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Brands need to let go of control to reach Gen Z

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Brands should loosen their grip on control to appeal to younger audiences according to a panel at Creativepool’s inaugural Connect: London event.

The two-day festival, which took place in November, saw key members of the ad, design and branding worlds come together to discuss issues affecting the industry including tapping into Gen Z.

“Traditionally brands tend to be top down, you define what you are and then push that message out to consumers” said Dom Weiss, head of planning at ZAK Agency, who moderated the talk. “But it feels like that’s being inverted and actually brands need to let go and let consumers do some of the work to build up those values.”

 

“It’s like throwing a grenade into the last 100 years of marketing,” added Weiss' agency partner chief creative officer Matt Bennett.

 

Bennett continued: “Brands have been built a certain way for a long time with a set of values and models but you’re now looking at an audience that wants to participate to build their own identity using the brand as a tool rather than a badge.”

The pair were joined on stage by Steven Lacey, youth culture expert and MD/owner of The Outsiders; Allie Keith, VP of Global Media at beauty company Coty; Paul Simmons, director of strategy and insight at VICE; and Jack Fryer, senior director of strategic planning at Universal Music.

Watch the full session - Gen Z burning down the house: Is your brand in flames? - below and look out for more Connect: London coverage to follow.

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