Based on QuestBrand data, Ad Age-Harris Poll’s third Gen Z tracker celebrated Timberland as one of the leading brands gaining traction with Gen Z. This ranking exposes the top 20 brands each quarter by brand equity growth among Gen Z consumers.

Timberland boasted a significant bump in overall brand equity (+7.5), representing the growing value that Gen Z consumers see in the brand. Timberland’s brand equity score is an average of four components, (all four of which rose from Q1 to Q2): familiarity (+12.4), quality (+0.9), consideration (+8.8), and momentum (+8.0). The popular outdoor boot company saw the greatest rise in Gen Z’s familiarity with their brand. While many factors aligned for this rapid uptick, Timberland’s strategic step into the metaverse greatly helped them gain traction with this younger demographic.

Gen Z is a highly sought after consumer group. They currently hold about $360 billion in disposable income, and their buying power continues to rise. Marketers have been forced to pivot to meet this demographic where they spend their time – social media, video games, and now the metaverse. Timberland illustrates the success that brands can have with this strategy from their recent entry into the virtual world of Fortnite.

Want to read more about emerging apparel industry trends? Check out our Apparel & Fashion: An Industry Snapshot report for insights and brand rankings. 

Stepping into the Metaverse

Timberland partnered with Epic Games to create a futuristic boot-themed world in Fortnite. Timberland sees this development as a natural extension of their longtime dedication to innovation and forward-thinking action. They partnered with popular Twitch streamer, Ali “SypherPK” Hassan, to spread the word to his Gen Z (and Millennial) followers. According to Twitch, about 75% of their viewers are between the ages of 16 and 34.

Within the game, players can explore a virtual version of Timberland’s innovation lab. The innovation lab gives players a “behind the scenes” look at the real work that goes into creating Timberland boots. Eight prototypes from Timberland’s actual designs were included in Fortnite.

Online explorers can also check out three distinct virtual biomes (desert, forest, and arctic) that showcase the types of terrain Timberlands were made to traverse. Each biome offers special challenges and prominently features a biomed-themed “Metaboot.” The Metaboots look like organic extensions of each natural environment. The game also includes a fourth classic Metaboot that celebrates Timberland’s iconic yellow boot. 

Want to learn more about this strengthening consumer group? Check out our Gen Z 100 report, a series of key statistics about Gen Z that all marketers must know.

Minimizing their environmental footprint

More so than older generations, Gen Z’s social and environmental causes shape their purchasing decisions. Timberland’s sincere dedication to environmental sustainability appeals to the Gen Z consumer, a group concerned about global warming and the future of our planet.

Timberland works hard to minimize their environmental impact, with the goal of eventually causing net good as they perfect the production of their shoes and apparel. More than talk, Timberland is taking action through responsible sourcing, eco-friendly materials, and a pledge to plant 50 million trees by 2025.

Q1 2022: Percentage of Younger Consumers who Use Timberland Products

Q2 2022: Percentage of Younger Consumers who Use Timberland Products

QuestBrand. Base: Use Brand. 1/1/22-3/31/22, n=823. 4/1/22-6/30/22, n=858.

Timberland did more than impress Gen Z in Q2, the boot brand also materially changed the makeup of their customer base, with a +3.1% increase in Gen Z adults who report using Timberland products.

Through well-placed marketing campaigns, and a strong values system that aligns with Gen Z’s worldview, Timberland is successfully expanding its customer base with this rising demographic


Catherine Ake

Senior Marketing and Content Strategist

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