Marketing to Gen Z with the right aesthetics ft. NEWME’s Sumit Jasoria & Shivita Sharma

Marketing to Gen Z with the right aesthetics ft. NEWME’s Sumit Jasoria & Shivita Sharma
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Marketing to Gen Z with the right aesthetics ft. NEWME’s Sumit Jasoria & Shivita Sharma

This year, many fashion brands have made strides in communicating with Gen Z. Myntra launched FWD – a separate section for Gen Z on its platform; Flipkart has Spoyl, and AJIO created TRNDin. Beauty giant Maybelline also roped in starkid Suhana Khan, singer Ananya Birla and model Eksha Subba as its brand ambassador to connect with young audiences. 

A home-grown platform that was launched specifically for Gen Z,  NEWME, has built the blocks of brands by focusing on what this audience likes. From its brand name, logo, and catalogue to its social media presence, the fashion platform revolves around the GenZ way of shopping. 

Sumit Jasoria, Co-founder and CEO, NEWME told Social Samosa about the thought that went behind building a visually-appealing brand for GenZ. 

“The idea behind the name NEWME was that the customer can be New every day and in their own style, no judgement attached. Similarly, for the logo – a green chameleon represents that the brand has no boundaries when it comes to fashion. It will adapt to the changing times, just like its target audience – the Gen Z.”

Newme’s entry was marked at a time when clothing platforms Zudio and Azurite had taken the retail space by storm. With a similar target audience and operating in a similar territory, these two new entrants backed by giants like Tata and Reliance respectively, placed more focus on retail. NEWME, on the other hand, tried to establish a strong footing online first and has now set its eyes on the retail space.

Thus, for a 17-month-old platform, marketing to the most in-demand consumer group wasn’t a walk in the park. 

According to a study done by Snapchat, context in marketing matters for this generation. And early on in its marketing journey, the new-age platform realised this consumer want. 

Sumit Jasoria said, “Our audience won’t listen to us preach about things or the brand. They won’t buy solely based on the price. They will come for a trend and the design. Following this, we built our communication channels.”

Meeting where they live – Online 

Collection based themes

Shivita Sharma, Founding member of NEWME said, “Customers today are very dynamic. Our consumers majorly spend their time on Instagram.” And hence, it tries to communicate the most on its social media channels. 

Sharma pointed out that one of the ways it communicates is by focusing on aesthetics. The platform’s social media theme changes according to its monthly product launches. During its Halloween launch, NEWME’s Instagram took a dark colour theme with content incorporating parts of the festival. 

 

The new-age platform focuses on conversations beyond fashion that are relatable to its Gen Z audience. A recent survey by Instagram mentioned that Indian Gen Z have shown a heightened interest to embrace and explore emerging beauty and fashion trends. It further said that be it from celebrities, athletes or creators, what Gen Z want most is relatability. This holds true globally, as it does in India. Specifically for Indian Gen Z, in 2024 they look forward to more content with – life advice, more everyday ‘day-in-the-life-of’ content and content about their professions.

Since relatable conversations are important to Gen Z, NEWME is picky about what they choose to discuss on their social media platforms. 

Sharing the thought behind this selection, Sharma said, “Trends that are related to mental health, relationships, trends, styling etc. is something that works really well for the brand. Rather than selling the audience our products on social media, our aim is to talk about concepts.”

Similar to Halloween, the e-com platform also banked on the ‘Barbiecore’ frenzy earlier this year. Along with launching a themed collection, NEWME also pivoted its tonality on social media and website with a Barbie twist.

 

 

 

By incorporating pop-culture references, and conversations that are relevant to Genz, the home-grown platform tries to become a part of the audiences’ daily life. 

Sharing insights on the brand’s marketing budget, Jasoria said, “Generally, how we look at our marketing budget today is 20% of our sales in a month. This was very high in our initial days, say around 35-40%. For marketing efforts to be steady, the spend should be around 15% to the overall sale value in a month.”

  

The new-age platform adjusts its logo colours to match the changing themes. This was seen during Halloween and the Pride month. Jasoria said, “The changing colours of the logo helps the brand in playing with different kinds of ideas and stay relevant.”

NEWME’s fluid visual identity allows it to switch as the agile social media landscape changes face. It is also easier for the e-commerce platform to find a brand connect in social conversations and tie it back to its identity.

Vast network of Influencers

Influencers play a big role in NEWME’s marketing strategy. The fashion platform has a vast network of creators in its kitty. From nano influencers with 2K followers to micro influencers with 20K audience, and mid-tier influencers in the range of 120K+ followers, it intends to target every sub-section of the young internet users of the country. 

 

 

Apart from collaborating with fashion influencers, the brand has worked with dance crew ‘Yo Highness’, a young dance group from Mumbai that has a following of 152K on Instagram and their audience also largely consists of young Indians. By collaborating with non-fashion creators, it plans to increase its reach beyond just the fashion-forward cohort. 

 

Playing with the Price Factor

Apart from using Instagram as its main mode of communication, organic YouTube hauls have worked in favour of the new-age platform as well. Fashion bloggers have helped in building conversations for the young brand and price point has played a big role in it. 

As far as its competitors are concerned, YouTube hauls have played a role in driving word-of-mouth. For NEWME, its advantageous price point and young aesthetics have helped it put its foot in the door and stand out.

Jasoria mentioned that rather than talking about the price, NEWME wants the consumers to talk about the brand and its aesthetics.

He said, “Today, consumers might buy you, but they still won’t talk about you if they don’t enjoy the experience. Traditionally, in e-commerce, brands talk about conversion rates. But with us, we talk about engagement rates. Because fashion is all about nuances. The scrolling culture has taken over the youth today. Brands today need to be in the moment and talk about relevant and relatable things with the consumers.”

So, rather than selling itself as an affordable brand, NEWME is trying to position itself as an aesthetic and young brand. 

 

 

 

Going one-on-one with consumers

As NEWME is in its initial stages of marketing and brand building, it heavily focuses on talking to the customers and one way of doing so is through experiential marketing. The platform occasionally organises meet-ups and pop-ups around the country.

Sharma mentioned that with these pop-ups and experiential activities, it is aiming to talk to more consumers and engage with an audience that is still unreachable. 

“Pop-ups help the consumers put faces to a brand and feel the products first hand,” said Jasoria.

 

 

Apart from this, the homegrown platform also talks to its audience through giveaways and podcasts, which generates more consumer engagement.

 

 

 

How to market to Gen Z

Marketing to Gen Z comes with its own challenges and learnings. A cohort that knows what it wants and understands the digital way of marketing, can make or break a brand. From 17 months of building NEWME for the young audience, Jasoria gave some marketing tips:

  • Don’t preach to the audience, be relatable. 

  • Be aspirational through aesthetics and communication

  • Exist for the customer, not for the brand

  • Have a unique and homogenous experience throughout your touchpoints

Taking it offline 

Newme’s entry was marked at a time when clothing platforms Zudio and Azurite had taken the retail space by storm. With a similar target audience and operating in a similar territory, these two new entrants backed by giants like Tata and Reliance respectively, placed more focus on retail. NEWME, on the other hand, tried to establish a strong footing online first and has now set its eyes on the retail space.

The online-first platform has slowly made its way into the retail sector as well by inaugurating two flagship stores in Bangalore and Mumbai. 

 

 

 

After South and West, NEWME is now targeting North India by planning retail expansion in Chandigarh. Furthermore, it plans on expanding to 20 more cities in the coming year. Between tier 1 and tier 2, the brand aims at expanding in cities like Pune, Guwahati, Delhi and more. 

Sharing the long-term vision, Jasoria said, “We want to be a company that can be easily accessible to the customer. The idea with NEWME’s marketing is that we want to control the brand narrative and with relevant conversations and tactics, we aim to do so in the future as well.”