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Will Zara Conquer China?

Zara, the main brand of Inditex, one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, is trying to expand globally according to The Economist.

What’s the secret of Zara’s success? The company market strategy is based on sourcing just over half of its products from Spain, Portugal and Morocco. This strategy means spending more money in the production phase but at the same time cutting the supply chain costs. In this way, Zara can see what customers are actually buying, produce it and then sell it straightaway, avoiding unwanted stock.

For now, Inditex’s market is mainly Europe, where it sold 70 percent of its products in 2011. However, Europe is suffering from stagnation, and Inditex needs new markets. Therefore, the chairman, Pablo Isla, is planning to invest in China.

Iria Campos, a Zara designer, says Chinese women tend to buy pastels, instead of the stronger colours Europeans prefer, because they flatter their pale skin. Generally speaking, however, European and Chinese’s tastes are surprisingly close. Nonetheless, Zara’s prices are higher than those of its Chinese competitors. So, if they want to expand into the Chinese market, they will need to successfully market the quality level of their clothing.

By | April 12th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Table Etiquette – The West

  • Put your napkin in your lap shortly after you sit down. As you use it, blotting or patting your lips is preferable to a wiping the napkin aggressively across your lips.
  • If you leave the table, place the napkin, folded loosely, to the left of the place setting. Position it so that the dirty part is out of sight.
  • If you wish to bring a guest as your partner, you should always check with the host first. If you are the one hosting the party and a guest of yours arrives with an unexpected friend, be polite and courteous with them and speak with your inconsiderate guest at another time.
  • It is considered polite to take along a small gift for your host and hostess. Flowers, chocolates, wine or even champagne are always appreciated.
  • It is good dinner table etiquette to serve the lady sitting to the right of the host first, then the other ladies in a clockwise direction and lastly the gentlemen.
  • Unlike other cultures, it is acceptable to leave some food to one side of your plate or to eat all of your food. But, be careful not to leave your plate too clean – as if you haven’t eaten in days.
  • Loud eating noises such as slurping and burping are very impolite.
  • Talking with your mouth full is not only unpleasant to watch, but it could also lead to choking. Definitely avoid this action!
By | April 12th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Six Creativity Lessons by Thomas Edison

Psychology Today has recently published an article by Michael Michalko, one of the most highly acclaimed creativity experts in the world. This article discusses six creativity lessons that emerged from a review of the way Thomas Edison worked.

1) Challenge all assumptions

Edison used to invite every candidate assistant to dinner. If the person salted the soup before tasting it, he would not hire him for the job because he wanted people who consistently challenged assumptions.

2) Quantity

He set idea quotas for all his workers because he believed that, in order to discover a good idea, you need to generate many ideas. It took in fact over 50,000 experiments to invent the alkaline storage cell battery and 9000 to perfect the light bulb.

3) Nothing is wasted

Edison's notebooks contain pages of material on what he learned from experimental failures. When an experiment failed, he would always ask what the failure revealed and would enthusiastically record what he had learnt.

4) Constantly improve your ideas and products and the ideas and products of others

Edison studied all his inventions and ideas as points of departure for other inventions and often drew inspiration from titles of books, failed patents and research papers written by other inventors.

5) Turn deficiencies into your advantage

Edison had hearing problems and received requests from hearing-impaired people all over the world to invent a hearing aid, but he declined because he thought his so-called disability gave him valuable mental space in which to think.

6) Record your ideas and thoughts

Edison had a deep-rooted need to write down his ideas in order to see for himself the relentless cause-and-effect nature of many of his works.

By | April 11th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments
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