Fashion loves a game-changer, and ZOZO is among the industry’s most ambitious innovators. A spin-off of Japanese fashion eComm giant Zozotown, the private label set out to revolutionize the business of fit. Bodies don’t come standard, the company reasoned, so why should clothing? Determined to ease the pain of finding clothes that look and feel good, ZOZO dreams of a size-free world, with its ZOZOSUIT technology as the savior of style.
ZOZO founder Yusaku Maesawa is a bit of an enfant terrible in the Japanese business community. Despite his billions in net worth, he wears jeans and t-shirts, loves skateboarding and recently decided to fly to the moon. His latest obsession is size-free fashion, a dream he indulged by developing ZOZOSUIT, an at-home fit tool that captures your exact measurements and hooks you up with custom-fit clothes. It’s also very, very Instagrammable.
As ZOZO prepared to go global, the challenge was to capture the attitude of an eccentric Japanese fashion tycoon in a brand voice that translates to many cultures. We needed to teach the brand to speak about its breakthrough fit technology in a way that creates euphoria around the idea of a size-free world. Toyota, but make it fashion.
To get the feel for the ZOZO culture, a full brand immersion was in order. After sitting down with the Los Angeles-based team and listening to their hopes and dreams, we began to formulate a brand voice strategy that positions ZOZO as the answer to the failings of fashion, fit being the main culprit.
Once we admitted that fit was a problem, we were on our way to recovery from standardized sizing and its limitations. The ZOZO brand voice would be focused on the euphoria of fit, that Toyota feeling you get when your clothes arrive at your door and they actually work for your body. At last, a size-free world!
A robust brand voice strategy exercise trickled down to a starter style guide that governs all brand communications. Inside, we packed writing rules and word lists, along with proprietary terms for ZOZO’s unique fit technology. Finally, we provided sample copy for the ZOZO site showing the new voice in action.