If evidence were needed of how impactful collaborations can be in expanding customer bases, Gucci’s tie-up with Roblox in 2021 provides it. Under the oversight of then-creative director Alessandro Michele, the Kering-owned Italian house’s collaboration with the online gaming platform has been part of a bigger strategy to connect with different demographics, and thus helped cement Gucci as a favourite brand for Gen-Z, the generation aged between 12 and 25 years who account for approximately 25 percent of the global population.
A recent survey of nearly 1,000 US Gen-Z consumers by BoF Insights, in partnership with Juv Consulting, asked respondents to name their favourite brand. Though Nike was by far the top brand, Gucci followed in second place, ahead of Adidas and the only luxury brand to make the top 10. The survey forms part of a larger analysis conducted for BoF Insights’ latest report. “Gen-Z and Fashion in the Age of Realism,” which explores this generation’s relationship with fashion, their sources of style inspiration and the brands they most admire, and why.
Nike has gained favour with Gen-Z through a combination of its casual yet stylish apparel and footwear designs, creative collaborations, accessible price and high-profile marketing campaigns addressing social causes.
But Gucci, too, has found favour among Gen-Z, despite its pricey products being out of reach for most young consumers. The house’s efforts to engage younger consumers with experiments such as NFT drops and virtual spaces in Roblox, as well as streetwear and sportswear-oriented products and collaboration.
But Gen-Z is also gravitating towards fast and mid-tier brands, like H&M, Zara and Levi’s, as the latest BoF Insights report reveals. Shein, at number 10, is the only ultra-fast fashion brand to appear in the top 20, with our Gen-Z panelists noting that they primarily engage with the segment due to affordability and the frequency of new trend-driven products, but have the aspiration to trade up as their spending power continues to grow.
At the same time, focus groups conducted for the report said they also want to support sustainable and underrepresented brands. Yet affordability is important for this generation, with 66 percent of survey respondents indicating that price is one of the top three most important factors when buying from a fashion brand, followed by brand style and sustainability.
For more research and analysis on the topic, download BoF Insights report on “Gen-Z and the Age of Realism.”