Gen Z hypebeasts have been a driving force behind the popularity of ‘buy now, pay later’ schemes and luxury mystery boxes. But why exactly are these services so appealing to the young and affluent? And how can brands adapt their offerings to attract these shoppers in a crowded online marketplace?
Andrea Richeson is a New York-based consumer anthropologist who specialises in global youth culture trends. Her areas of focus include gaming and popular media, fashion, social media, P2P marketplaces, and fan communities. She is the founder of Youth Tribes.
Ambrose Cooke is the COO and co-founder of Fanbytes, an award-winning Gen Z marketing agency.Featured in Forbes, The Times, and The Daily Mail, the award-winning company has gone on to help brands like Nike, Apple, and even the UK Government to reach Gen Z on popular social platforms such as Tiktok, Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube.
Jesse Caesar is an insights specialist and moderator who brings the customer into focus for companies across an array of sectors. At Jesse Caesar Consulting, he develops bespoke research and brand-building solutions for global leaders, startups, creative agencies, and other research firms.
Lara Piras is a copywriter, researcher, and brand strategist. Considered a youth culture expert, her vast industry knowledge comes from working with some of the industry’s best, including MTV, WGSN, Vogue UK, and Vogue US.
Following Cardi B’s record-breaking and much-talked-about single ‘WAP’, the singer has launched a line of tongue-in-cheek waterproof merch. The collection gives Gen Zers the chance to nab unique products while also allowing fans to signal their support for Cardi B amid contentious backlash.
Even amid the economic fallout of COVID-19, drop culture is thriving. Brands like Heat and Scarce are packaging up items from hyped-up streetwear brands into mystery boxes, feeding people’s desire to uplift their mood through surprise and tapping into fierce brand loyalty.
With Gen Zers looking to stay connected to streetwear culture at home, there are new opportunities for brands to create surprise and exclusivity. HEAT is a luxury mystery box that sells curated streetwear drops to those who want access to cult brands and the thrill of discovery.
Whether it’s a mystery teabag or new make-up, an element of surprise comes packaged within many subscription boxes. Canvas8 spoke to Aditya Gupta, a PhD candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, to understand how surprise impacts the experience of self-gifting.