The Jewelry District, Episode 68: Guest Ziad Ahmed


You’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates talk with Ziad Ahmed, CEO of JUV Consulting, a New York City–based firm that advises companies on how to market to Gen Z.

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Show Notes
00:30 Victoria and Rob introduce their guest Ziad Ahmed, CEO of JUV Consulting
06:02 Rob asks what characteristics define Gen Z
14:30 Victoria asks about non-digital experiences and purpose-led brands, while Rob asks about how Gen Zers feel about marketing
18:45 Rob asks how Gen Z views the luxury category
21:27 Victoria asks how Gen Zers are now buying jewelry

Episode Credits
Hosts: Rob Bates and Victoria Gomelsky
Producer and engineer: Natalie Chomet
Plugs: jckonline.com, @jckmagazine, JUV Consulting

Show Recap

Introducing Ziad Ahmed
Victoria and Rob introduce their guest Ziad Ahmed, CEO of JUV Consulting, a New York City–based firm that advises companies on how to market to Gen Z. Gen Z is defined as people who were born between 1997 and 2012. Ziad was born and raised in Princeton, N.J., in an American-Muslim household. In eighth grade, he started a nonprofit, a by-teens, for-teens organization that make community and schools more operative and inclusive. In high school, he started JUV Consulting, as he believed diverse young people should have a seat at the table.

What Makes Gen-Z
Rob asks what Ziad relies on for the information he’s tapped into on Gen Z, and Ziad reports that it’s a mix of survey data, in-depth research, and more. Victoria asks what kind of clients JUV works with, and Ziad says it ranges from Fortune 500s to startups to local campaigns to nonprofits. Ziad shares some of the clients that he’s been proud to work with. Rob asks the key characteristics that define Gen Z, and Ziad says Gen Z has grown up in the digital age, with social media as a language that they’re fluent in that allows them to find community. Victoria asks which platforms are essential, and Ziad thinks TikTok is the platform of the moment where celebrities are made overnight.

Gen Z and Digital Experiences, Sustainability, and Marketing
Victoria is interested in Ziad’s non-digital experiences, and Ziad explains how non-digital and digital experiences are blended. She then asks how Gen Z views the marketplace and how they want to shop, and if purpose-led brands are important to Gen Zers. Ziad says the American market has the capital to spend a little extra on purpose-led brands. Ziad believes we will continue to raise the bar on what sustainability looks like. Rob asks what turns Gen Zers off or what comes across as tone-deaf, and Ziad says that most marketing is cringe-inducing, and that’s why JUV consulting exists.

How Gen Z Views Luxury
Rob asks about luxury and how Ziad’s generation tends to look at luxury, and Ziad says luxury is in for a rude awakening as a lot of it is antithetical to Gen Z’s values. There are issues around inclusivity, income inequality, and gluttony and excess that are being scrutinized by this generation. Gen Z is concerned with what companies are paying their employees, how stable the supply chain is, and what kind of craftsmanship went into the making of the piece. Gen Z, Ziad says, is concerned with its image and, like a brand, is trying to create who they are and show what they represent through their purchasing habits.

How Gen Z Buys Jewelry
Victoria asks where Gen Z’s very deliberate purchasing habits leave them in terms of buying jewelry, and Ziad says Gen Z is very much interested in jewelry as a means of gender expression, but many are buying their jewelry secondhand from thrift stores. However, Ziad says there is still interest in new jewelry. Rob asks about traditional ceremonies that call for jewelry, such as weddings, and if Gen Z will still be buying jewelry for that purpose.  Ziad says yes, but he explains how it might look different from generations past.

Photo courtesy of Ziad Ahmed

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