We analyze the marketing and advertising strategy of Zara, the Spanish fashion brand that does not carry out conventional advertising.
Zara does not advertise conventionally. You will not see a single television commercial, an ad in the press, a billboard or banners on the internet. Not an advertisement for Zara. And yet it is the most successful Spanish brand, with its owner Amancio Ortega as the richest person in Europe and the three richest people in the world.
This statement shocks in a world like that of fashion, in which there are battles to compete for the best advertising spaces of each medium. Brands strive to show us their spectacular prime time perfume advertisements, hire the largest advertising banners in each city and fashion magazines allocate pages and pages to brand ads. How is it possible that in this world Zara does not advertise? What marketing and advertising strategy does the Spanish multinational follow to be one of the most successful fashion companies in the world?
One of the keys is that everything that could be spent on advertising and hiring media is used to create marketing techniques that work very well. One of the great competitive advantages of Zara is based on logistics and commercial techniques.
Just in Time Production
Everyone knows that Zara “copies” the models of the big brands and that is not entirely true. More correct words would be that it “copies the trends” of the big brands and places them on the market in record time. And that’s thanks to his Just in Time production.
This system of Japanese origin allows to increase the productivity reducing the cost of management and losses of storage of stocks, since the system is based on producing real orders. And while other brands of the textile market take between 3 and 6 months to get a new collection in store, Zara needs a scant 15 days to launch the new trends to the market, thus creating dependency on the part of its expectant clients that in a short time get new clothes to the store.
Surely this dependence sounds like some other marketing and advertising strategy of a brand with an apple as a logo. And it is that another one of the destinations of the investments of Zara is the destined one to stores.
-Zara shop on 5th Avenue-
Like Apple, Zara does not hesitate a second to pay the highest rents to be in the neuralgic and iconic centers of each big city and be next to big brands like Louis Vuitton, Armani or Gucci, creating a halo of elitism in their stores although their clothes oscillate between 2 and 50 € on average.
The investment in stores in Zara has placed stores on 5th Avenue in New York, a 6-storey building in downtown Tokyo, several stores on Oxford Street in London and the most luxurious buildings in Dubai. Emblematic, old or strategic places in each city so that they draw attention either for their architecture or for being in a busy area.
Zara’s marketing and advertising strategy is based on a marketing concept that has been lost in the wake of the rise of new technologies and online stores.
One of the most effective ways to get customers is to pass in front of your store, enter and then buy. The first step is already done – stores in the best places in the city – and now you have to get them to enter the premises.
The windows have a fundamental role in the presentation of the collections. Zara devotes special care to the design of its windows that creates in its headquarters in A Coruña, a bunker where practically no one enters and where they have the “phantom showcases”, a whole section with streets and multiple windows where experts in window dressing test, modify and they make multiple variations together with other experts in other fields such as neuromarketing to find the final showcase that after exporting to all the stores in the world.
-Showcases at the headquarters of Zara-
Zara modifies its shop windows every fortnight and two additional showcases are composed during the sale periods in summer and winter. That means more than 150,000 shop windows mounted per year.
And the fact is that the use of mirror neurons plays a fundamental role when it comes to creating the brand’s shop windows. To this we add a rapid creation and placement of new trend garments in the store, the location of these in strategic locations of large cities and economic prices, the mirror neurons of the consumer take you to enter almost unconsciously inside the store.
The interior of stores
The interior of the Zara stores achieve a balance between the exterior and the interior of the establishment, with spacious, comfortable and well-taken care of until the last detail with a studied distribution and thought to the millimeter. For example, for the men’s section, combined pieces are exhibited so that they do not have to look for them and instead, in the women’s section, the garments are placed by colors so that they combine to their liking.
Like the shop windows, the interior layout changes every so often so that the consumer has the sensation of experiencing the sensation of being “new” when they enter the store again.
The strategy in marketing and advertising of Zara contemplates not to use a image of famous figure, either model, actress or singer unlike other brands. Zara uses anonymous models to advertise their clothes, the company has not hired any star designer, but relies on the talent of designers (mostly women) young and unknown.
This is Zara’s marketing and advertising strategy that has allowed it to position itself as the globally successful company it currently is. Detect trends, have them in stores in 15 days, establishments strategically located in luxury places, effective window dressing and adjusted prices. The recipe for Zara’s success.