QUESTION: How can retailers future-proof their brands and build credibility with Gen Z consumers?

ANSWER: Well, for starters if you want to build credibility and create winning retail solutions/experiences that future-proof your brand, you have to establish trust and cultivate relevance with your targeted youth segments (assuming you have them). Brands need to realize young people are not just a developing consumer: they are the present and the future.

Your best chance of “future-proofing” (if that’s really a thing) is to stay ahead of trends before they undercut your plan. I’ve found that deeper insights are best revealed through a fluid, “always-on” dialogue and interactive activities, not one-off studies.

Here are some “action steps” to avoid this becoming too much of a rant. Start by asking your team these questions:

  • Do we really have targeted youth audience segments?
  • How are we aligned with their culture?
  • What are we doing to make life more convenient for them”
  • How are we creating a sense of belonging?
  • What are we doing to demonstrate our commitment to them over the long haul vs. the “season”?
  • How are we staying in tune quarterly, monthly, weekly?


If you’ve got these dialed you’re ahead of most!