Most times, we hate to admit it, but you can rarely find fashion and affordability together. Somehow H&M has deciphered the riddle of making it work and provides customers with runway trends at affordable prices. H&M fast fashion brand is unique for its creative marketing and fast production. With many unique marketing strategies, it is one of the leading fashion brands globally. The question then becomes ‘how did H&M fast fashion brand create their business today? How did this fashion brand become so recognizable all around the world? If you’re wondering about the secrets to this brand’s success, you’re not alone. Walk with us as we explore H&M fast fashion case study and their secrets to success.
How H&M Began
After World War II, Erling Persson decided to go on a road trip across the United States. While he was there, he noted a growing trend in the women’s fashionwear category. As a businessman, he noted this opportunity and immediately started Hennes once he returned to Sweden in1947. The idea behind the fashion brand was to make designer clothing accessible to women of all classes. The fast fashion industry was just growing then, and Hennes began expanding throughout the country. In the 1960s, Hennes also noted an opportunity in the menswear market.
To gain entry into this market, Hennes acquired a hunting apparel brand called Mauritz Widforss. Due to this acquisition, a new menswear collection was born, and the brand’s name became Hennes & Mauritz. Unfortunately, the name was too long, which led to its shortening as H&M. H&M has grown into the famous fashion brand in the world today. In 2019, the company had over 180,000 employees and $25 billion in sales. It also had a collection of 4500 stores scattered around the globe. The brand’s net worth stands at $12.38 billion, and with Erling’s son at the helm of affairs in H&M, it became one of the 100 wealthiest brands globally.
H&M Fast Fashion Case Study – The Brand’s Business Model
This brand’s secret to success involves different factors that separate the brand from others. These factors also give the brand a competitive advantage in the business world. As a popular go-to for a quick shopping fix, how did the H&M fast fashion brand become so successful in very few years? Keep reading to discover its secrets to success.
H&M fast fashion strategy is one of the reasons they’re so successful. Although fast fashion is quite popular today, with many companies adopting it, it was utterly foreign decades ago. There was a time people had to save up for months to buy a fashion piece only on special occasions. But, of course, this was before top fashion brands made runway pieces available at an affordable price. This action opened a new clothing line and made it possible for people of all classes to afford luxury designer outfits.
More and more consumers began to turn towards Fast fashion. Luckily, H&M strategically placed itself to capitalize on this growth, and it catered to the middle class. The brand’s business concept is simple and quite straightforward. The brand promises to provide fashion and quality at the best price and continues to do this. They provide clothing pieces for women, men, and children, and the latest fashion trend informs all designs. So whatever you need, from a basic piece to a prom outfit, the H&M fast fashion brand provides it at an affordable rate.
The fast-fashion strategy also ensures daily shipments of new outfits to the company’s stores in over 60 different markets. This daily collection of new merchandise is one of the reasons customers keep coming back.
Another top-secret to H&M’s success is their collaboration. The brand’s marketing strategy is as a luxury fashion alternative. To sell this, the brand has a yearly collection with a luxury designer house. This marketing strategy is one top feature differentiating H&M fast fashion brands from similar brands like Zara. Since H&M kicked off collaborations in 2004, it hasn’t stopped. Some of the top collaborations of this brand are Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, and Balmain. To create hype for their new collaboration campaigns. They make products scarce and use their social media presence. H&M understands that when high-end fashion meets high-street prices, fashion enthusiasts tend to go crazy.
This brand also had a collaboration with Alexander Wang back in 2014. However, many would agree that their most successful collaboration remains that with Balmain. They were able the ride the waves using celebrities like the Kardashian-Jenner clan. They could keep all eyes on the campaign till the pieces came, and it was a big hit in the fashion world.
The H&M fast fashion brand also advertises as an environmentally conscious brand. The CEO Karl-Johan Persson states that the company’s objective is to make fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable. Sustainability is a growing topic that continues to gain precedence in this century. As a result, many stakeholders are becoming even more conscious of their actions on the planet. H&M is not out of the mix with their Conscious collection. With this collection, the brand pledge to make it easy for customers to choose sustainable options. Additionally, it made these sustainable collections affordable to even the average consumer.
To generate hype for the campaign of this new collection, H&M used influencers with large followings. These influencers wrote about the collection on fashion blogs and lifestyle sites. In addition, the campaign focused on teens and young adults. These influencers were crucial in generating hype for H&M’s campaigns.
Short Product Life Cycle
Unlike most fashion brands, H&M’s fast-fashion brand aims at creating a short product life cycle for their outfits. Most would consider it a risky strategy, but H&M executes it so well that it gives them an edge over competitors. This marketing strategy can do this in two critical areas, which we will be exploring below.
Reducing Discounted Products
A feature of H&M is that the brand doesn’t have discounts. They’re constantly trying to avoid this as they did with collaborations. That’s where they utilize the short product life cycle strategy. It helps to create a sustainable business model for the brand. Most products are only on display for a couple of weeks, which causes customers to purchase them quickly. In addition, customers do not hold back on potential discounts because they know it’s less likely there’ll be one. Therefore, their customers do not want to miss out and purchase products as soon as they’re in the market.
Increases Customer Traffic
Another way a short product life cycle helps the H&M fast fashion brand is by increasing customer traffic. Typically, a customer checks a fashion store once every season to see if there are new designs. That’s not usually the case with fast fashion and H&M’s short product life cycle. Customers are continually popping into the store so that they don’t miss out on new designs. This strategy helps the brand generate more customer traffic than the average estimation. In return, this traffic also increases the brand’s odds of making sales.
Strategic Store Locations
Like other fashion retailers, the H&M fast fashion brand places its stores in busy shopping districts. The aim is to get as many views as possible. Uniquely, the store placement is a form of advertising but one without a limited lifespan. Unlike other advertising routes with limited lifespans, this form lasts a lifetime. H&M has stores strategically placed in prized locations globally. Places like Fifth Avenue in New York City, Ginza in Tokyo, and even Bond Street in London features an H&M store. Additionally, this company also places stores next to high-end brands like Dior, Channel, and others. The idea behind this is to elevate the image of the brand.
Inclusive and Targeted Advertising
H&M fast fashion brand produces its advertising campaign in their Stockholm headquarters. However, the brand tasks each regional marketing team with tailoring campaigns to fit into their local markets. As a result, the brand uses models with different cultural backgrounds, looks, styles, and even ethnicity. The aim is to show the customers that the brand is all-inclusive. For example, in 2015, one of H&M’s campaigns featured Mariah Idrissi, who wore a hijab for the campaign video.
This brand also uses plus-size models, amputees, and other diverse individuals. People continually praise the brand because they showcase a diverse group of people who follow their own fashion rules. H&M aims to show the customers that they can follow set fashion rules or make their own rules. Alternatively, you could choose to follow no rules at all. Research is vital with the H&M fast fashion brand. The brand puts in effort into knowing their local audience. They research local cultural taboos and then ensure that they avoid them in their local campaigns.
H&M Work Culture
The management continually improves the brand culture to fit the task culture model. This model focuses on teamwork when achieving business goals, and they accomplish this through special projects. Every team put together usually features a mix of leadership skills, efficiency, and experience. This combination is how the team can offer creative solutions and ideas. One of the company’s values is the ‘H&M Spirit,’ which features an inclusive workplace. The work environment of H&M is continually featuring new improvements. The goal is to create a comfortable condition that features fun, integrity, and respect for their employees to thrive.
H&M believes that as they grow, so do their employees. One of the company’s strategies is encouraging that employees. The company places high value on employees and believes that everyone makes a difference and is unique. The brand can build long-term relationships with suppliers and partners by emphasizing relationships. This strategy helps foster business growth while building mutual respect in the company.
Since its creation, H&M has become one of the largest fashion retailers in the world. Almost everyone is familiar with their iconic signboards. You can find them in major shopping malls worldwide with over 4000 stores to boast of. However, most people are usually curious how the H&M fast fashion brand became the go-to place for a shopping fix. This brand also provides unique designs at an affordable price while ensuring everyone has access to sustainable clothing. While the brand’s continued success continues to be a surprise to most people, this article explains the secrets to the brand’s success. Although the company is known for its fast-fashion strategy that makes it one of the leading fast-fashion brands, this article explains other strategies that made H&M a huge success in recent years.