NY Times article on the clothing brand Zara and was impressed by how they managed to create and sustain demand for their products. First of all, they are faceless, their founder never having given an interview and their designers nameless:
Ortega has never given an interview, according to his communications department, nor does he attend award ceremonies or parties. He rarely allows his picture to be taken. Pablo Isla, who took over the company when the 76-year-old Ortega stepped down as chairman last year, rarely gives interviews or waves to the camera, either. In fact, the public face of Inditex is its soft-spoken communications director, Jesus Echevarría, who, as I discovered during a recent visit to the Inditex complex, is perhaps the only communications director on the planet who all but apologizes whenever he must answer questions about Inditex’s runaway success.
Inditex owes none of its success to advertising. That’s because Inditex doesn’t advertise. It hardly even has a marketing department, and it doesn’t engage in flashy campaigns, as its competitors do, teaming up with fashion designers like Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld, Martin Margiela and Marni. Zara’s designers are completely anonymous; some would say this is because they are copiers rather than designers.
I actually think this is one of the bigger benefits of having an anonymous blog -- being nameless and faceless just makes it easier for people to project what they want to see onto you.
Zara doesn't self-promote, instead they let their satisfied customers talk them up:
“In New York, they did one page saying they were opening — in The New York Times,” Echevarría said. “But it’s not a campaign; it’s an announcement; it’s information. The company does not talk about itself. The idea was that the client was to talk about the company. It was not to say how good it could be. The customer would say that if it was deserved.”
This is one of my favorite ways to seduce, partly because I'm actually very lazy about it. I would much rather just become known as somewhat of a desired commodity and have people come to me rather than the other way around. Although I do sometimes go out with the goal of meeting people and can be very aggressive when I want to be, I find that I get better longterm results this way. People think it's their choice and that gives them a false sense of control and they have an incentive to keep justifying the choice to themselves (who wants to admit they were wrong?) by continuing to idealize me.
Zara is not a one-model fits all operation, it (sneakily) tries to closely follow the idiosyncrasies of its clientele:
But a brand at Inditex will make a fall collection, for example, and then ship only three or four dresses or shirts or jackets in each style to a store. There’s very little leftover stock, few extra-smalls or mediums hiding in the back. But store managers can request more if there’s demand. They also monitor customers’ reactions, on the basis of what they buy and don’t buy, and what they say to a sales clerk: “I like this scooped collar” or “I hate zippers at the ankles.” Inditex says its sales staff is trained to draw out these sorts of comments from their customers. Every day, store managers report this information to headquarters, where it is then transmitted to a vast team of in-house designers, who quickly develop new designs and send them to factories to be turned into clothes.
That means that if Inditex stores in London, Tokyo and São Paulo all have customers responding enthusiastically to, let’s say, sequined cranberry-colored hot pants, Inditex can deliver more of these, or a variation on hot pants, sequins or that cranberry color, to stores within three weeks. The company tries to keep the stock fresh; one promise its stores make is that you will always be buying something nearly unique. Merchandise moves incredibly quickly, even by fast-fashion standards. All those thousands of Inditex stores receive deliveries of new clothes twice a week.
This reminded me of the way I will constantly datamine little tidbits of information on people to add to my mental dossiers of them that help me cater to their unique desires.
Finally, they promote a feeling of scarcity, causing people to want to buy when they feel the urge because the opportunity may never present itself again:
In this way, says Masoud Golsorkhi, the editor of Tank, a London magazine about culture and fashion, Inditex has completely changed consumer behavior. “When you went to Gucci or Chanel in October, you knew the chances were good that clothes would still be there in February,” he says. “With Zara, you know that if you don’t buy it, right then and there, within 11 days the entire stock will change. You buy it now or never. And because the prices are so low, you buy it now.”
This one is probably the hardest for me to pull off if I am honestly interested in the person, but I have seen it be very effective when I truly am only feeling a fleeting interest in a person. Ah well, there is always room for improvement.