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Zara Company’s Sustainability and Innovation Case Study

Zara Model Sustainability

Zara model is a sustainable business. A sustainable business is one that impacts the environment positively. Such a business has no negative impacts to the environment. For instance, it is keen on matters affecting the environment. It adheres to both national and international standards for environment management. An example of these standards is the corporate social responsibilities. In this case study, Zara meets the above definition of a sustainable business.

For instance, when the authors describe the success of the Zara model, they attribute it not only to innovation, but also to observation of standards and operating on low cost. It is important to understand that a business that is keen on standards, operational cost, and innovations, creates a suitable environment for success and sustainability. Adhering to standards helps a business avoid conflicts from the government, community, and other stakeholders. Operating on low costs maximizes a business profit, providing it with enough revenue for sustainability. Last, application of innovation helps a business to respond to changes in their environment reducing chances of failing.

Several actions and practices can be implemented to preserve the Zara model edge in the next 5-10 years. First, motivation of creativity and innovation in this business is essential to preserve the sustainability. From the case, Zara sustainability also relies on innovation. Therefore, continued motivation of innovation in the business will help respond to daily changes in this business environment. In addition, innovation will help develop an effective competition with other businesses, which produce similar products.

Second, integrating principles of sustainability in decisions affecting Zara model are vital in preserving sustainability. Any decision made in a business determines the future magnitude of that particular business. Preservation of Zara model sustainability is also dependant on its decisions. Therefore, before making any decision, it will be better to ensure the decision is in line with the principles of a sustainable business. For instance, a decision made by the stakeholders of this business should not have a negative effect on the environment.

Third, this business sustainability will be enhanced by respecting the standards put in place by the government and other business regulating bodies. Standards helps a business develop a good relationship with the elements in its environment. Some of the standards a business is supposed to respect include respect of workers rights, human rights, preservation of the environment, and adoption of suitable production technologies. Therefore, by respecting such standards, this business will benefit from increased profits and creation of good relationships.

Finally, as explained above, preservation of Zara sustainability will depend on implementation and observation of certain practices. They include motivation of creativity and innovation, integrating sustainability principles with the business decisions, and respecting standards governing business environments. Failure to adhere to such practices leads to failure of a business because its sustainability is lost.

Advice on an innovation strategy

When businesses need to make a certain decision, it has to be sure that the decision may affect its plan either positively or negatively. It becomes crucial for a business to ensure that the strategy it employs will work toward achieving its objectives. A strategy that works for a certain business is not likely to work for a similar business in a different environment or location. As a consultant to a small firm seeking to emulate lessons from Zara and Benetton in developing an innovation strategy, I would offer the advices below to the smaller firm.

The innovation strategy should be compatible with the values and culture of the firm. The firm should understand that its current success is based on its cultures and values and not another firms ideas. In this case, the new strategy should not ignore the current cultures and values. Therefore, while emulating Zara and Benetton, the firm should find aspects from these two firms, which are compatible with the ideas and capabilities that they already have. However, when the firm decides to change its cultures and values, by emulating their models completely, it should be cautious because the emulated strategy may not work for them, ruining the success of the firm.

The firm should be cautious of the risks involved in adopting a new innovation strategy. In adopting a new innovation strategy, it is not a guarantee that the firm will succeed or make benefits from the strategy. The firm should develop a risk management plan to counter the risks that the strategy may bring to the business. For example, the firm may face the risk of increased operational cost, negative response form the community, and loss of customers. In addition, the firm should also find the technological risks involved considering the fact that technology will be vital for the firm to compete with other businesses. Therefore, a risk management plan will help the firm reduce the chances of the new strategy failing to give expected results.

The firm should develop the workforce responsible for the new innovation strategy. Zara and Benetton have developed there workforces that specializes in the innovation process. A good workforce ensures the reliability of the new strategy. It is also important to clearly define the role of each element in the workforce to enhance teamwork. Lack of personal capabilities can lead to strategy failure. The firm should be cautious and not emulate the workforce used by their models, because these models are larger firms and hence the workforce that works for them may not work for a smaller firm.

The firm should develop different techniques of evaluating and appraisal of the innovation strategy. Evaluation and appraisal are essential in managing the weakness of a new innovation. Through evaluation, the firm will find areas of the strategy that need to be advanced. In addition, the firm can find if the strategy is producing desired results. In summary, a small firm emulating Benetton and Zara (large firms), should prepare on how to manage and control the new features and behaviours that they emulate.

Opening using same business Model and Deploying the same Innovative Strategy

A business innovative strategy and model are critical in its successes. Each business is unique, making there innovation strategies and models different. This means that similar businesses have different models and innovation strategies. This implies that when a business emulate another business innovation strategy and model without making changes, it is likely to fail. Therefore, in this case, I think Zara Home will not succeed for using the basic business model and innovative strategy.

Environmental changes affect business models and innovative strategies. In a business environment, change occurs daily showing the need for daily improvement. It becomes a duty for the business management to find out what is going to work for them, when the change occurs. This implies that a business will have to frequently change its business model and innovation strategies. Therefore, a business model and innovative strategy used previously is likely not to work at the present moment.

Use of an old business model and innovation strategy increases risks to a business. As explained above, a business is supposed to be updating its status on daily basis because changes occur daily in business environments. Using an innovation strategy and a business model, designed to be used previously, exposes a business to new and numerous risks. This is because the model and strategy may not be suitable to cater for current needs. In addition, they are not designed to protect the business from new risks hence exposing the business to the risk of collapsing.

Using a similar business model and innovation strategy for along period affects customers’ levels of satisfaction. As time changes, customers also change their preferences and expectations. A business is forced to frequently work out on ways that will help satisfy the customer in response to their current desires. In addition, Zara is an international business, which serves customers of different backgrounds. This means that use of a similar innovation strategy and business model will limit new opportunities and satisfying the needs by different customers. Lack of new opportunities and customer satisfaction limits the expansion of the business. Therefore, when Zara home uses an old innovation strategy and business model, it is likely to fail because it is difficult to satisfy their customers’ current needs and expectations.

In summary, when Zara use a similar innovation strategy and business model, it will not succeed. This is because this practice denies it an opportunity to meet current customer needs, and effective management of risks. This scenario denies the business a quick response to the changing needs in the business environment.

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1. IvyPanda. "Zara Company's Sustainability and Innovation." July 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/zara-companys-sustainability-and-innovation/.


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IvyPanda. 2020. "Zara Company's Sustainability and Innovation." July 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/zara-companys-sustainability-and-innovation/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Zara Company's Sustainability and Innovation'. 23 July.

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