Using data from QuestBrand by The Harris Poll, AdAge released their quarterly Gen Z Brand Tracker in January. This tracker ranks the top 20 brands with quarter-over-quarter brand equity growth among Gen Z adults (ages 18-24). UGG ranked first on this quarter’s list, with a +11.9% increase in brand equity from Q3 to Q4 2023.

Brand equity measures the value consumers see in a brand at a particular moment in time. The brand equity score is an average of four components: brand familiarity, perceived quality, purchase consideration, and perceived momentum.

If you were around in the early 2000’s, you probably had at least one pair of sheepskin-lined UGG boots in your closet. Twenty years later, these famously ugly shoes are making a comeback with Gen Z consumers.

Interest in the shoe brand snowballed as a growing number of celebrities were photographed wearing UGGs, including Kylie Jenner, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Jennifer Lawrence, Keke Palmer, Rihanna, and Zendaya. According to recent reports, UGG boots were ranked as one of Q4 2023’s hottest items. Online searches for UGG boots jumped by 82% over the holidays.

Want more information on trends within the apparel industry? Check out our Apparel & Fashion: An Industry Snapshot report for insights and brand data. 

UGG Brand Equity – US Adults vs Gen Z Adults – Trended 12 Week Moving Average

QuestBrand. Base: General population of US adults (black), n=5,186. Base: Gen Z adults (blue), n=712. 7/1/23-12/31/23.

From Q3 to Q4, UGG experienced gains across all components of brand equity – familiarity (+7.3), quality (+15.1), consideration (+11.9), and momentum (+13.6). These numbers reflect Gen Z’s growing appreciation of the UGG brand, and a growing interest in purchasing UGG products.

In contrast to Gen Zers, UGG’s brand equity gains were significantly lower across older generations – Millennials (+0.3), Gen X (-0.2), and Baby Boomers (+4.2). Regardless of Gen Z’s growing excitement over the sheepskin booties, these older groups don’t seem as ready to bring back the UGG.

This is not the first time that Gen Z has revived a style from the early 2000s, including the likes of – crop tops, slouchy jeans, and claw clips. Who’s to say what trend they will resuscitate next? For now, dust off your old UGGs, and enjoy the happiness that accompanies warm, cozy feet. You’re not just comfortable, you’re fashionable.

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Catherine Ake

Content Strategist

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