A(P)STOW CHALLENGE: H&M RFP Presentation by Matt Leader
Who are we talking to?Typical H&M customer is afashion-forward but cost-conscious 20-somethingprofessional or student.
What do they care about?• The good: H&M seen as young (88%), trendy (81%) and inexpensive (94%)• The bad: H&M products are seen as low-quality (68%) and the in-store experience as “chaotic” or “unpleasant” (27%).
Where else are they spending money?In addition to H&M, our shopperfrequents ZARA, Topshop andForever 21 for fast-fashionitems, The Gap & J. Crew (andwhere available, UNIQLO) forbasics, and aspires to shop atupscale boutiques or lower-enddesign houses.
Basic Problem:How different is H&M from the competition?“Not Much” – 82%
RFP touchstones fundrama energy uniqueness spontaneity fascination
Heart of the RFP: Needs To Be More Interesting.
What Won’t Help Already highlyMore “youthfulness” associated.More “designer Already highlytrendiness” associated. Already highly associated.
Goals:Break the Fast Fashion Follower Model.Associate H&M With “Style Leadership”.
Method:1. Focus. Clearly delineate between H&M Basics line and H&M Fashion line – through branding and in stores.2. For the fashion line, reverse the top-down designer-to- customer paradigm.3. Position H&M as uniquely authentic.
Step 1: Focus• Split fashion items from basics.• H&M Basics: “Everyday Standards.” • Create separate identity, dedicated areas in- store. • Easy to make and design. Small improvement in quality and price can draw customers from competition.
Step 2: H&M Fashion -Upend the fast-fashion model
Current Fast Fashion Model:Copy or co-brand designers’latest looks; hope trend-settersadopt them.New H&M Fashion Model:Crowdsource trend-setters andlet them identify/set styles.
H&M can find and empowerthese trendsetters by havingthe public submit design orcollection ideas that arevoted on in-store and on theweb.
H&M’s fashion line is thuspre-determined to be cool bya majority of customers; thebrand is seen as a leaderrather than a follower; itgains authenticity by beinggrassroots rather than top-down; and the range ofdesigns and collections willbe unique and interesting.
The first design challengewill be a pair of basketballshoes.
3 ways to bring Style Leadership to life (while selling a million pairs of shoes)
A. Make it Pinteresting Designs for shoes will be accepted in-store and on the web. Once chosen, the winning shoe will feature on H&M’s new Pinterest-like site, where customers are given the whole range of H&M goods online and invited to put together that season’s collection around the shoes.
B. Take it to the Global CourtH&M can partner withinternational basketballleagues and have differentteams wear the variouswinning H&M shoes on thecourt and in ads worldwide.Rather than the NBA, whichrequires huge brandinginvestment and offers onlyUS-style urban cool, thisapproach adds internationalflair on the (relative)cheap.
C. Change the Context Would the Pope wear a pair of H&M hi-tops if $3m were donated to a children’s charity? You never know.
1. 94% of target customers do not associate basketball with “cool”. That’s a big hill to climb. Are you open to a strategy that believes that basketball shoes are the wrong fit for the brand?2. What one fashion item in this year’s line most embodies H&M?3. How important is product quality to you? How important do you think it is to your customers?4. How much has each designer collaboration increased your net profit, on an aggregate and per-piece basis?5. How do you see H&M’s market position in five years?