Amancio Ortega Gaona opened the first Zara store in 1975. Ten years later Gaona established Inditex as a holding company whose portfolio included manufacturing and distribution businesses as well as the Zara retail operation. That's when the brand-building fun began.
Okay, it's not the Inditex brand that we admire (another bad acronym name
, Inditex stands for Industria de Diseño Textil, S.A.) as much as it is Inditex's formidable portfolio of brands.
Creating a new name in retail fashion is hard work. So with the Zara brand at its disposal, what did Inditex do? It launched four completely new brands, spun off two sub-brands and acquired two existing brands. And – equally impressively – it manages to keep each one of them fresh for a wide range of customers with predilections that change at the speed of light.
|1991: Inditex creates Pull & Bear
||1995: Inditex acquires 100% of Massimo Dutti
|1998: Inditex launches Bershka
||1999: Inditex buys Stradivarius
|2001: Inditex establishes Oysho
||2003: Inditex makes Zara Home an independent concept
|2008: Inditex opens Uterqüe
||And while it's not on the corporate timeline, it's worth mentioning Zara Kids, which has a growing number of independent retail stores.
In hopes of keeping this post short and sweet, we won't show that each of these brands has its own well-developed visual presence – but trust us, each one does, and we encourage you to visit their websites. The reason a portfolio strategy works for Inditex is that they did and do invest heavily in each of their brands.
In many of our engagements, clients entertain the notion of establishing new brands for new products or services. While we'd love the work of defining and executing those brands, we help our clients think through two issues first:
- Is the new product's or service's value proposition really so different that the existing corporate brand or an existing product or service brand won't do it justice?
- Is the client willing to dedicate the resources it requires to develop a new brand and support it for the long term?
Only if the answer to both of these question is a resounding, unqualified 'Yes!' do we recommend considering a portfolio strategy. And hey, with a market cap of roughly €34B, it seems to have worked for Inditex.