Samsonite’s success with Gen Z built on packing up trust, innovation

Gen Z has been Samsonite’s target audience as it aims to associate
its iconic brand with lifestyle, flexibility, purpose, and trust.

For employees working for luggage brand Samsonite, travel is sacred. And at Samsonite, a company that has been globally focused on developing new commercial ventures with Gen Z in mind, appealing to the generation’s craving for work-life balance and flexibility is key to their strategy.

According to a 2023 Deloitte report, Gen Z and millennials in Singapore have indicated that work/life balance is a top priority, along with flexible work arrangements. Samsonite aims to associate its iconic brand with lifestyle, flexibility, purpose, and trust – characteristics valued by the younger generation.

David Oksman, the company’s Vice President of Marketing and E-Commerce in the U.S., wants employees to remember that their job is not just about selling luggage--it’s about showing the transformative power of travel.

Gen Z makes up 55% penetration in the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) space.

“We are focused on authentic storytelling and our culture internally reflects those values as well. This is not an ‘Instafake’ version of the world,” David explained. “Travel has depth to it, and we live that, inside and out.”

Part of steering the ship of an iconic brand is recognizing when the tide has turned and when it’s time for new adventures, particularly when it comes to payments.

David, who has spent more than 20 years working at the intersection of purpose-driven brands and digital commerce, joined Samsonite on March 10, 2020 – days before a global pandemic shut down travel and forced the industry into a tailspin. However, during the pandemic, Samsonite’s digital presence saw dramatic growth, particularly when it came to e-commerce.

Working with trusted partners helps build ‘position of strength’

Millennials and Gen Z consumers rate PayPal as the most
trusted brand to keep their financial information secure.

In Singapore, trust is a driving force for those considering a financial services provider. In fact, a 2022 YouGov report found that safety and security of money was a top priority for Singaporeans, as indicated by 72% of respondents, compared to 65% of remaining respondents in Asia Pacific.

David reiterated how in the U.S., building trust has always been critical to the brand – including working with other brands that have the same stellar reputation, particularly when it comes to something as critical as safe payments and innovation.

“The consumer really needs to have trust in getting to that conversion and trust that they are making the right choice for their financial approach,” he said. “PayPal, like Samsonite, is a brand with heritage that has earned the most trusted consideration for consumers. I believe it’s the best tool out there and it puts us in a position of strength and trust with our consumer. Best of all, the team is super proactive at offering opportunities and tech solution perspectives.”

Building trust involves captivating audiences with modern, innovative products and experiences, both on the shelf and at checkout. For example, from a business perspective, the company is looking at elevating their omnichannel experience by creating a connected digital ecosystem that allows user to access Samsonite products across a variety of channels including social media platforms, online marketplaces, and well-known department stores.

From a product perspective, Samsonite has started adding a dedicated space on some luggage for a Bluetooth tracking device after recent chaotic scenes in airports around the world. They also focus on sustainable practices, providing customers with zipper repair pouches at the point of purchase to encourage travelers to fix their luggage rather than throw it away.

“Trust and innovation go hand-in-hand. Trust comes from what you’ve done before and innovation comes from where we go next,” David explained. “We are always looking for new opportunities and the right tools to grow.” 

The Modern Enterprise series explores the issues and opportunities shaping today’s most successful companies. Read about innovations that change the competition, new ways of doing business that consumers have come to expect, and hear from industry leaders on their decisions and the lessons they’ve learned. Read more or sign up for the newsletter here. For more on how PayPal can help your company, visit PayPal for Enterprise. 

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

Contact Us - Filler feature box for Ad content
Media Resources - Filler feature box for Ad content