Just recently, I did a little shopping. I was on the hunt for a silky white t-shirt and a black clutch. Just a few basics. Immediately, I knew either H&M or Zara would have exactly what I was looking for. Long story short, I found the t-shirt at Zara and the clutch at H&M. While I was looking for these items, I started to notice the feelings I had towards the two brands. Basically, I Zara and I hate H&M. This is weird because, not too long ago, I was a die hard H&M fan. What changed?
H&M vs Zara Venn Diagram
According to Zara’s Competitor’s Analysis, H&M is one of their biggest competitors. Before I go into this analysis of why I love Zara and hate H&M, Let’s look at the similarities and differences.
(Click on image to see large view)
Looking at the venn diagram above, H&M and Zara are similar in a sense that they both offer fast fashion at a very low price to men, women and children. H&M, in my opinion, is faster than Zara because they offer a lot more trendier pieces that do not last that long through time. H&M has very good basics that can last trough time, as long as you do not wash it too much. Zara, on the other hand is fast fashion that can be worn for a longer period of time because they are less trendy and more classic. When deciding on whether or not to choose H&M or Zara, one must ask themselves if they want to be on trend for a short amount of time, or if they want classic pieces that will last longer.
Target Market and Personalities
H&M’s target audience is both male and female and range from 8 months-35 years of age. The popular segment is female 16-26 years of age. The one thing that bugged me the most about shopping in H&M was the fact that I was shopping in the same store as a bunch of 16 year olds. I felt like the old hag in the club. Zara’s target audience is also both male and female. Zara does not like to define or segment its target market by age because they like to keep a broad audience, like H&M. However, Zara’s popular segment are young women ranging from 20-30 years of age. Needless to say, I felt a bit more comfortable in Zara.
I have always considered Zara to be H&M’s cool, more sophisticated, older sister. Zara’s brand identity is mature, confident, beautiful, modest, un-pretentious, and well-kempt. H&M’s brand identity is trendy, edgy, urban, free-spirited, and expressive. There are a lot of women my age who can really pull off the trendy and expressive look. They look cool and edgy. When I first started college, I use to be that trendy chick. The one downfall to being that trendy girl is the risk of having to update your closet every month because things fall out of style quickly. Now that I am older, I relate more to Zara’s brand identity.
The thing that I hate the most about H&M is their visual merchandising. H&M’s idea of merchandising is to put absolutely everything on the floor and cover every corner of the store with all kinds of clothing. No strategy needed. This makes shopping extremely difficult. It took me about an hour to look through the entire store to find one clutch I liked. It almost makes me wonder whether or not I even really like the clutch, or if I was just gave up and picked whatever I saw decent. Zara is very selective and only puts out half of their inventory on the floor. It is a lot easier to find what you are looking for.
As I get older, I get more selective when it comes to my brands. I search for more quality and less for a bargain. Do not get me wrong. I will still go to H&M, probably until I am 25, to buy my basic t-shirts and socks. However; for now on, my everyday looks will be coming from Zara.