ASOS is the UK’s answer to Spain’s ZARA and Japan’s Uniqlo. It’s a fast fashion e-commerce brand, in case you didn’t know. On their website, they claim to be the “1st e-commerce brand to sign a labour rights agreement with global trade union, IndustriALL.” Out of the starting bloc, this is not too shabby.
The brand targets young people in their twenties though this does not mean older consumers are not welcomed.
ASOS sells clothes, shoes, accessories and beauty products online.
Is ASOS a cool brand? It certainly is a tech-savvy brand and this might lean towards it being cool for that reason alone. More than half of the company’s sales are completed online through its mobile apps. Indeed, mobile is a huge part of its sales and marketing strategy, though other strategies have reportedly proven successful for the brand including email marketing. This is consistent with the demographic it targets as millennials are more inclined to shop online and on their mobile phones that more mature age groups. And yea, maybe millennials are just intrinsically cooler than the rest of us.
And by the way, the company does give back to these young people in very meaningful ways. To wit; they are involved in sending sanitary kits to girls in Kenya and in financing care homes in India for young people (according To their website )
The brand was created in 2000 by entrepreneur Nick Robertson and some of his employees, says Wikipedia. As noted, the company is a London-based company with outposts in Paris, New York and Birmingham as well as online distributions sites in Australia, Italy and Spain. Recently, the company invested $40 million in “building out a distribution center in America” according to published reports. (Digiday.com)
ASOS sells products from other brands but it does have its own private label as well. It is website loved by celebrities, royalties (yes members of the royal family have been known to wear their garbs) and regular joes and jills alike. Reality TV star and British entrepreneur Lucy Mecklenburgh recently shared an Instagram post of herself wearing a short red sparkly dress from ASOS which cost about 85 pounds and she received a big write up about it in several British press. The dress apparently sold out as a result.
The company is very active on social media and uses sites like Instagram (especially Instagram stories) to help their brand awareness campaign. According to their ceo their key strategy on social media is all about “delivering brand message, driving awareness and engagement, and entertaining their audience.”
Another thing that is cool about ASOS is that they are all about “promoting a positive body image” across gender, and even use gender-neutral sizing in some of their designs. They started several hashtags to that end including #asseenonm and #mysenseofself. The company also seems really keen on celebrating individual style and this is a jugé positive.
As far as their business culture goes, ASOS seems to be on the right track in terms of their stated goals for their brand. On their website they say that “fashion with integrity epitomizes our approach to business.” Integrity, indeed, is one of their key buzzwords. Others are “sustainability”and “ethical trading.”
It is that concern for sustainability that reportedly led the company to change its return policy recently. ASOS was known to have a very lax and free-wheeling return policy in the past but this led to customers abusing the privilege and this in turn led to a heavy environmental footprint as billions of pounds of returned merchandise ended up in landfills and contributed to the toxic air we all end up breathing. So, they have recently announced that because they care so much about the environment, they will be tweaking their return policy.
If the management truly follows through on these stated goals, then good for ASOS.boardboardboardboardboardboard