Uniqlo is a popular clothes store in Japan which many have compared to the Gap in the US. The range of products, pricing and service are all good, but what really makes Uniqlo stand out for me are the unique marketing strategies they use to build their brand.
When dealing with a one-fashion fits all supermarket style product it can be difficult to achieve a unique brand that carries the image of cool. Through the use of some clever marketing Uniqlo is doing just that.
Model Photo shoots
Uniqlo have made accessible to internet users live camera footage of their model shoots. It is interesting to see how quick each individual session is, with the models walking from the waiting area to the main studio, photographing a quick 3-5 minute shoot and then going back out.
The project is based around the popular model Moe Oshikiri, hence the name oshikiri in the url. Moe Oshikiri has been modelling for Anecan, cancam and other magazines as well as TV commercials. She is also a designer, starting her own Kimono line.
Tilt shift photography, where the items are made to look miniature, is quite popular at the moment. Uniqlo have made an online calendar using this technology. It is a great example of promoting the brand message without just showing people the product.
Here is an example of the calendar. When you see it full size it looks much more impressive.
Uniqlo Fashion Map
Another great idea to show off the clothing while people can focus on the city at the same time. The Uniqlo fashion map highlights places in Tokyo.
How many of the places do you recognize from the Fashion Map? I am sure you can pick the following 2 locations easily.
The March project was designed to allow the user to participate online, or actually apply as a model to be a part in the march. It shows people marching through the country and city in different situations.
The website is linked directly to the online shopping site, allowing the user to purchase products they have seen in the march scene.
There is also a dedicated Tokyo March version of this site: http://www.uniqlo.com/march/#TokyoMarch
This website gives the full background to this project.
This was billed as research entertainment. It is an interesting way to show a lot of feedback data Uniqlo have collected from customers.
This is the downloadable desktop version of a number of Uniqlo’s media products. It is a good way for them to connect with customers directly on to the desktop. The download is about 50MB and includes a number of Uniqlo commercials as well as the featured calendar.
You can access this download from here.
Another great example of letting the consumer see what is going on behind the brand, here are some auditions for a Uniqlo project called uniqlock.
The uniqlo grid is an online interactive game where you can generate, rotate, combine, divide, and remove UNIQLO squares from a grid. You can play with people from all over the world, up to 50 at one time.
Interestingly, most of the Uniqlo marketing does not contain a lot of hard to translate words. Most of the story is told in pictures that anyone from any language and culture can understand. This is a clever way to build a global brand.
As the Uniqlo website says:
Uniqlo from Tokyo to the World
What is your favorite Uniqlo marketing project?