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Zalando's new brand values for the digital age

Zalando’s director marketing strategy and campaigns, Jonathan Ng, told delegates at the Drapers Fashion Forum why brands must adapt to the new digital-first landscape.

“We live in a digital age, where consumer behaviour has changed forever,” said Ng. “Our ambition is to become the starting point for fashion.”

Ng explained that digital technology has transformed whole industries from music to entertainment to travel, fashion and beauty – and brands must adapt to this new world. As platforms and marketplaces dominate, the rules of engagement have changed. 

He said it is no longer about talking to one customer segment but to many – not about having one identity or look and feel, but many. In this complex and ever-changing world, brands must adapt to the new digital-first landscape.

Ng described how Zalando is evolving for the digital age:

  • Brand matters more than ever before and is a secret weapon for Zalando: when there are many options, but little time, it helps people decide. It connects what we do as a company with what consumers want. It becomes a springboard for storytelling.
  • It is no easy task to achieve: Zalando has more than 2,000 brands, 17 markets and multiple services, many consumer groups with different needs, massive cultural shifts challenging the role of fashion and identity.
  • Technology has changed, but people are still people: it’s not just about one consumer group, it’s about talking to many, many different kinds. We have to realise what people think about fashion: it’s that fashion is an instant language that expresses who we are and who we might want to be.

So, what will change at Zalando?

  • Where it was once “trusted and reliable”, it will become a fashion-savvy friend
  • “Transactions” will convert to “inspiration and shopping”
  • “Known” will be translated to “loved”
  • One-to-all brand definition will become segmented and flexible

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