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These Are The Top 15 Brands Among Young Consumers in Western Europe

YPulse’s youth brand tracker data shows what brands are winning with young Europeans right now…


YPulse officially launched in Western Europe two months ago, bringing brands all the insights they need to understand Gen Z and Millennials in the U.K., Italy, France, Germany, and Spain—including intel on the brands young Europeans like the most. We’ve told you about the brands they feel a sense of community around, the beauty brands they’re most excited to try, and the brand apps they’re using to shop the most. Now, we’re tapping data from our youth brand tracker to tell you about the top brands among young Europeans.

Our exclusive brand tracker uses youth-specific diagnostics to measure brands’ performance among Gen Z and Millennials, and compiles all of those individual scores into YScore+,  an overall measure of the affinity performance of a brand. Now, we’re tracking over 1,100 brands across both North American and Western Europe, and today we’re bringing you the first glimpse at young Europeans’ brand preferences by revealing the ranking of the 15 brands with the highest YScore+ among this group across all industries:

Top 15 YScore+ Among Young Europeans

  1. PayPal
  2. IKEA
  3. Amazon
  4. Netflix
  5. Mercadona
  6. dm-drogerie markt
  7. Nike
  8. Kinder
  9. REWE
  10. Estrella Galicia
  11. Duolingo
  12. Apple
  13. Leroy Merlin
  14. YouTube
  15. Google Classroom

Let’s start at the top: PayPal is the brand with the highest YScore+ among young Europeans. PayPal has made a big push into Europe as the historically cash-centric society starts to make the move toward digital payments. The shift was prompted by the pandemic—in an effort to slow the spread of COVID, consumers warmed up to contactless payments, and our recent Shopping and Retail report found that 87% of 13-39-year-olds in the region are interested in swapping cash for something cleaner. In 2020, the number of mobile payment users in Western Europe increased by 18.7% to 59.3 million users, a figure that is expected to grow to 70.6 million by 2023. Brands have started to jump on board, and Paypal partnered with payment processor Euronet to enable PayPal’s QR code payment system for in-store customers all across Europe. The move has clearly worked. Now, Paypal is a top brand among young Europeans.

IKEA is the second-highest-ranking brand among young Europeans, winning their affinity not just because of its endless supply of affordable, stylish, and convenient furniture, but also because the brand is constantly finding creative ways to engage young consumers. IKEA recently created a wildly popular reality show in Spain, which traps a group of young Spanish contestants in the “pre-Ikea” ‘90s, blurring the lines between reality, fiction, and marketing. It also helped kids build cooler forts during quarantine, and sold “vacations in a box” to transport quarantined young travelers “in spirit.” 

Further down the list are brands that have long been top performers among young North American consumers but are clearly just as popular in Western Europe, too: Amazon, Netflix, Nike, Apple, and YouTube. Amazon is the top app young Europeans are using to shop, Nike is the brand they feel the strongest sense of community around, and Netflix is by far the top streaming service they’re using to watch video content. But the rest of the list veers away from the global standards into more regional brands. Here it’s important to remember that brand tracker diagnostics are captured among young consumers who are aware of the brand, so the high performance of more “local” (country-specific) brands shows that among those who know that brand, they’re scoring especially high. Mercadona, which has the fifth-highest YScore+, is Spain’s largest supermarket chain, and has won major brand loyalty among the 5 million Spanish households that shop its aisles by providing the highest quality at the lowest cost. dm-drogerie markt, meanwhile, is Germany’s top drugstore chain, and it has remained a favorite by continuing to innovate and keep consumers interested. Customers can vote on what limited edition body care products they want dm to produce next, and the brand also partners with influences, including with top German YouTube influencer BibisBeautyPalace, who created a line of branded beauty products. 

Other top-scoring brands include Kinder, Italy’s top chocolate brand, and Estrella Galicia, the cult Spanish beer company winning young consumers’ affinity with creative campaigns. Most recently, the brand released a special edition brew featuring a label that pays tribute to the popular Spanish Netflix series Money Heist (La Casa de Papel). The beer brand also recently hosted a month of Spanish food celebrations for holiday-deprived consumers in the U.K., including tapas tours, tasting menus and at-home experiences. In our recent WE Future of Experience report, we found that young Europeans have shown an interest in brand-sponsored virtual (and in-person) events, and brands that successfully create these experiences are likely to continue winning their support—and YScore+ rankings.


YPulse Western Europe Business users can access the full Brand Data Dashboard, and diagnostics on over 800 brands in Western Europe here.

Don’t have a YPulse Western Europe Business account? Find out more here.