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Image: courtesy of Guess

Guess and Microsoft collaborate to launch Guess Z Lab

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

24 May 2021

Guess Europe, the Lifestyle-Tech Competence Center (LTCC) and Microsoft have launched the Guess Z Lab, an innovative concept conceived to collaborate and co-create with Gen Z.

The first workshop took place at Guess Europe’s headquarters in Bioggio, Switzerland and included 32 students from Ticino universities USI and SUPSI. A second workshop with international students is planned for autumn, as well as a potential digital insight platform in 2022.

Guess Z Lab is one of the first projects by the Lifestyle-Tech Competence Center, of which Guess is one of the founding members, and aims to co-create experiences and products that speak directly to Gen Z consumers, born between 1996 and 2010 that make up around 30 percent of the world’s population.

The first workshop saw students alongside Guess employees discussing marketing, sales, e-commerce and advertising to test ideas in a “live design thinking environment,” explained Guess.

Paul Marciano, chief creative officer for Guess?, Inc., said in a statement: “We were looking for a project that would connect us with the crucial part of our current and future market but would do so in an innovative way that would feel natural to the digital natives we are trying to reach.

“We want the project to be a two-way conversation. We know that we will get extraordinary insights from them, but we also want to give them exposure to the business and show them what it means to build, position, and grow a brand.”

Carlo Terreni, LTCC president, added: “LTCC was founded with the idea of growing local competencies. This project, in collaboration with local universities here in Ticino, gives us a chance to engage with the Gen Z audience and expose them to the realities of building and positioning a brand.

“Any brand which plans to engage with young consumers needs to open up to Gen Zers and actively engage with them, learn how to attract them and support them in their future careers. Our mission at the LTCC is to foster these initiatives in established businesses through collaboration with big tech, and in this case, direct with consumers.”

Guess hopes to open up the workshop to international students from the UK, Poland, Germany, Italy, and Spain this autumn, as well as use the Guess Z Lab to help facilitate internships and give students easier access to knowledge about the fashion industry.