H&M came to us with their first ever brief focussed on driving relevance and distinctiveness with young British women.
Whether you call it Gen Z or youth culture, it’s an audience that is notoriously hard to get right. And especially hard to get right in fashion, with brands already climbing over themselves to win their hearts and minds.
We felt strongly that the answer to this challenge was not to be simply another fashion brand piling yet more pressure on young women at a time in their life which is more pressured than ever.
The category talk a big talk on individuality and be yourself boss babe language - and in the same breath pedal an unattainable, homogeneous ideal of fashion and womanhood. But the culture that young women love – from podcasts to TV shows – celebrates them exactly as they are.
We believed the opportunity for H&M was in this gap between category and culture - to celebrate young women’s real relationship with fashion; the good, the bad and everything in between.
The Insight & Strategy
A meaningful understanding of young womanhood’s relationship with fashion was not going to be found in a Gen Z research report. Instead, we recruited a panel of 36 young women across 6 different UK cities.
While each woman’s story and style was different, over hours of conversation we landed on a unifying truth: what a young woman wears tells a story about her feelings. From what she reaches for on bloated period days, or on days when she feels amazing, to the gold hoops she simply doesn’t feel herself without and the joy of compliments from other women on a night out.
In the glossy world of fashion, everyday truths like these often go unacknowledged. Being a young woman can feel joyful, vulnerable, powerful - and everything in between. We wanted this work to be an honest window into young womanhood.
So our strategy was to celebrate all of these small things that capture something of what it means to be a young woman today.
Enter: our campaign platform, Here For It. Here for all the messy emotional moments within fashion.
Our platform had to live and breathe on TikTok. Increasingly the FYP (TikTok’s homepage customised per user) is at the heart of the relationship between young women and fashion, as an ever-accelerating trend cycle brings pressures as well as pleasures.
So we created an Always On Newsroom to monitor this cycle, combining real-time data and social listening to identify and understand the style trends that resonate most with young women.
Then in the spirit of never assuming what our audience were thinking or feeling, we brought together a collective of real young women from across the UK to identify meaningful emotional insights into each trend. These insights formed the starting point for our content briefs.
To resonate with young women on TikTok, it was important to bring these briefs to life as authentically as possible. Rather than creating content which mimicked trends from a brand point of view, we chose to spotlight the creators at the heart of each trend micro-community – asking them to share their unique perspective on what it means to be Here For the fashion moment.
By leaning into the talent of the creator community, H&M became the brand that champions the stories of young women’s real, multifaceted relationships with fashion on TikTok.
Like @amyvalentinexx who shared why she’s unapologetic about switching up her aesthetic.
And @gorg.on who showed us that the joy of going out is all in getting ready.
Or @estherxlinda who made space-inspired dressing into the ultimate escape.
We uncovered and championed the stories and honest takes from our fans within some conceivable and some inconceivable niche aesthetics like:
Over DOUBLE and sometimes TRIPLE the brand’s benchmark engagement rate of 3.5%!
9.9% View Engagement Rate (TikTok)
7.9% Reach Engagement Rate (Instagram)
TikTok + Instagram
Reactions & Comments proved that we connected with our audeince
@Beffberry I didn’t know h&m finally did bigger sizing?! love that after work drinks dress 😍
@roxmstylist Love this outfit Soohie 💫smashing Spring Vibes 🌼
@oohlittlethings Hold on !! Is this @hm ? 😍
@luna.mauro_ Where is the orange jumpsuit from my queen?!
@poseandrepeat @luna.mauro_ h&m ♥️♥️
@libsfaulk The blue is chefs kiss 😍
@afroglory_ You style things too good… now I want the entire outfit 😅
@tiaraa.michelle I didn't know hm made plus size thanks Em 💕 always killing content 💅🏾
@wicklowwaywines That first outfit is just stun
@Hannah_Whitten Gorgeous outfits! What are the jeans called? :)
@Katielouisaa23 The black dress is stunning 😍❤️