Brief #118: Keeping up with Gen Z 🥵🌶

Welcome to Future of Marketing.

Every other week, we send you the most relevant trends, resources, and strategies in social and user-generated content (UGC) from leading marketers and brands around the globe. 

Today, we’re discussing Gen Z and breaking down what it takes to connect with this spicy generation – featuring our #BrandCrush: Abercrombie & Fitch. 💘

Let’s talk about Gen Z

Did you know:

Gen Z makes up more than 25% of the world’s population?

Did you also know that:

  • Millennials represent the largest group of consumers
  • Baby Boomers have the largest buying power 
  • and Gen Z’s spending power is on the rise? 

Let’s focus on Gen Z today. 😉

Here’s what you need to know about Gen Z: 

  • Huge appetite for short-form video
  • They value transparency and inclusivity
  • More likely to support brands that challenge social issues 
  • They trust user-generated content (UGC) more than brands

How brands are adapting to Gen Z:

To appeal to the younger generation, Abercrombie and Fitch (A&F) turned to TikTok to help shift away from their “preppy surfer” brand.

And it worked.

Now, “everyone” is talking about their successful comeback. 

Two models side by side. Abercrombie before: preppy surfer vibe vs. after chic, minimalist.

What A&F did:

While they invested in TikTok ads and collaborations, A&F ultimately discovered that UGC was more impactful. Through #AbercrombieHaul and #Abercrombie, Gen Z helped A&F transform from the “preppy surfer” vibe millennials grew up with – into a chic, more desirable brand.

For example:

A quick social search of “Abercrombie” on TikTok and Instagram will reveal millions of photos and videos posted by fans – A&F shopping hauls, outfit ideas, styling tips. Those are pure, organic testimonials! 🤌🏼

A TikTok search of "Abercrombie" reveals UGC with more than 100k views.

We watch reviews and hauls of our products. We take notes of how people describe the quality and fit. 

There’s an authenticity innate to TikTok and its entire community that has allowed us to humanize Abercrombie.

Carey Collins Krug, Senior VP and Head of Marketing for Abercrombie Brands

Abercrombie may not have millions of followers on TikTok (yet) – but the company’s success since turning to the platform in 2021 is clear. Just look at their stock in post-2020.

 spike in Abercrombie's stock post-2020

The lesson 📖

You’d be surprised at how impactful the voice of your customers can be.

If anything, A&F’s success demonstrates that UGC is incredibly powerful; UGC builds trust, sparks word-of-mouth, and alleviates the time (and money) it takes your team to create content…

Because your customers are already doing it for you. 

Hot take 🌶 

The beauty of TikTok is that once a product goes viral on the platform, it typically sells out. However, reaching Gen Z extends beyond just TikTok; it takes understanding consumer psychology and social media as a whole – knowing where your audience hangs out, how they consume content, what makes them convert into buyers, and why.

Deep dive 🤿

For more on connecting with Gen Z, watch one of our favorite aging millennials (🤭) interview two Gen Zers in our latest exclusive: “4 truths eCommerce retailers should know about Gen Z.”

Webinar recap: 4 truths eCommerce retailers need to know about Gen Z – from actual Zoomers

What we’re learning 💡

According to a study by InSites Consulting:

“Sixty-six percent (66%) of Gen Z consumers will pay more if a brand tries to have a positive impact on society.”

Q: What impact does your brand have on society?

In other news…

Shameless plug 🔌

A close up of the TINT platform

Want to learn what people are saying
about your brand? Give TINT a spin.

Closing thoughts 🔌

Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed today’s brief. 

Please share Future of Marketing with your friends on Twitter/Linkedin – and if you have any comments or questions, don’t hesitate to reply. 

Until next time. 🙂

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