Zalando debuts new brand direction based on ‘Free to Be’ slogan

Sep 11, 2019
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European e-commerce specialist Zalando today (Tuesday) unveiled a new brand positioning and claim as part of a reinvention effort to capture an even larger share of the online fashion market.

AW19 campaign - Photo: Courtesy of Zalando

The Berlin-based e-tailer, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, is using its latest Autumn Winter campaign to reveal its new slogan ‘Free to Be’ - the company’s first official brand slogan since 2012’s ‘Scream of Joy’.

The new direction aims to help Zalando build stronger and more emotional connections with its customers, boosting loyalty and engagement along the way because loyal customers shop more and more often.

“We believe in a world where everyone is free to be themselves, regardless of size, age, gender or background. Zalando wants to become the Starting Point for Fashion, catering to every style from casual to street, basics to premium – enabling our customers to express their personal sense of style with us,” Jonny Ng, Director of Marketing Strategy & Campaigns, explains.

So the AW19 campaign, developed by London-based creative agency Grey, features a diverse cast, including alopecian model Alice Hurel, teen ballet dancer Leroy Mokgatle, plus-size and body positive activist Felicity Hayward and non-binary model Rain Dove.

“The campaign features a diverse cast who differ in body shape, break with stereotypes or defy traditional gender roles. Our cast is not afraid to show the world who they really are and they use fashion to express their identity. This freedom is what we want all our customers to feel. When you are free to wear what you want and be who you want, nothing can hold you back,” continues Jonny Ng.

The extensive brand campaign will include a TV commercial launching on 15 September, as well as print, out-of-home, online and social media content. Social channels like TikTok, Twitch, Youtube and Instagram will be used in the media mix.



Zalando’s new ‘Free to Be’ slogan is debuting with the AW19 campaign, but it will continue to frame the company’s marketing activity well after the winter season, with the e-tailer saying it will be key to taking the brand “to the next level”.

“We are on a mission to reimagine fashion for the good of all, to build a brand that empowers, represents and entertains millions of customers across Europe,” Zalando’s marketing boss announced.

In fact, the brand is rethinking the entire business strategy, giving brand partnerships a stronger emphasis in a bid to become “the Starting Point for Fashion”. The ultimate goal is to create a platform where brands sell directly to customers and shoppers can find a wide and tailored assortment of sizes and styles for every occasion. 

The new strategy is designed to put the German e-commerce giant on a path to achieve €20 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) within five years.

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