Background of the Brand H&M
Hennes & Mauritz, better known as H&M, is a worldwide apparel company, which sells clothing for women, men and children as well as cosmetics and home furnishings. H&M is continually working toward the goal of "giving the customer unbeatable value through the combination of fashion, quality and price" and it is no surprise that the corporation is homed in Sweden, which is the home of all things affordably trendy or trendily affordable such as IKEA, Ericsson, and ABBA. Hennes (Swedish for "hers") was founded in 1947 by Erling Persson following a post-WWII trip to the States during which time the novelties trader was much impressed by efficient, high-volume outfits like Macy’s and Barney’s. In the 1960s the company added the hunting, outdoor gear and menswear store Mauritz, scrapping the hunting and the outdoor but keeping the men. Expanding through Europe, H&M entered and prospered in neighboring Finland, Norway and Denmark, moving later, and profitably, to the UK, France, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. It is in these outside countries that H&M reaps more than 80% of its US$ 15 billion-plus in sales. H&M has continual growth over the last three decades, and the company now counts more than 1,900 stores across 37 countries and employees 74,000 people and hopes to reach 2,000 stores by the end of 2010. Brand Planning and Assessment
Position of H&M’s Brand
H&M is the 21st best global brand in the world and is worth an estimated 15 billion. A great deal of H&M’s success can be attributed to the ability of its in-house designers, and its ability to quickly recognize trends and act before competitors. They are making designs and products that look very much like what other more modish, more chic, more expensive, designers are releasing but for much less. H&M is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing clothing retailers. The company is also a pioneer of fast fashion, a term used to describe clothing collections which are based on the most recent fashion trends on the catwalk but which are designed and manufactured quickly, are affordable, and are aimed at mainstream consumers. By maintaining efficiency and flexibility throughout its supply chain, H&M is able to respond quickly to changes in fashion trends. These appear quickly on the rails faster and cheaper than they will be selling in the high end stores. Therefore H&M’s target customer who is a fashionista would rather have the product as soon as it is hot and for cheaper then have to wait until its in high-end retail stores and by then out of style. As consumers mix and match to create the latest look, H&M must adapt at reading the market and it’s customers so it can keep increasing both market share and profit margins. With many companies entering the market with the same strategy H&M has the upper hand because customers know that it’s products are of good quality and are always the fashion trend of the season. Key Marketing Activities That Have Contributed to H&M’s Success H&M has had many key marketing strategies and activities that have gotten them to the great position they are in today. Their first key marketing tactic is their website, www.hm.com, that is professional and efficient, a virtual blueprint for what similarly minded global brands should be doing. The website gives a graphic history of the company, outlines their business concepts and allows customers easy access to find any store globally, with contact numbers for each country’s customer service line. It is easy to navigate and allows customers to purchase products sold at any of the international stores and delivered anywhere in the world. In November 2004, H&M stores decided to collaborate with famous designers and have them design a line that would only be sold a reasonable price in their stores. They began by offering an exclusive collection by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. It turned out to...
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Shumbin, Nihon Keizai Shimbun
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