H&M considers sustainable practices as long-term investments: Amit Kothari
In the dynamic world of fashion, staying ahead requires not just an understanding of trends but also an ability to connect with customers on a deeper level. H&M, a global fashion giant, has consistently proven its mettle by weaving innovation, affordability, and sustainability into its brand fabric.
In an exclusive conversation with Adgully, Amit Kothari, Regional Head of Marketing & Customer Activation at H&M India, delves into the intricate threads that make H&M’s Festive Collection shine brighter each year. From the strategic use of digital platforms to the seamless integration of physical and online channels, H&M’s approach to marketing and customer engagement reflects a commitment to accessibility, style, and sustainability.
Making each year’s Festive Collection unique is important. How does H&M plan to make this year’s collection stand out compared to the previous years?
With each year, we try to give our consumers an experience like never before by way of our collection and campaign. For this year’s festive season, we have Athiya Shetty as our muse. Athiya embodies the spirit of the collection, radiating sophistication and glamour in a gold-embroidered ensemble, and this visual setting is captured by renowned fashion photographer Gregory Harris.
The heart of our strategy lies in captivating our audience with radiant designs, a vibrant colour palette, and ensembles that truly stand out. What makes these offerings even more special is that they are not only stylish but also thoughtfully designed to be incredibly affordable, ensuring that fashion is accessible to all.
We have curated a wide-ranging selection of festive outfits that boasts of party-ready ensembles, including bold statement suits, elegant party dresses, and versatile co-ord sets for Women. Men can also explore a variety of options, from printed resort shirts, eye-catching graphic tees, and coordinated sets to classic formal shirts and coach jackets. Kids have their own dazzling choices, with shimmering dresses for girls and a versatile range of comfortable and stylish options for boys.
H&M’s commitment to presenting a collection that combines affordability, style, and inclusivity, while adding an element of sophistication and glamour, ensures that this year’s collection will indeed resonate with our customers.
What are the key trends and standout pieces that customers can expect to see in the Festive Collection this year? Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the fashion industry.
We have incorporated a range of trends and standout pieces that are sure to captivate our customers. The overarching theme of this collection is inspired by the significance of light, drawing inspiration from elements like candles, lanterns, and fireworks. We’ve woven this inspiration into the collection with an abundance of sequins, rhinestones, and luxurious satin, ensuring that every piece exudes glamour and sophistication.
The key pieces in the Festive Collection encompass a red trouser suit adorned with stylish tie-up detail, dresses featuring chic asymmetric necklines, and all-over sequined tops, along with sophisticated blazers and dresses. To elevate the elegance of the looks, we offer an array of bold and eye-catching jewellery, bijou bags, elegant strappy shoes, and sleek pointed flats, all available at budget-friendly prices.
H&M has always been at the forefront of the fashion industry. With our global initiatives like Garment Collect, Bring Your Own Bag and Praline Bags, we strive to bring positive change towards a more sustainable future. Our unwavering commitment is further exemplified by our ambitious goal to achieve 100% sustainability in our operations by 2030. We believe that fashion and sustainability can go hand in hand, and we're taking proactive steps to lead the way towards a more responsible fashion industry.
How has H&M marketed itself for the Festive season? Could you provide details on the channels and platforms you’ve used to cast a wider net and reach your target audience?
We understand the importance of reaching out to customers in various locations and demographics, that is why we are continuously exploring new avenues to expand our presence. With our multifaceted approach, we have ensured to connect with our valued customers in a highly effective manner. Through an all-encompassing 360-degree marketing strategy, we have engaged our consumers across a diverse array of platforms. These platforms span from Out-of-home (OOH) advertising to Digital OOH, Television, Print media, Cinema, and a robust presence on Social Media channels.
In today’s digital age, the role of digital and social media is crucial for reaching a large audience. Could you elaborate on how H&M has leveraged these platforms in your festive season marketing efforts?
Leveraging Digital and Social Media channels has been the cornerstone of our festive season marketing strategy. We have crafted visually compelling posts, engaging video content, and interactive stories to showcase the elegance of our Collection. With a combination of OTTs, targeted advertising, and Connected TV along with traditional TV and social media, we have built an incremental reach and ensured our offerings reach the right demographics.
A key component of our strategy was to engage with influencers in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities such as Ludhiana, Mangalore, Lucknow, and Patna. By collaborating with local influencers, we have been able to influence the buying behaviour of the customers and enhance the reach in these areas.
Taking our efforts to the next level, we also forged a partnership with a popular general entertainment channel reality show, ‘SaReGaMaPa’. This collaboration marked a significant milestone for H&M, as it was the first time we associated with a general entertainment channel reality show. As the fashion partner for ‘SaReGaMaPa’ during the campaign period, we seamlessly integrated our festive collection into the show. This strategic move allowed us to tap into the extensive viewership of the show and connect with a broader and more diverse audience. This partnership not only expanded our reach but also added an element of entertainment to our campaign.
H&M has a strong presence in both physical stores and online. How does the brand approach the integration of these two sales channels to provide a seamless shopping experience for customers?
At H&M, we believe in putting our customers at the center of everything we do. We have worked hard to create a truly seamless shopping experience that lets customers choose how they want to interact with us. Whether they prefer to visit one of our physical stores or browse our online selection, we have got them covered. Our strategy is all about giving customers the flexibility and convenience they need to shop on their own terms.
To enhance the shopping experience, we also offer omni-channel features such as ‘Scan & Buy’ and ‘Image Search’. These tools empower customers to shop online while in physical stores and to easily find in-store products available online, providing convenience and flexibility. That means they can shop with confidence, knowing that they will always have access to our full range of products. We’re proud to bridge the gap between our physical and digital inventories, ensuring that all our customers have a smooth and stress-free shopping experience every time they visit us.
A key aspect of this approach is the alignment of content and messaging across both channels, ensuring that the message and inspiration remain coherent, regardless of whether customers are shopping in physical stores or online. The brand’s marketing campaigns are carefully designed to span both channels, promoting a cohesive brand image.
Additionally, customer support is offered across multiple channels, including phone, email, chat, and social media, ensuring that customers can access assistance in their preferred way. Despite variations in customer cohorts, the brand maintains pricing and offers that are uniform, building trust with customers and reaffirming its commitment to fair and equitable pricing.
How does H&M perceive and react to global economic shifts, and how do these factors influence the brand’s pricing and affordability strategies in comparison to industry norms?
At H&M, we constantly monitor global economic shifts and adapt our strategies to keep our pricing and quality in line with industry standards. Our main goal is to offer high-quality fashion at affordable prices, and we remain committed to this mission.
When faced with economic fluctuations, we thoroughly evaluate its impact on our costs, including raw materials, production, and transportation expenses. We always strive to navigate these challenges while maintaining our commitment to quality, which is an essential part of our brand identity.
The brand has made significant strides in local sourcing, further emphasising our commitment to supporting local economies and reducing the carbon footprint associated with transportation. We consider sustainable practices as long-term investments that ultimately enhance the affordability of our products. By reducing waste, minimising our environmental impact, and improving working conditions, we aim to keep our products cost-effective while setting positive standards in the industry.