(LONDON, UK) June 16, 2022 – Today, Edelman announces the formation of The Gen Z Lab, a global offering comprising 100 Gen Z employees, a roster of internal and external on-call advisors, and data hub dedicated to generational insights. Under the watch of Edelman’s Global Chief Brand Officer, Jackie Cooper, the Gen Z Lab will lend expertise, perspective and counsel clients looking to effectively engage the Gen Z consumer.
In a breakthrough move, Edelman is also appointing the world’s first ZEO as a cultural and creative advisor for the Gen Z Lab. Stepping into this inaugural consultative role from July 1st, will be gender fluid fashion designer, Harris Reed. He will be supported by Amanda Edelman as Gen Z COO. The Gen Z Lab will harness their generation’s perspective and ambitions to solve issues such as race and diversity, sustainability, and climate change, and align with brand interests to become catalysts for change.
The formation of the Gen Z Lab follows the highly successful launch of Edelman’s first specific research study on Gen Z, The Power of Gen Z. Debunking many commonly held myths that marketers held around this cohort, the report produced enthusiastic demand from the firm’s C-Suite clients who had expressed hesitancy around how to effectively market to Gen Z, without triggering backlash. The Gen Z Lab is a tailor-made offering to educate, guide and push clients with demand for this specialized target.
“The Gen Z report triggered so many internal and external conversations, it was obvious that we needed a stand-alone Global Gen Z Suite. Brands today have many challenges with this generation and the insurance costs of getting this wrong are too great,” says Cooper, “We need to understand what moves Gen Z and what loses them. We must have people within the generation to guide us. The trifecta of working with Gen Z talent globally, our bespoke global research on Gen Z behaviour, and Harris’ unique ability to nail culturally power solutions that resonate with this generation is super exciting for us and hugely reassuring to our clients.”
As for the Lab’s ZEO — Harris Reed is regarded as a cultural icon on the ascent. Known for his work in fashion, culture, and advocacy, he steps into the ZEO role to further his desire to be a force for social change and acceptance. Reed’s demi-couture collections have appeared on front covers of global fashion titles, dressing celebrities from Harry Styles for American VOGUE, Emma Watson for the Earthshot prize, Iman’s show stealing look at the Met Gala, and Adele for album 30. He’s collaborated with Mac, Etro, and Missoma and was recently featured in the London’s Victoria & Albert museum ‘Fashioning Masculinities'. In the newly created ZEO role, he will advise on creative strategy for clients via The Gen Z Lab with purpose and impact at the heart.
“It has been my dream to make a material difference with big companies in a meaningful way,” says Reed, “Gen Z is a powerful generation, and I’m excited to work with Edelman’s Gen Z team collectively to help Edelman’s clients understand where the opportunities are while ensuring that they have the agility, creativity, and cultural relevance to deliver impact for real change and understanding. I love the idea of being able to empower the next majority for a better world.”
Fueled by its 70+ year history and backed by the science of trust, Edelman has continued to innovate and take action amid global uncertainty. The formation of The Gen Z lab follows a long track record of tailor-made service offerings to meet the moment and create meaningful impact.
Of The Gen Z Lab Richard Edelman says, “As our clients face more and more challenges in engaging diverse audiences, we have a responsibility to provide insight, solutions and future proofing advice to help them engage, grow and advocate for both societal and cultural impact. Our data identified the power of Gen Z to inspire and lead beyond their generation in the questions they pose to brands: how do you treat employees, what are you doing to help others, and how are you solving the world’s most glaring issues? With the lab, we are enabling Gen Z to lead the change they want to see in the world. This is a critical action that will drive trust with this generation.”
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