Marketing to Gen Z: What The Fashion Business needs To Know
With their influence highly impacting the fashion industry, Generation Z and younger millennials (those under 30) are bound to change the way fashion brands market themselves. Gen Z (better known as zoomers) refers to those born between 1997 and 2015. And in 2021, as to date, they are aged between 6-24 and constitute almost 30% of the world’s population.
They are digitally engaged on a large scale. In addition, it is the first generation that has experienced technology since birth. Plain and simple; they are the new trendsetters as mankind moves into the future.
Gen Z Characteristics:
They care about a healthy environment and pressing social issues and have specific fashion tastes. That being said, it’s important for an apparel brand to stand for a cause that matters and actively participate in a cause to help society. And speaking of launching new business in 2022, the importance of the media is irrefutable to the power of success. In fact, a new social media monetization site, FansOnly is taking flight with zoomer entrepreneurs. In 2022, to grow your fashion business exponentially, media monetization sites will rise in importance as the customer-centric experience continues to evolve. FansOnly focus is to monetise media exposure and compartmentalise it for young entrepreneurs and new business.
Gen Zs are conscious about the world they’re living in and they strongly believe that they can change it for the better. But this generation is uniquely positioned to take on the future.
It’s no secret that the emergence of the digital sphere has helped fashion entrepreneurs become well-known. Entrepreneur Austin Barnard views the call to action as a vital organ in new business strategies. As the fashion industry becomes more transparent these days, social impact is at the top of the list for consumers – says Bernard. With zoomers growing in young adulthood, entrepreneurs like Austin Barnard will surely dedicate time to develop their social impact causes.
In fact, the power of social media has virtually revolutionized the industry. And here, I’d like to talk to you about a brand with its finger on the pulse. More to the point, this fashion takes creative pride in highlighting it’s apparel with a message for society to take notice.
That being said. Devanchey Bell founded the fashion brand Goodsinners during a time when the characteristic spirit of youth culture in America had manifested its beliefs and aspirations. In 2017, at the young age of 22, Bell set-out to create high-quality embroidered (screen-printed) apparel— with substance that can bring value to others. His design philosophy has a laser-focus on streetwear designs. Each design is made with powerful quotes as a message to others by expressing a complex point of view. Centered around giving back and bringing individuals together, the brand prints messages on cut-and-sew garments. Bell goal is to make a positive impact throughout the world by donating 5% of your purchase to the charity of your choice.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Founder Devanchey Bell about why he believes that Millennial and Gen Z consumers dig-deeper into the ethos of a fashion brand, how Goodsinners garments are used to communicate a message while bringing people together and what is means to her being a brand owner in one of the most important times in America history!
Joseph DeAcetis Briefly, Talk to Forbes about what your brand strategy is all about?
FOUNDER- Devanchey Bell: Our brand strategy is to provide affordable long lasting fashion with a meaningful causes infused within each product. We are building our company for the new age customer. We believe that Millennial and Gen Z consumers going forward will not only care about cool companies but dig deeper into the ethos of each companies values and causes they support. With each product we sell we allow our customers to choose whichever cause/ non for profit organization that matters to them the most the ability to donate to. We’re giving the customer the power to choose where their donation is going and we’re creating an echo system of giving back. Activism have inspired younger generations to be more invested in giving back more than ever before. Each purchase has the power to make a positive impact! The causes that matter to you, matter to us. Which is why we are donating 5%-10% of your purchase to the cause of your choice at no extra cost to you. We are committed to creating a better world, together. No matter how small, every action has an impact. Our focus is creating garments with substance that can bring value to others. The idea is to be more than a clothing company but a community focused on giving back to lower income communities and causes that matter to the world. Expanding into collaborations with non for profit organizations and major businesses. This leaves a lasting impression not only for the customer who purchases from us customer but consumers in general no matter the company you support. Our strategy is showing their dollar has the power to make change.
JD:With respect to fashion style, what makes your brand unique?
DB: Our prints are all made in house and printed here in chicago. Our vibrant colors and bold layered prints allows us to talk to our consumers through our clothing. We look at our t shirts as whiteboards and we express positive and impactful statements on them. From an art sense we use our shirts as canvas to speak to not only the consumer but everyone the consumer interacts with and comes across while wearing our shirt. Messages that can be understood from all walks of life. Recently NBA MVP Kevin Durant wore our “Peace” Hoodie and it garnered over 1 million plus impressions among all platforms. Each shirt/hoodie is made to be a conversation piece that inevitably leads them not only to talk about the brand but what the message means to them. Goodsinners is an open mood-board for social causes and positive messages. Our garments are used to talk to people and communicate our message while bringing people together. We all have more in common than what meets the eye. Some of us share the same background, goals, and even insecurities. Sometimes strength comes in knowing you are not alone.
JD: Describe the current Spring/Summer 2022 collection in detail? style, colors, prints, shapes?
DB: S/S 22 will feature many styles as we are expanding into more cut and sew garments as. We will keep our same signature style but we will go more in dept with vibrant colors and more 1 of 1 prints. Embroidery letterman’s and drop shoulder shirts, and faucet bead braclets. Our main focus on S/S22 are hand made pieces 1 of 1 pieces that our source with vintage t shirts.
JD: What sustainable efforts will be aiming for as the collection progresses?
DB: As the brand grows we plan on continuing our sustainable efforts. All of our workers in our printshop are paid a livable wage no forced labor and every shirt is made and purchased here in the USA under safe working conditions. In 2022 we are rolling a program to offer free shipping labels in hopes to get our customers to donate their used items back in exchange for discount codes and more.. By 2022 we will eliminate all plastic shipping bags to 100% recycled paper. As our company grows we will 100% focus on being carbon neutral for the future! As well as social impact we are also focused on our sustainable efforts as well.
JD: As Founder and President of Goodsinners, talk to Forbes viewers about your day-to-day job responsibilities in detail?
DB: On the day to day I spend majority of my time on calls and virtual meetings via zoom with my small team. Im always focusing are always talking about designing and creating within our print shop based in chicago. Im always focused on how we can get the ideas out as minimal and as simple as possible. Something complex but so relatable to appeal to everyone from all backgrounds. There’s more work that goes behind t-shirts and hoodies that meets the eye. We treat it like art. There is always something we are trying to express and a feeling we are trying get out of the consumer. We work with few design shops locally here in chicago. Since the world is slowing but surely moving digital I’ve dedicated a majority of my time on our social media efforts growing our customer base/ email sms list and learning more about our customers and what they support. Recently I’ve spent more time reaching out to businesses for potential collaborations and partnership opportunities. We are in the digital age and the more you can grow a community online the faster you can create change and impact. I feel like we all have a rare opportunity in time where generations prior didn’t to connect with many people around the globe with the click of a button and we are taking full advantage of what social media and connecting with like minded individuals. Daily I’ve been taking on leads and also chatting with strategic partners about the future and how we can leave our imprint on it. At this stage of our company everything is coming together and we are set to have a huge 2022 and beyond. Every idea and every concept is 3-4 years ahead.
JD: In your own words, what does it mean to you to be an entrepreneur of your own brand?
DB: Coming from the westside of chicago and no formal training in fashion most people don’t get the opportunity to build their vision out from scratch. It is an incredibly humble experience to be a brand owner in one of the most important times in America history. Where your voice matters and being an entrepreneur allows me the opportunity to contribute something to this wonderful world of ours. Being an entrepreneur of my own brand allows me the room to create something special but leave a lasting impact on the world with our contributions. I spend time studying my fellow entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and all genders. that were shakers and disruptors in their fellow industry and they inspire me to do the same. Find a problem and solve in the most unconventional way possible while building a team that believes in the common goal. My favorite quote by Ruth Bader states “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you”. And I try to live by this daily.
JD: Why is it important to you to create fashion with a hefty dose of social impact?
DB: Social impact is very important to us. I live by this quote. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth,” Fashion in my eyes is the most influential industries globally with over 1 trillion in sales last year. Its also one of the purest forms of art in ways which people express themselves. We can use fashion as a platform to give back to social causes/ non for profit organizations or even local causes to help those in need of the less fortunate. We have a responsibility to give back. The causes that matters to our supporters in many ways matter to us. We are customer oriented 100%. As a person from a underserved community from the westside of chicago there weren’t many resources or outlets I have first hand experience. The more we give back the more get back in return!
JD: How do you intend to build upon your brand strategy and social impact moving into the future?
DB: The more we grow the more money and resources we can give back. We want to create a echo system within goodsinners for giving back. Our goal is all about spreading awareness to a new audience. Social media and recent activism have inspired younger generations
to be more invested in giving back than ever before. We are looking for a way to harness that passion to spread the word not only for our brand but for
other companies as well. This opportunity to the a new consumer who has all the resources today to dig deeper than the surface of a brands perception and whose strongly on social causes mean almost more than the product itself. The medium of streetwear will continue to be our messaging tactic to broadcast not only our brand but causes we care about. CAUSES that focus on around Creating Equality, Fighting Hunger , Wildlife Conservation, Medical Research , Environmental Sustainability, Mental Health Awareness, Improving Education And more… are going away and we plan to broadcast and raise money for causes like these through major collaborations with brands and sports organizations going forward. We will continue building a brand around bringing people from all backgrounds together and showing people how giving back to the community gives power to those within it. As we continue to grow, we would like to gain strategic partnerships with companies that align with giving more back. Creating a larger chainlike effect throughout not just the fashion industry but throughout all industries. Our goal is to be one of the leaders in the new age clothing industry in the United states. We want to stay true to our motto which is Together Everyone Achieves More.