Large companies and major conglomerates tend to have a more enhanced transparency than small and medium sized businesses. They are present in our daily life via their marketing campaigns, communications and advertising. Their products incite our desires to gain ownership over these seemingly unattainable wares which seem to be out of the grasp of ordinary mortals. Yet, they remain immune to vulnerabilities and crises just like any other business.
Studying a large group such as H&M is the challenge we set ourselves. To an external observer, the company seems to be performing very well indeed and H&M's recipe seems to be standing it in good stead. Nowadays, H&M is rethinking its positioning on the market; the company is trying to shed its entry level image to achieve a more exclusive status in the eyes of its customers as evidenced by "M by Madonna". While certainly its relatively low prices reflect the spirit of H&M, some of its products carry surprisingly excessive prices (dresses at 50, leather coats around 152 etc).
And H&M plans to give more direct competition to Zara. For its new collection, H&M once again tapped into the celebrity craze by signing on pop legend Madonna. After introducing the designer lines of the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Viktor & Rolf, H&M continues to associate its brand and the creation of its clothes with stars of high status, who are known to wear high end clothes, and luxury fashion designers. H&M uses the same celebrities and the same designers for their collections, which are distributed the world over.
Is this a good strategy to communicate without resorting to a standard of adapting to cultural specificities of each country in which H&M operates? While stars like Madonna are internationally recognized, stars like Emmanuelle Beart (lingerie collection for H&M in 2006) does not hold the same reputation on the international stage; he is remains relatively unknown even in the United States.
Is it wise to continue to operate a standard communication in all the countries? Also, with the expansion in the Middle East and Asia, it will be harder for H&M to continue in this niche. Our problem is thus based on this question: Should we not revisit the concept of the communication standard in favor of an appropriate communication to reach customers more effectively through customized advertisements?
2006 was a good year for the company's operations in the Nordic countries. However, Germany remains the company's single largest as well as its most profitable market. The reasons for this commercial success can be attributed to the large resident population, the number of large cities as well as the strong purchasing power of the Germans. The United Kingdom upped its momentum and overtook Sweden as H&M's second biggest market. In the same year, more stores were also opened in the United States, Spain, Germany, France and Canada.
In September 2006, H&M has opened franchises in the Middle East, namely Dubai and Kuwait. A franchise agreement was signed with MH Alshaya Co, a leading name in international franchise retailing. The company manages over 900 franchise stores in eleven countries. And H&M sells and delivers its products to Alshaya which sells to end customers. This has enabled H&M to locate in a region where it is impossible to create private subsidiaries. It makes sense for the company to set up in this geographical area, as the economy is constantly growing and customers have high purchasing power.
Tags: Marketing campaigns, communications, advertising, Madonna, purchasing power, franchises, profitable market.
[...] H&M offers a wide selection of clothing through different concepts: with classics, the basics and also the latest international trends.To this are added a line of lingerie, sportswear, accessories and cosmetics. In short, H&M is fashion for everyone and it always offers the best price. b. The axis of communication: Communication objectives of H&M are to increase sales, gain fame and create traffic. H&M reinforces its reputation as a result of prioritizing the diversification of its products in the field of ready-to-wear and highlighting its adaptability to current market trends and the future trends. [...]
[...] Recommendations on an appropriate non-standard communication Following the analysis of the current communication of H&M (scandal with Emmanuelle Béart in Sweden on the lingerie campaign launched in 2006, use of international stars and national celebrities even in an international campaign), we now offer a communication strategy. 1.Why should one recommend an appropriate non-standard communication? Although it is quite acceptable to broadcast a universal message globally, the use of celebrities is sometimes inadequate, as demonstrated by the Emmanuelle Beart controversy in Sweden and other countries. [...]
[...] Part Two : Analysis of Communication 1.Finding the current political communication A standard policy: Main vector: their stores Place of Sale: Showcase the spirit of H&M "There is no way if it does not descend into the streets" Coco Chanel The store is one of the major channels of communication as this is the focal point of communication with customers. All the elements of the store, and even its layout, reflect the spirit of H&M. Several factors are well reflected in the shops to harmonize and convey the concept H&M's concept universally: - Employees in the store - The store's environment must be welcoming so that shopping is fun - The window displays are pivotal in attracting customers as they reflect the new trends and collections of the brand. [...]
[...] This move does not seem to be an important competitive advantage against Zara which designs and manufactures 65% of its collections in Spain and ultimately its prices are slightly higher than those of H&M. The number of products manufactured is reduced which allows a permanent renewal to collections without stock. The high turnover of products requires customers to return regularly to Zara stores to check out the new products. This constitutes a key advantage for Zara, while H&M struggles to adjust to the former's pace of churning out new collections. [...]
[...] H&M's idea was to showcase their creations but also to break the monotony of the winter of 2003 by staging this model in a setting "that would be heavenly balm to the heart of H&M customers". The company invited him three of them to join photographer Mario Sorentti on Caribbean beaches following a competition to attend the live shoot of the collection and enjoy the beauty of the place. This ad campaign was a resounding success, with both women and men, and posters are still sold today on sites such as eBay at prices up to €150. [...]
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