seriously.
Zara’s sustainability is from the fact that it has a high commitment to people. Zara ensures to make its employees happy through ensuring an atmosphere of diversity, equality, and professional development. Moreover, Zara also treats its suppliers very well. This is why Zara suppliers enjoy various basic rights at work.
This is something you can do as well. Promoting and maintaining respect towards your employees and suppliers will go a long way in making your clothing brand successful. In addition to the commitment to people, you can also show commitment to the environment.
Low Profile Advertising
One thing that will strike you as a surprise is that Zara doesn’t really advertise. The brand invests a meager amount in advertising. According to the Harvard Business School, Zara invests only 0.3% of its funds in media advertising. In spite of this, it is one of the most popular fashion brands in the world.
Now the question is, what does Zara does with such substantial savings? Well, firstly, Zara can invest more in its designing process. Secondly, Zara is able to invest more in prime store locations. The big advantage of prime store locations is that they can attract more customer traffic.
Making the Most of Social Media
One of the keys to Zara’s success is social media. Zara has discovered that focusing on social media is much more beneficial than press, radio, or television ads. This has proved highly beneficial to Zara to save costs since digital media can be quite expensive. Hence, Zara is able to save a substantial amount of financial resources.
Through social media, Zara advertises by way of sharing posts, comments, likes, and clicks. Any new information regarding designs can be communicated, via social media platforms, very quickly. Zara also enjoys a massive customer following on popular social media platforms. This way, Zara has no shortage of customer traffic in spite of its low advertising cost.
You can also do the same by prioritizing social media. This way you will be able to attract a lot of customers and also save a lot of costs.
Relentless Work Culture
The work culture at Zara is extremely entrepreneurial. This is because Zara employs many youngsters in its workforce. These youngsters are hungry for success. In a bid to quickly reach the top of the organizational hierarchy, they work with a lot of dedication and effort. Consequently, the work rate at Zara is very high.
The promotion of nearly two-thirds of store managers takes place from within Zara. The top management of Zara does not shy away in handling out responsibility to youngsters. As such, a culture of risk-taking develops at Zara. The result is that we see much more innovation in Zara designs.
Excellent Locations and Optics
Zara has an excellent communication strategy. As already mentioned, Zara prioritizes prominent locations in a city to attract more customer traffic. Moreover, the brand showcases its product offerings via attractive and artistic window displays. These are really crucial communication tools from Zara.
Another point worth mentioning here is that Zara employees wear dresses that indicate the specific socio-economic in which they operate. You can also apply the same tactics and build an effective communication strategy for your clothing brand.
One of the key reasons for the success of Zara’s designs is flexibility. This means Zara designers can adapt very quickly according to the given circumstances. How is this possible? It is possible because a constant assessment happens at Zara of various factors related to fashion apparel. Consequently, Zara is able to react in weeks rather than months or years.
You should also try to ensure that stagnation does occur in your clothing design. Your clothing brand should always be open to change whenever the situation so demands.
Zara designers achieve quick success within a short time. The company went from scratch to all the way touching the glory of fast fashion. Surely the success story of Zara designs is something worth pondering over. Go through the ten things mentioned above to gain valuable knowledge from Zara for your own clothing brand. Fashinza can help you emerge a leader in fashion apparel by connecting you with the best manufacturers and managing the whole process for you. This way, you can focus on what you do best—designing! Check out the Fashinza website now!