French fashion school IFA Paris’ collaboration with the Lifestyle Tech Competence Centre (LTCC) of Switzerland has been renewed for the second year in a row. As part of the Swiss Innovation Park in Ticino, a canton of Switzerland known for its focus on innovation and tech, the centre aims to foster an ecosystem that will champion open innovation and research.
In May this year, a group of selected IFA Paris students from our Bachelor of Fashion Marketing and our Bachelor of Fashion Design & Technology were asked to be part of the GUESS GEN Z Lab. As its name indicates, this venture focuses on taking a deep dive into behavioural patterns of individuals born between 1997 and 2012. Why, may you ask? Simple: GEN Z represent about 30% of the world population and they are the very first generation of digital natives. GUESS and LTCC created this lab to test new ideas in terms of product development, marketing strategies, customer experience or promotional campaigns.
The first step of this large-scale project, involving 8 other academic institutions, consisted in the organization of a Europe-wide mystery shopping. Our students were given a budget of 100 Euros to pose as regular consumers who went to a GUESS Store to purchase an item. In fact, they were following a protocol allowing them to evaluate specific criteria ranging from the physical product characteristics to intangible aspects like customer service and overall experience.
The strategic part of this project was the second step our students went through. Building on the data they had collected and analysed, they crafted a SWOT (Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats) Matrix with which they elaborated strategic recommendations based on points of improvement they had observed.
The project culminated in a 2-day trip to Lugano, headquarters of LTCC, where each academic institution’s members had the opportunity to present their findings in front of GUESS Managers. IFA Paris had the honour to be the only school selected in France to participate in this exciting venture.
The GUESS Gen Z Lab is yet another example demonstrating how IFA Paris puts professional practice at the centre of its pedagogical strategy. Confronting students with real-life case studies allows them to learn, from an early stage, how to use their competencies and skills in an industry context. The ability to meet Managers of our partner companies is also an opportunity to shine and potentially secure an internship, or even a work placement.