Embrace Your Oldness: It’s What Gen Z Craves

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Your Marketing Co. recently partnered with Helixa to help better understand our credit union marketing clients’ ideal members. Rather than hopeful guessing, we’re using the Helixa platform to help connect our clients in a more deep and meaningful way with their ideal members. It’s an amazingly powerful tool that has already proven valuable in helping our credit union marketing clients connect with more members and spur membership growth.

Another invaluable piece of this partnership is the research and data shared with us. One such piece is a report on the importance of leveraging brand legacy to connect with Gen Z. One more recent example is the re-emergence of Gap as a beloved brand among the next generation. In the fall of 2020, Gap announced it would be closing approximately 350 Gap and Banana Republic stores across North America by the end of 2023. That’s a sure sign of becoming the next Blockbuster – or is it?

One month before Gap’s announcement, Gen Z social influencer Emma Chamberlain posted a series of photos of herself wearing a vintage Gap hoodie on Instagram and all of a sudden Gap was a hot brand. One of her posts garnered more than 2.4 million likes and 10K comments. How did this dying brand suddenly become popular with a generation who wasn’t much familiar with the Gap brand? They were digging the vintage feel, and all of the sudden it was cool again.

Chamberlain’s fans flooded TikTok with their love for the Gap hoodie. A glutton of other TikTok influencers and users started including this very vintage hoodie in 2021 trend predictions and outfit inspiration videos. TikTok user @natalielanghorne credited Chamberlain in her “2021 fashion trend alert ​” video and claimed that people love the hoodie for its vintage look and neutral colors. According to Natalie, Gap sweatshirts are now “Nike sweatshirt’s cool cousin.”

Gap’s marketing team realized it had hit the jackpot and capitalized on this trend and in June 2021, dropped a limited-issue release of its brown-logo hoodies. They understood TikTok played an important role in the brand’s revival, so they also launched a two-week partnership called the “Gap Hoodie Color Comeback” competition on the app. TikTok users were able to vote through interactive polls on posts from Gap and select TikTok creators. The color that got the most votes is currently being sold in stores this fall. Those Gap vintage logo hoodies are now selling for more than $200 on resale sites like Depop and Grailed.

And just like that, it looks like Gap has a new lease on life thanks to one social influencer.

But GAP isn’t the only brand tapping into Gen Z’s love of nostalgia. Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister Co. started incorporating nostalgia marketing with their Gen Z and millennial audiences as well as Victoria’s Secret. The challenge for those brands is to do so strategically and approach their new consumers authentically and inclusively while tapping into their childhood memories. 

So, what about your credit union? If what’s old is new again, your credit union has the chance to tap into the heritage of your “why” and mission and vision to appeal to that coveted Gen Z market (who by the way needs a good dose of financial coaching whether they want it or not). We’re currently utilizing the Helixa tool to uncover local influencers who can help our credit union marketing clients share their stories authentically on the platforms where their future members live. And yes, we can do that for you, too. We’re an email away to schedule an introductory call to see whether we’re a fit for each other.

Your credit union's mission is important.

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Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
 
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
 
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Living life by his motto to “Do good even if the world is unfair,” Dexter would also advise his younger self, “It’s hard, but you’re doing good!” Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche

Copywriter

Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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