What Banking Can Learn from North Face & Gucci Collab

Cultural relevance and sustainability as key to unlocking Gen Z loyalty

One brand is known for high-performance gear for hardcore outdoor lovers with a serious, environmental mindset and the other for showy luxury and a devil-may-care attitude. So, when The North Face x Gucci announced their collaboration which launched in the US in January 2021, many followers of both brands wondered what drove such an unexpected collaboration.

The answer lies in relevance, as both brands seek to make meaningful connections with Gen Z consumers. The brilliant marketing move – announced in November on Gen Z’s playground TikTok – helps each brand position itself for this audience. For Gucci, connecting with a brand that has serious sustainable bonafides tells an important story to younger audiences who value – even demand – environmental stewardship from brands. And for the North Face, the collection reinvigorates the gotta-have-it factor for its puffy technical gear with a free-spirited campaign that drives cultural, fashionable relevance so critical to this audience.

While they may seem to be on a different planet from the runway, financial brands of all stripes face essentially the same challenge: How can their brands attract Gen Z consumers whose point-of-view on banking – and on the world – is so different than the generations who came before? And with Gen Z now making up nearly 25% of the US workforce, the question is more urgent than ever as this generation matriculates into consumers with real financial power.

The answer lies less in cool collabs than in a genuine focus on purpose, on doing the right thing, not only by consumers but by society at large. Especially post-COVID, the data overwhelmingly shows that Gen Z prefers brands that stand for something  and that live up to their values through action, with 89% expressing brand preference for brands that seek to help solve community problems.

Banks and credit unions don’t need to reinvent themselves to attract Gen Z,but they do need to meet this generation where they live, with more robust investment in social media strategies that connect. And most importantly, financial brands must identify, lean into, communicate, and action on their values as never before.

To learn more about how your brand can activate its purpose to attract new generations, email info@adrenalineagency.com.