Business Unit 22/28 Market Research and Branding
TASK 1 – How Market Research and Branding impacts on Business
Unit 22 and 28 Learning Aim A
Zara was founded by Amancio Ortega and Rosalia Mera in 1975 as a family business in downtown Galicia in the northern parts of Spain. Its first store featured low-priced look-alike products of more popular, high-end fashion and clothing. Following from this in the next 8 years, Zara’s approach towards fashion and its business model gradually generated traction within the Spanish Customers. From this it led to Ortega opening 9 new stores in the biggest cities of Spain. In 1985, Inditex was incorporated as a holding company, which laid the foundations for a distribution system capable of reacting to shifting market trends extremely quickly. In the next decade, Zara began to aggressively expand into global markets which included, Mexico, Greece, the United Kingdom, New York and Paris. Today there is hardly a developed country without a Zara store. Zara now operates in 96 countries with more than 2264 stores strategically located in leading cities. The founder is now the richest retailer in the world with a net worth of $68 billion. This clearly proves Zara’s large success.
Market Research Methods and how they help meet business aims and objectives
Market research is known as the process of evaluating the feasibility of a new products or service, through research which is conducted. There are four different types of markets research which can all be used together to conduct strong research about customers, current trends etc. Different businesses all have their own reasons to carry out market research yet in all cases, business wish to gather data on their customers, potential customers, competitors and the general marketplace. The data that a business gathers allows the business to make key business decisions as well as supporting marketing for the company. Finally, it helps to reduce the risk involved in making those important decisions.
One of the reasons that a business such as Zara carries out market research is to understand customer behaviour. Businesses need to understand their customers wants and needs, as well as understanding why their customers want their products. different generations and groups of people all have their own unique buying patterns and styles. Many marketing budgets will be based on the spending habits and lifestyle if these different generations. If Zara are able to find out their customers desires and wants, then they are able to act off this data to create clothing which are up to date with current trends, and products which Zara know their customers will be wanting. For example, wearing baggy and wide leg trousers and jeans was a trend popular in the early 1900’s yet it has come back is has proven to be popular again within the current generation. This data isn’t something which businesses such as Zara are able to predict, meaning they need to stay consistent and up to date with their market research, so they are able to jump onto trends within their early stages; allowing for them to provide high quality clothing items when they are at their peak of being wanted by customers. This is only achieved through the use of market research. Another reason for a business to carry out market research.
Another reason for a business to conduct market research is to assist in the development in a new product. Zara stated off as a clothing store however, through the years they now sell shoes, home ware, perfumes and more. Zara spotted a gap in the market to produce their own home ware and many more items. While developing these new products, Zara needed to seek the opinions and thoughts of their customers in order to see if these new products were something they would purchase. By Zara using customers personal opinions and comments it helps the business to make changes and adapt their products to ensure they are meeting the desires of their own customers. To do this Zara are able to launch some of their new products in just a select few stores and depending on how well these sel will decide if Zara should launch the products properly across all stores or to go back to the drawing board about their idea.
Businesses may use different methods of market research in order to generate the best possible date and facts.
According to https://www.questionpro.com/blog/primary-research/, primary research is defined as a methodology which is used by researchers and businesses to collect data directly, compared to depending on date collected previously from other researchers. Businesses such as Zara can conduct their own primary research. This involves interviews, online surveys, focus groups, questionnaires, and observations
Conducting interviews can be done face to face, over the phone or by zoom calls which are becoming more and more popular since the pandemic. By talking face to face it allows for a better response from respondents as it is a more personal approach.
Surveys and questionnaires can either be done face to face with pen and paper, or online which is proving to be a more popular method in the recent times. Online surveys are convenient and can be sent via emails or can simply be found online. In order for businesses like Zara to get maximum information from the responder it’s important to include a mix of open-ended questions as well as close ended questions. The surveys and questionnaires whether in person or online should not be length, else the respondent may lose interest and tend to leave the survey half complete which isn’t effective for the business.
Focus groups are hand-picked group of people who are all brought together and questioned about their opinions about a specific product or service. They tend to be small groups of around 6 to 10 people. Focus groups have a moderator who stimulates the discussion among the members to get a greater insight to their opinions.
Finally, observations are another method of primary research. There is no direct interaction between researcher and the person/consumer being observed. Businesses like Zara have a researcher who simply goes out and observes the reactions of a subject and makes notes. This could be an observation of the footfall at certain locations for example, the footfall in a busy shopping centre compared to along the high street or the beach!
One of the most important advantages to Zara using primary research is that the data collected is all first-hand, current and accurate. By having current data, it is extremely essential to helping Zara stay up to date with current trends and buyers spending habits. This allows for Zara to be able to market their products at their target market well as well as exciting customers with their new and current products. Another advantage is that data can be controlled. Primary research gives a meant to control how the data is being collected and used. It’s up to the business to decide how the data is collected, who is the person or people in charge of collecting this research as well as what is going to be done once the research has been generated. This allows businesses such as Zara and other large clothing brands and stores to be able to specifically research into the areas they wish. This makes them research far more beneficial for the company as it gives them precise information which will help the company to make key business decisions. However, a disadvantage to businesses using primary research is that it can be quite expensive to conduct. Money may be spent on getting together focuses groups or producing high quality, smart looking surveys as well as paying the staff to spend their time out on the streets carrying out questionnaires. This may be a considerable amount of money to spend on research where it can also easily be conducted using other cheaper research methods. This may be a huge negative effect for businesses such as Zara as if the research conducted proves to be unsuccessful or not quite as successful as they hoped this may result in more research needing to be done which then is another additional cost for the business.
According to https://index.impakter.com/zara/, Zara’s aims to redesign all of their packaging to make it more sustainable by reducing the number of raw materials they are using and will reuse and recycle wherever possible. along with this they are aiming to not offer any single use plastic, all by 2023. Another one of Zara’s aims is to have collection points in all of their stores, this allows for customers who have brought online to collect their items in store. By Zara carrying out primary research they are personally able to find out if being environmentally friendly is something which their customers and potential customers care about, and whether it is something which influences their shopping habits. By Zara finding out this information through primary research they are able to collect first-hand data which is up to date and reliable; and from here they are able to set out SMART objectives for their aims to ensure being environmentally friendly is something they are able to achieve for the better of the environment, yet also drawing in more customers as it makes Zara stand out and is an appealing ethos for the company to have.
Another benefit to primary research and how it helps Zara to achieve their business aims is that they are able to find out if their customer’s as well as potential customers enjoy coming in their stores or shopping online when purchasing their products. with technology becoming more and more advanced, may people are taking to online shopping as it is quick, easy and convenient. Yet still many people enjoy the instore experience. This is something Zara are able to look into through primary research to find out if it is beneficial for them to push their online website or to try and draw more people into their stores. Zara are aiming to have collection points within all of their stores so that customers are able to purchase their products online and then come into the store itself to collect their items. This is clever and may prove to be very beneficial for Zara as even though customers are using their online website to purchase products, they are still able to draw their customers into their stores, where they are able to first-hand see all of Zara’s product and what they offer. This may result in products catching the eye a customer which can lead to an extra sale. This is turn would generate more revenue for the business. From this information it is clear to see that primary research is greatly valuable for Zara as they are able to find out key facts about their customers buying habits and from there are able to set out aims in order to make maximum profit for the business. Secondary Research
According to https://www.questionpro.com/blog/secondary-research/ secondary research is a method which involves using already existing data. The existing data is summarized and collated to help increase the overall effectiveness of research. A business may use sources such as the internet, newspapers, books or company reports to gather information. Data being extracted from the internet is one of the most popular ways of collecting secondary research. Data is easily accessible and can be downloaded within a click of a button. However, businesses need to be cautious with what websites they are gathering their research from as some websites may not be trusted. Websites such as Wikipedia is a web page which can be edited by anyone, this means they information on the page may have been altered and isn’t correct. Another way for businesses to gather secondary research is from books and public libraries. Libraries have large store houses of millions of books which are all able to access for free. Books are a good material for secondary research as they are created and then cannot be changed by other people making the data incorrect.
One of the advantages of is that the research has been tried and tested. Unlike primary research, which is collected first-hand, secondary research has already been tested which gives businesses such as Zara more stability with their research and therefore decision making. Another huge benefit of secondary research is that it is a less-expensive and lesstime consuming method of research. Since the research has already been found it doesn’t cost the business anything to go and use. As well as this secondary research is easily accessible. Whether it’s from using the internet on their laptop or phone or from a book in the local library; secondary research is quick to discover and use. This is hugely beneficial for the business as less time they can spend finding research and materials for the business, the more time they are able to use to put this research into play to help push the business. Yet there are some disadvantages to secondary research. One of the biggest negatives to using secondary research is that not all data may be up to date and offer the latest reports and statistics. As well as this the data may not be as specific as the business needs. Zara may be looking to gather data on a very specific part of their business, yet this data may not be on the internet, in book, newspapers etc; this may result in secondary research not being the best option as a method of research. Along with this there may be the data which Zara need yet this data may be old and outdated which again proves to be ineffective for Zara.
Zara is a thriving retail company with big aims and objectives to further push their business to stive. Zara uses secondary research to help achieve their aims. As mentioned before being environmentally friendly is something close to Zara and strive to be part of their ethos. By Zara using secondary research they are able to see what types of things their competitors and other businesses are doing in order to be environmentally friendly. From this research found Zara are able to spot a gap in the market to come up with environmentally friendly ideas which none of their competitors have thought about yet. This will give Zara an innovative edge over the competition which may inspires and satisfy many customers which can lead to an increase in sales and therefore revenue. As well as this by Zara using secondary research this is a cheap alternative compared to other research methods. By using this method of research, it will keep costs down which in turn will allow for a greater amount of profit for the business. Another part for Zara’s mission statement according to https://www.edrawmind.com/article/zara-mission-and-vision-statement-analysis.html, Zara want to be able to be able to get customers the products they desire as well as getting the products to the customers faster than any of their competitors. Zara is able to use secondary research to find out suppliers who sell high quality products which short delivery times in order to decrease the overall waiting time for Zara customers. As well as this Zara are able to research into the quickest transportation method to be able to deliver customer products to their homes or in store for collection. By using secondary research Zara are able to continually use an easy research method to generate new innovative ideas for their business which will in turn lead to greater sales and Zara having a unique selling point over their competitors.
Some of the following ideas have been extracted from
https://www.scribbr.com/methodology/qualitative-research/. Qualitative research involves collecting and analysing non numerical date to understand concepts, opinions or experiences. It is used to gain an understanding of customer wants and needs as well as what motivates them, it can provide an insight into a problem or help to develop an idea. Qualitative research is a mix of both primary and secondary research as the data can be acquired through observations, interviews, focus groups, surveys and secondary research. This could involve collecting existing data in the form of texts, images, audios or video recordings etc.
One of the advantages to qualitative research is that it can capture changing attitudes within a target group such as consumers of a product or service, or attitudes in the workplace. Another huge benefit is that qualitative research provides a much more flexible approach to research. By qualitative research being a mix of both primary and secondary research, as well as it being focused on collecting data about the who, why, how questions this allows for a lot more flexibility and creativity. By allowing for the research collecting process to be more flexible it allows for the business to effectively collect data and research in a way which will benefit the business the most. Yet there are still some disadvantages to qualitative research. If the questions being asked are wrong this may drastically affect the effectiveness of the research. When creating surveys or even while interviewing someone, it is important to ask the correct questions which will allow for the best information to be gathered. Nonetheless, the questions being asked need to be simple and easy to answer questions as if the questions being asked are too confusing this may put off the person answering and result in a poor result when it comes to analysing the data. This may result in the business wasting their time and they weren’t able to maximise their data and opinions being gathered due to the wrong questions being asked.
Qualitative research is a great method of market research for a business such as Zara as it allows flexibility while researching as well as allows the business to tailor their research in order to maximise the research return and in turn help them to achieve their business goals. As seen in https://mission-statement.com/zara/ Zara is a business who are more concerned about the likes and interests of their customers compared to simply pushing fashion in the market. This is why Zara spend time using qualitative research methods to lean about their customers ‘wants’. By using qualitative research this allows Zara to specifically design products which they know their customers will love. Zara has a very specific style which they tend to offer, which makes it clear that Zara have a specific target market. But by Zara spending time researching and understanding their customers they are able to gain customers loyalty as well as inspiring new customers to purchase their products. In turn by Zara having high customer loyalty, it allows for increased profits as well as improved sale success. This all allows for sustainable growth for the business, which results in a larger market share being gained. This clearly shows how Zara conducting qualitative research it drastically benefits the business.
Some of the following ideas have been taken from https://libguides.letu.edu/quantresearch. Quantitative research methods focus on measurements, statics and numerical data. Due to quantitative research being mathematically based, its statistically valid. This means the business can use its finding to make predictions about where the business will be in 5/10 years’ time. the main methods of obtaining quantitative date is through the use of various forms of surveys i.e., telephone, postal, face to face and online. Some of the main advantages of this method of market research is that once the data has been collected it is easy to analyse. Numbers never lie, and by a business getting a clear set of figures it is easy for them to analyse and figure out their next business move. For example, Zara could have 50 people out of 70 who like to wear cargo trousers, this would make it clear to Zara that currently cargo trousers are very popular without needing to conduct a full-on survey about their customers reasons for liking them. Quantitative research is usually simple and easy which encourages more people to take part as it’s not too time consuming. Another big advantage is that the data and research gathered can be easily compared to data from other sources such as competitors or previous business history. Since figures and numbers are easy to work with and compare this method of research easily allows for this. This enables the business to get a clear idea on where they stand within the fashion market and allows them to generate ideas to push their business in order to gain more market share and dominate the fashion market. Yet there are still some negatives to this type of market research. By quantitative research focusing on numbers, it can be hard to gain an understanding on the reasons behind the numerically trends. This may lead to confusion when trying to understand the reasons for the trends and could lead to the wrong idea being thought. This could lead to a lack of sales for business such as Zara.
One of the ways that quantitative research can help Zara to achieve their aims is due to the specificness of the data. Compared to qualitative data, which is based off of opinions and attitudes, quantitative data is specific number answers which are easy to analyse and gain a perspective on. For example, Zara are able to conduct research about their competitors and the number of sales and revenue they have made that year. These figures are specific numbers which are incredibly easy to analyse and give the perfect amount of information which Zara require for their research. In turn this allows Zara to build a marketing strategy around the set information they have gathered in order to achieve their aims and objects for the coming months and years.
Specialist marketing agencies
There are multiple paths a marketing executive can take when they are determining who and what will guide a marketing strategy. There are different market research company types.
Syndicated Market Research Firm:
This research is independently conducted, published and sold by a market research firm by a third-party company. The market research firm leverages its industry expertise and experience to determine the subject and scope of the industry. One of the first benefits to this method of research is that it provides a representative overview of the market. Good syndicated research provides a representative sample of the overall market. It provides a clear representation of players in the market whether they are customers, clients or competition. Another advantage is that it helps to identify industry trends. Due to syndicated research being undertaken on a large scale this often provides a large overview of the other issues which are impacting a particular industry. Since Zara is a large and established company, they are always looking into the future of the market they are in. syndicated research helps to gain a head start on analysing the issues which are likely to affect the industry in the future. Yet there are still some downsides to this method. If Zara used a third part to conduct this research, they would have no control over the type of methodology, questions that were asked, and even how the results are broken down to a point. In turn by Zara using Syndicated market research firms, it will allow them to use their time more effectively compared to all their time being spent on researching around the business itself. Due to it being cost effective and having quick results this could prove to be more beneficial for Zara since these agencies are specialists so they will be able to find the best and most valuable data quickly.
Some examples of popular syndicated research include MRI’s national study, Simmons National Consumer Survey and studies from Nielsen, IRI and Kantar/TNS
Custom Market Research Firm:
This type of research is created specifically for one company, making the data unique to their specific product or service. With this, companies gain distinct market insights into their company’s particular innovation. This enables unique brand awareness, personal access to hard-to-reach industry leaders and more accurate decision making. Some of the biggest and most obvious positives to this method is that for large companies such as Zara they require more in-depth research about a specific target market segment, or a unique issue to the company; custom market research firms provide this. Since the research is so specific it also allows companies to extract only the information they need. This helps to avoid an information overload for Zara and having to parse through unneeded information. Nevertheless, due to the research being so detailed it means that it takes more time for the research to be collected and analysed. This may not be time that companies such as Zara have as the data may be an upcoming problem for Zara which they need quick data on. Yet saying this, there are far more benefits of this type of marketing agency than negatives.
Looking at both types of marketing agencies I strongly believe that the most effective is the custom market firms. This is due to the data which is being gathered is much more specific to the business compared to syndicated agencies is more generic, which is data that can be gathered more easily by the business themselves. Compared to the syndicated research firms which are more generic on the market compared to the business themselves. For a large company like Zara, they are already an established business and know their market quite well. This means to continue growing their company they need to reach data which no one else can. This would push Zara to be more knowledgeable than anyone else with upcoming trends and ways in which to be inventive and improve their business. Yet saying this by Zara using a custom research firm this cost slightly more and there is a longer waiting time for the research to be gathered and analysed. Nevertheless, saying this for a company like Zara who are clearly making large amounts of profit, they made 2.6 billion pounds in 2021, this is a fair price to pay for the large amounts of valuable data they will receive.
Principles of Branding
Branding is a perpetual process which involves identifying and creating numerous assets of a business that give customers a strong understanding of the business itself. Brands such as Zara must be able to constantly adapt and evolve to the forever changing customer needs and market trends. It’s important for a brand to stand out to gain as much attention from customers as possible the feel of the business and the products that they sell must be clear from the first glance at a business’s branding.
Branding is a big part of the marketing mix. The marketing mix consists of the product, place, price and promotion/branding. In business, the customer satisfaction is to promote the success and progress of the company. In business promotion and marketing as they both play an important role for the development of the business. Marketing is one of the important ways to help a business grow. Marketing is important for any product to gain the market value. It develops communication between customer and organization which shows huge results in the growth of the company.
There are 4 main principles of branding which include brand identity, brand meaning, brand response and brand relationship.
The brand identity of a business is the visible elements of a brand such as colour, design, and logo that identify and distinguish the brand in the customer’s mind. Brand identity is distinct from brand image. Everything that will attract and draw in customers will always come back to the identity of the brand for example logos and slogans which are easy and catchy for the customers to remember. Zara is not a business which are wacky and out there in terms of branding. They are much more subtle and sophisticated which I believe gives off a true representation of Zara as a business and clothing retailer. The Zara logo resembles the accessibility of luxury fashion products. Hence, it features only the brands name – basic, compact and comprehensible to all lovers of a new and trending wardrobe. The current Zara logo design deviates from the contemporary design trends to put up a classic and timeless look. This is similar to many high-end fashion brands. The bold and all caps logo may perhaps indicate the company’s ambition to secure its place among some of the top luxury fashion houses in the world. Throughout the years of Zara, the logo has only changed very slightly with the font and space between each letter being the only change. The first change occurred after 30 years of the business existing. The letters were placed further from each other, featuring wide and shortened letter shapes. This new square design gave the logo a more confident and serious look. I believe this shows the clear growth of Zara and with their business becoming larger and more established they updated their logo to suit the times and the current feel of the business in 2008. The final change was made in 2019 to today’s logo which is the Zara long most of us currently know and love.
Brand meaning is another useful way that a business such as Zara can help identify itself as well as promoting their own products. Since the establishment of Zara, they have been known for being a more premium luxury brand yet maintaining to be affordable. They claim to be innovative with the design of their products and love to keep up with trends as well as guessing the next trends to come in. Zara’s value proposition focuses on keeping up with fast changing fashion trends. Its activity configuration allows it to spot trends and launch new pieces in less than three weeks. This is a huge unique selling point for Zara which helps them to be as successful as they are. Other competitors can take more than nine months between noticing a trend and producing an item to sell in store.
This is the repeated interactions between a brand and a customer that start to reflect similar characteristics of relationships. Businesses such as Zara need to form relationships with their customers in order to gain their loyalty. Zara are keen to keep their loyal customers by providing excellent products which are well designed, up to date with the trends and are high quality. Zara known for having a slightly pricier price tag on their products compared to other retailers, yet they still remain one of the best affordable luxury companies in the world. They ensure that their customers are satisfied with high quality clothing each month which remains up to date with the trends while targeting a large market. Zara not only sell clothes but also shoes, accessories and home ware. Month on month Zara is hitting the customer wants in each section of their business. By Zara keeping up to date with these trends they are exciting their customers each month which helps to develop a positive energy around the business. This excited energy helps Zara to keep their customers and in turn generate more sales month on month.
Brand response is how the customers understand and respond to the business which can either be positive or negative; and how this affects the reputation of the business. If a brand becomes recognisable it shows that there is already a strong brand response from customers; the customers recognise the business and know and understand what they do. Zara have an admirable response from customers as they always strive to ensure customer satisfaction. They are able to achieve this by hitting customers wants and needs and producing high quality items year on year which customers love. Zara mainly produced high quality luxury items at an affordable price. This means customers can feel as though they are treating themselves to a more luxury item yet there isn’t a huge price tag attached. This shows that Zara has thought about their target market; they want to produce clothing and items to make everyone fell treated yet still maintaining a lower price so that everyone can afford their products. this creates a great response with customers as though they love to feel expensive and as if they are really treating themselves on Zara’s luxury products yet not having to spend hundreds and thousands on one item.
How Brands can be Assets to Zara
A brand is the most valuable asset to any business. Every business is liable to be consistent and deliver their promised quality of service and products. With failure to do so this may result in a loss of customers which may drastically affect the profit for the business. Zara have been one of the most consistent brands in creating quality products to every customer year on year.
A study created by https://yougov.co.uk/topics/consumer/explore/brand/Zara?content=all shows that 83% of people have heard about the business Zara. This shows how many people have already heard about Zara or know of the company. The brand of a business is one of the most important things and to lose the identity of the business could lead to huge losses. For example, right now Zara are stiving to be as eco-friendly as possible and have set out clear aims and objectives on order to achieve these goals. If Zara suddenly decided that they didn’t want to stive to be eco-friendly anymore this may drastically affect their number of loyal customers and therefore the number of sales. It is clearly important for a business like Zara to be honest with their customers as well as striving to achieve everything they have set out to do while creating high quality products.
Branding is such a strong asset for Zara and has drawn in billions of pounds for the company across the years. Zara are quite a unique brand where they offer luxury clothes yet at a more affordable price compared to companies such as Gucci and Prada. This provides a huge unique selling point for the business which helps them to stand out. Zara are confident that with their USP they are able to maximise revenue while continue growing a large customer base.
There are many ways in which a business can protect its brand. One of which is trademarks. A trademark is something that identifies the product or service of a specific business. It its therefore a valuable business asset that needs to be protected to prevent others from trying to use it to sell their products and services. For example, Zara have managed to own the rights to the name Zara to which no other company can name their business Zara. This helps Zara to keep their brand as a strong asset for the company and to keep the busines unique.
Advantages and Disadvantages of branding for Zara
One of the biggest advantages of branding is the loyal customers and awareness of the company. Branding helps the business to create wide awareness regarding its products or services among the public. As soon as a potential customer looks at the Zara logo it stands out to be a luxury, high quality company without the potential customer knowing anything about the business. This is branding at its best. Just by seeing the logo people are able to gain an idea about the busines yet potentially not knowing of the company. Well executed branding also helps to create customer loyalty by reinforcing the purchase of merchandise in the customer’s mind. When the product is associated with a lifestyle, it keeps consumers pursuing similar goals coming back. Many people in today’s world care about their look and style and enjoy expressing this through their clothes. This is where when customers have a particular lifestyle it draws the customers back in order for them to continue with this lifestyle.
Another advantage of branding for Zara is that it helps in facing competition. Zara is quite a
unique business which offer luxury products while being at a more affordable price. A good brand is an important factor for the business when facing their competition. Through branding, businesses create a distinguished identity that helps them to gain and develop loyal customers. These customers normally stay loyal to these brands over a long period of time.
An improved level of productivity in employees is another advantage of branding. Good brands are easily able to attract the most skilled and qualified employees. All workers want to work at the best. Professional chefs want to work at the most popular kitchen. This is similar with Zara. As it is such a popular, well known, luxury brand it will attract many more candidates to work for them compared to a retailer like Primark which is a cheaper store which attracts a different crowd. When Zara are employing staff, they need to also think about how these candidates will fit in with the team as well as how well they suit what Zara is all about and how they portray Zara to the customers. Having the right staff for the job is such an important factor to branding and how the brand is portrayed.
Yet there are still some negatives of branding for a business like Zara. One of the disadvantages is the cost. The branding process involves huge development costs on the part of the business. They need to incur huge costs on advertising and publicity programs for maintaining their brand image and to help gain new customers. All of this expenditure impacts the price of goods and services offered by the business. It is important for Zara to advertise their business and the products that they sell in order to keep gaining new customers and gaining more people attention. More people who know about the business are more potential customers for Zara. Yet advertising and having good advertisement is expensive. This means Zara would have to weigh up whether it is cost affective to advertise their company and the new products they are offering.
Another negative of branding for any business is the fact it is hard to change the perception of customers on a business. When Zara was first set up it was a small clothing store in Spain selling low priced lookalike items of high-end brand. This is a huge difference to what the business is today. This shows clearly how Zara’s target market has drastically changed. Yet this could have potentially been a far more difficult process for Zara. As mentioned, it is difficult to change customer opinions on a business. So, Zara being able to change customers opinions and perception on their small lookalike store to their luxury high quality store is a very lucky change. This very easily may have not been quite so easy for Zara or other companies.
After assessing both the advantages and disadvantages of branding it is quite clear that the benefits outweigh the cons. This is due to it being essential for a business to have a brand which is recognisable in the market. Though branding and getting the perfect advertising may be time consuming and expensive it is important for Zara to be able to continue growing and gaining more loyal customers. By Zara getting the branding right this allows them to push and stive towards their business aims and objectives. Zara getting their branding correct allows them to gain more market share as they will slowly gain more and more loyal customers which will increase the revenue. This revenue can be spent into more effective advertising and this creates a positive cycle for Zara. In turn more loyal customers will result in Zara owning a large market share on their competitors. I believe this shows clearly why it is important and essential for branding.
The impact of branding on Zara
Zara has become a very well-known and established brand who are recognised worldwide for their luxury affordable products. They never fail to deliver on their promises of maintaining customer satisfaction. Zara is able to enjoy the benefit of a string brand such as repeat customer purchases, strong customer recognition and promotional effectiveness. They are able to implement a strong communication with customers which improves brand loyalty. The important of brand identity ensures that companies such as Zara can effectively raise awareness of their business across the world with greater recognition to expand their customer base and attract more and new customers. The Zara logo holds great importance for the company as it is a free and recognisable factor from an outside perspective and allows customers to know who the brand is. The Zara logo is a very simple design yet effective. I believe the logo perfectly represents the company. The logo is simple yet classy which gives of a perfect representation for Zara as a business and what they are all about. The small modifications throughout the year such as changing the size and font of the letters still allows customers to be aware of the business even though the logo has changed. This is due to the minor changes not effecting the look of the logo too drastically.
Zara have managed to find the perfect balance between branding and advertising their company. According to https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2019/01/how-does-zarasurvive-despite-minimal-advertising/, Zara spends roughly 0.3 percent of sales on their advertising and doesn’t have much marketing to speak of. One of Zara’s key strengths is their ability to put their customers first and are determined to receive good customer feedback. Zara are able to use word of mouth and the good reviews of their business as free advertisement. Once one customer mentions a good review about a product to their friend this creates a positive butterfly affect which allows the business Zara to be a topic of conversation in any group of people. Zara have been able to provide such a good reputation for themselves that they don’t need to advertise their company too much or have sales on within the company. Along with this, this also gives the business a more luxury and expensive feel. Along with this the store managers are experts in fashion and observations. They are taught to pay attention to what customers are saying and doing to reflect what moves the brand next needs to make. By including customers in the design and improvements process this allows Zara to build strong brand loyalty as they are achieving their customers wants and needs far quicker than most competitors. As mentioned in the article this is a smart strategy and is hard to replicate by competitors.
In conclusion, I think it is clear that branding is very important to a business in order for them to be successful within the marketplace; and to develop a strong brand identity. Zara’s use and understanding of branding has allowed them to create such a luxury brand which attracts millions worldwide. The uniqueness of the business idea to generate such luxury products yet maintaining a more affordable price has been extremely innovative for the business and has worked out perfectly for the business. By having this unique selling pint Zara has been able to vastly improve and build their brand making it one of the most popular retail stores currently. Zara’s excellent customer service as well as their ability to expand further enhances the brand image and build on the reputation of the business.