H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) Marketing Mix
The fast fashion industry is growing fast and leading this industry are three names including Zara, Uniqlo and H&M. The three brands have taken three different approaches but are still successful and particularly Zara and H&M are market leaders. However, H&M’s price and product strategy are different from that of Zara. While the fashion cycles at H&M are longer than Zara, still the secret of its success is also fast fashion. It takes less time than ordinary fashion for designs to reach the store from the designer’s office. The global expansion of H&M has also happened fast and today there are 4351 of its stores running globally (2016 figures). Its stores are operational in 64 markets and e-commerce in 35 of its markets. Apart from a strong global network, the brand also has a strong digital presence in the market. The brand also focuses heavily on sustainability. It collected 15,888 tonnes of textiles for reuse and recycling. The number of new stores that opened in 2016 was 427. H&M employs around 161,000 people. This is an analysis of the four P’s of the marketing mix of H&M.
Product Mix of H&M:
H&M has brought six special brands to the market. These brands cater to the needs of different customer segments and follow different pricing strategies. Each brand in its range is special with something unique to offer.
H&M: It is the leading brand by H&M with good quality and sustainable fashion to offer at prices that are affordable for most. Apart from latest in fashion this brand makes lasting classics which can be worn year after year. It makes a wide range of products including sportswear, underwear and cosmetics, accessories and shoes. H&M also sells home textiles and decorative items. This product range is refreshed and updated regularly. In 2015, H&M launched a beauty product’s line called H&M beauty. It sells both beauty and make up products.
& Other stories: It targets both the male and female customers’ segment. It sells a wide range of shoes, bags, jewellery, beauty, and other fashion items for the women. Apart from them it sells a large range of styling possibilities from masculine tailoring to feminine chic. & Other stories, launched in 2013, sells through 30 stores and online in 13 markets.
Cheap Monday: Cheap Monday also caters to the needs of both the sexes and in terms of fashion and style it bears the influence of street fashion and youth subway cultures. At its core is the modern denim rage which it complements with a vast range of clothing and accessories sold at affordable prices. The brand sells its products through 2000 retailers and in more than 35 markets.
COS: COS sells in 153 stores and 19 online markets. This fashion brand also caters to both men and women. It sells products that are modern in style and are timeless in terms of fashion. These styles do not easily grow outdated. In every aspect of its business, the brand is known for its focus on quality. Apart from them, it is known for great quality customer service and great packaging. Its stores are known for their cozy environment which creates a unique appeal for the brand in the customers’ minds.
Monki: Monki is aimed at young women but sells styles that are meant for all ages. Its products find inspiration in today’s fashions but bear a twist of Scandinavian and Asian street style.
Weekday: It is a modern fashion brand that sells international fashion styles. Weekday sells in-house brands as well as a selected range of styles by external designers.
H&M has seen a lot of expansion since its foundation. 2016 proved to be an eventful year for the brand when it added 427 new stores to its line of stores. It also added three new store markets and extended H&M’s online store to 11 new markets. H&M has followed an omni-channel strategy where it has used both online channels and physical stores to grow its reach. This extending presence of H&M has gifted it new opportunities and opened doors to more growth and revenue. Its unique portfolio of 4300 stores has brought it in close proximity to the customers. The brand is present in total 64 markets with its 4351 stores and online presence in 35 countries. The global network of H&M has kept growing and it is planning to push the line further.
In terms of pricing strategy, H&M has chosen a different path from Zara. While Zara has mainly focused on affordable pricing, H&M has gone a slightly different route. It caters to not only the middle class but also sells fashion and style for the higher end customers. Its main brand H&M and Cheap Monday provide affordable fashion products. The other brands also sell varying designs and styles at variable prices meant to cater to all customer segments including upper and lower middle class.
In the 21st century there have come great shifts in the way brands market themselves and their products. H&M has also focused heavily on digital marketing. It has integrated the digital and the physical for better marketing and sales. This has been done in order to provide the customers with a seamless shopping experience. Its digitization strategy includes online purchases and returns in stores, click & collect, mobile payments, developing the customer club and using mobile devices in stores for increased customer service. The brand has also used digital services for great marketing. Apart from its websites, through which it serves its customers in 35 countries, H&M has used social media for marketing and promotions. Its Facebook account has more than 32 million followers. The brand uses its Facebook account to market its products and events. Apart from that it has also used Twitter to market its products and brands. It has used different Twitter accounts for different markets like H&M USA, H&M UK and more. We will take a deeper look at H&M’s social media strategy in another post. However, one thing is clear and that is with the movement of the customers towards the digital, the brand has also taken a firm step towards digitization which features prominently in its marketing strategy.