Monday, April 29, 2013

H&M…A Story of more Stories


To our mind, we have two brands for each industry. To illustrate my point, with soft drinks. Coca Cola and Pepsi comes to our mind automatically. This is an apt illustration of the binary system of brands. Similarly, when we speak about cheap fast-fashion clothing for teenagers and adults (men and women), then two names comes to our mind Zara and H&M. Admittedly, Zara has the lion's share as a mother company of Spanish-based Inditex, but the other side of the coin, is the Swedish firm, H&M.

 First, H & M, is a environmentally conscious company, which provides economical fashion products around the globe (43 countries) in order to fulfill the seven commitments to the communities; provide fashion for conscious consumers, choose and reward responsible partners, be ethical,  be climate smart,  reduce, reuse, recycle, use natural resources responsibly, and strengthen communities (2).  Moreover, H&M developed a new viable water strategy, by working with NGO's water institutions, WWF and government agencies in order to better manage  water resources. Personally speaking, as an aware engineer, this environmental mindset is ideal for a company. But strategy is only half of it. Strategy for H&M, is a critical stepping stone in order to fulfill its goals; in particular, to gain more market share, by positioning highly its brand in the mind of customers. Hopefully this brand from a recent survey of Interbrand, is in the Top 20 brands(4), which its value comes up to 12-16 billion.


H&M's recent strategic was to open new upscale stores in order to expand its horizons into a new lucrative strategy, through "& other stories", is a successfully tested policy, since Inditex has acquired "Massimo Dutti". Thus, H&M follows the "upgrading stores" philosophy of Inditex and puts in the portfolio another  brand to increase the  diversity within the H&M brand. "& Other stories", is a fashion brand offering women a wide range of shoes, accessories, bags, beauty, and ready-to-wear to create their personal style. In the spring of 2013, they will be launched in selective European countries. Furthermore, this brand can be sold over the internet, as well. 


H&M, apart from "& Other Stories", also has other sub-brands under its umbrella; COS, Monki, Weekday, and Cheap Monday. Brands with unique identity that give the customer a different fashion experience. From the standpoint of the experience and given the fact that H&M  has collaborated with many renowned designers and celebrities such as Karl Lagerfeld, Roberto Cavalli, Matthew Williamson, Jimmy Choo and Madonna among others. H&M will collaborate with  Beyonce Knowles, this summer, something that it is likely to be the flagship of the marketing campaign. 


Sources:
1.http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-25/h-and-m-a-master-of-cheap-fashion-moves-upscale#r=com-s

2.http://about.hm.com/AboutSection/en/About/Sustainability/HMConscious/Strategy.html


5.  Interbrand, Best Global Brand List.
6.  [2] The H&M group website, accessed on April 5, 2013

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