In 2019 Uniqlo has become one of the leading brands worldwide for casual wear and essentials. The English/Japanese writing, together with the red box logo is recognisable on any high-street in any major country/city. This Uniqlo case study will allow us to explore just why the brand understands today’s digital environment by hacking culture while providing quality clothing for millennials around there 2000+ stores worldwide.
Young consumers care about what a brand stands for more than ever before which affects where they decide to spend their money. As Uniqlo is a personal favourite of mine it should be worth the mention that I write this article with some bias, however, it still doesn’t discredit all the other millions of young people consistently choosing to spend their money with the brand.
Let’s take a deeper look into why Uniqlo is the go-to brand for most millennials today
In today’s digital age it’s now no longer enough to just sell clothes, consumers want to feel apart of a brand and its identity. To be able to share an experience with a brand and use social media to tell their friends and family, this is also the best form of social proof.
How does Uniqlo do this?
The last Friday of each month sees Uniqlo put together an event in London to celebrate the arts from music & film while including playful artistic activation’s and hands-on workshops, which millennials care for and are passionate about. Allowing members of the public to get involved, not only does this enhance the brands appeal but also further builds brand loyalty. Uniqlo understands culture hacking and what better way than to get millennials involved.
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Creative Apparel Collaborations
A popular trend today is the collaboration between brands.
It was not the norm only a few years ago for a brand which solely focused on providing essentials and basics to do collaborations. However, this has changed and here are some examples of their past collaborations
Uniqlo x KAWS x Sesame Street
Uniqlo x UNDERCOVER
Uniqlo x JW Anderson
Uniqlo x Doraemon
Each collaborative effort being different than the last and conveying a different message, there are no signs of the brand slowing down when it comes to collaborations.
Millennials appreciate a good collaboration when they see one. For example, the Uniqlo x KAWS x Sesame Street was highly celebrated as we got to see the artist KAWS (Brian Donnelly) creatively input his signature style on the sesame street characters.
This collaboration, in particular, stands out because most millennials would have grown up watching the Sesame Street show, therefore this collaboration would be artistic as well as nostalgic.
A few weeks ago, Uniqlo announced via social media they had partnered with nts radio to form inside MCR, which would be a project that was centred around 4 creatives from Manchester. Each of the 4 individuals were featured on Uniqlo’s Instagram speaking on the journey so far and their respective creative fields.
What’s significant about this partnership is the brand using their platform to shed a light on creatives around the city of Manchester doing great work which is only going to result in raising their profile.
To top it off the creatives work was featured on display at the time of the new Manchester store opening.
Consciously or even subconsciously this shows the millennial group Uniqlo cares for creative talents and wants to be apart of the conversation happening today.
What millennials care for = Uniqlo cares for
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We have partnered with @nts_radio for Inside MCR, a project featuring four artists and celebrating the incredible creative talent coming from Manchester right now. @looseycrew’s work for the project explores specific moments of beauty in Manchester. See it on display in the new Manchester store now. #Uniqlo #LifeWear #UniqloLifeWear
With Uniqlo located in different cultural hubs across the globe from the UK, Europe, America and Japan, young professionals and millennials have many choices to locate their favourite store and it should go without saying Uniqlo basics have become a favourite when it comes to casual contemporary fashion.
Part of the reason behind this is the affordable pricing the brand offers. Jeans at retail price are roughly £35, hoodies are around £25-£35 with regular sales and T shirts from £9.90 – £15, and it’s easy to see why they have won millennials over.
We must also take into account the versatile nature of clothes being sold. Outfits and items are available to suit your lifestyle from casual wear, smart wear, streetwear and even sports/gym all of which millennials base their lives around. Whether you’re going to the gym, have a date night, clubbing or simply out chilling, this is the one stop shop.
As long as the brand continues to further think outside of the box millennials are going to keep shopping with Uniqlo for years to come.
We have seen the brand innovate with garment technology such as AIRism which improves garment texture, creatively collab with the likes of Nigo (Founder of Bathing Ape) and Pharrell Williams and continue to culture hack. Uniqlo does not appear to be in the business of chasing trends but creating the upmost value for its customer first, by doing all the things listed above.
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