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The Biggest Brand Score Wins & Losses of 2019

We dug into YPulse’s continuous youth brand tracker, and the brand scores of over 400 brands this year to find the biggest gains and losses—and what’s behind it all…

The YPulse youth brand tracker has tracked young consumers’ affinity with over 695 brands week to week—continuously monitoring the ups and downs of Gen Z and Millennials’ affinity for companies across CPG, QSR, fashion, media, entertainment, tech, and more. Questions about whether a brand has a bright future, is cool, or is recommended to others, are examples of the diagnostics we use to determine a brands’ success among young consumers—and a brand’s Yscore aggregates all of these measures. These brands have experienced ups and downs along the way, and to close out the year, we analyzed the biggest Yscore wins and losses of 2019.

YPulse captures the drivers behind brand affinity as Gen Z and Millennials are influenced by news, events, marketing campaigns, product improvements, and competitors. Scores can drop after a brand scandal, which we’ve seen play out in real time, or dwindle thanks to increased competition, as La Croix’s did this year. A brand’s Yscore can jump after a well-timed campaign, as we measured with the 2019 Super Bowl, or the release of a popular product as we saw with Disney just last month. In the two weeks after the launch of their new, very buzzed about, new SVOD Disney+, Disney’s Yscore increased nearly 10 points (a 20% jump). The brand tracker also captured a win for Burger King, who boosted their score by almost 50% after the release of the Impossible Whopper, tapping into the plant-based meat trend.

But while these Yscore spikes are both impressive, neither was the largest leaps in scores we saw in 2019.  We dug into the brand tracker to find the eight biggest increases from this year, and some of the biggest dips, delving into the numbers and news behind it all in our new report: The Biggest Yscore Wins & Losses of 2019.

YPulse Pro subscribers can access the full report now—and we’re giving a preview of our findings here today with a look at one of the brands who saw a giant climb in their Yscore: Taco Bell. The brand saw a 57% increase in Yscore between December and June of 2019:


What’s behind their Yscore win? The brand has been catering to their Brandom with campaigns that celebrate Taco Bell-obsessions in a fun, out-of-the-box way, culminating tin their branded hotel activation in May.

Adweek reported that the “Tacoasis in the desert” would be open for a limited time this summer in California for brand fans that wanted to “Live Más” 24/7.  A stay at “The Bell” came complete with “a Taco Bell twist” on everything from breakfast to cocktails and room décor—even a salon. Reservations for the hotel sold out in just two minutes. (Yes, minutes.) From the spice packet pillows and pool floats to the colorful branded murals, all of it was, of course, perfectly Instagrammable, so though not everyone was able to stay at the exclusive locale, it was all over social media. This was just one of the creative campaigns that helped to increase the brand’s score, but it made a big splash, and we saw the impact in their Yscore.

YPulse Pro subscribers can download the full report here.

Click here to contact us if you’re interested in accessing this report!