YPulse’s brand tracking survey measures Gen Z and Millennials’ affinity for hundreds of brands on a weekly basis; against 20 unique diagnostics, and our data–explorable on our Pro data dashboards–shows which brands are winning over the young gens. But in addition to asking young consumers to rate over 1000 brands on these youth-specific diagnostics, we also give the over 400,000 of 13-39-year-olds surveyed annually the opportunity to name their favorite brand in an open-ended question. In this format, unaided by a list of options, we see which brands are at the top of young peoples’ minds, and hear in their own words what makes a brand their favorite. This data is available to Pro users in our new Consumer Verbatims dashboard—but we’re giving you a look at what young consumers are saying today.
When YPulse asks “What is your favorite brand?” 13-39-year-olds’ unprompted answers include many that come up frequently in other rankings. A few names that may surprise you, though, are making the top 10 brands young consumers name as their favorite:
Top Favorite Brands (unaided)
13-39-year-olds in North America
- Victoria’s Secret
Their favorite brands are ones they’re using all the time
The top 10 brands Gen Z and Millennials name as their favorite are brands that they’re likely using daily; smartphones, media, shopping, and clothing all rise to the top. And no matter which way the question is asked, brands like Apple, Nike, and Netflix come up frequently in top brand rankings. Their top five self-named favorite brands are also in the top 10 brands they consider themselves loyal to. While YPulse data shows many reasons these brands are winning their affinity, the Consumer Verbatims let young people put it into exact words. We categorize these open-ended answers into different attributes, and rank the top five by frequency of response for each brand:
Quality is the top factor driving brand affinity
Of the top 10 brands Gen Z and Millennials name as their favorite, there’s a range of reasons they say they’ve named it. But the one attribute all these brands have in common is quality; spanning across industries, young consumers are looking for quality products and services. Through the open responses, we can see how young consumers are defining quality: durability and longevity are frequent mentions for products, whereas services are named quality for the value of their content. But, of the 10, quality is only the No. 1 factor for two brands—Sony and Samsung—showing quality is necessary, but perhaps not enough on its own.
With quality as its second most mentioned attribute, Apple comes out on top of all brands young consumers name as their favorite. Of the more than 10K young consumers who have named Apple as their favorite brand, the most common reason why is convenience / ease. Some exact reasons that fall in this category include “because they are the easiest to use and most updated,” and one even notes that “it is efficient to use and very friendly for deaf users,” showing convenience / ease can indicate a level of accessibility, too. Apple is clearly succeeding in youth affinity in purchasing, too; YPulse’s Brand Loyalty report shows Apple is the second top brand young consumers name, in another open-ended question, as a brand they are loyal to. And smartphone brands are the product they’re most loyal to, across all industries from personal care to cars.
Our Pro data dashboards also measure brand affinity in Western Europe, and show for those young consumers, “quality” was the top attribute for six out of their top 10 brands. Though the young consumers in these different regions share their top three favorites (even in order), half of the brands young Europeans list as favorites don’t make North Americans’ list. To learn more about getting data on Young Europeans, check out YPulse’s regional Pro and Prime options.
Price is not the top factor for what makes a brand their favorite
When it comes to what their favorite brand is, price is not exactly a top driving attribute. In fact, of their top 10 favorite brands, price is the top driving factor for only one brand (Walmart), and only makes the top 3 attributes for one other (Amazon). However, young consumers make a majority of their purchasing decisions based on price. In our recent trend report The Cause Conundrum, YPulse data shows that price is the top attribute that 13-39-year-olds say they consider when buying a product, followed by quality. But the Consumer Verbatims data indicates that while price is a huge driver of their purchasing decisions, when it comes to affinity there are more likely to be other things influencing their views. In other words, while low prices are key, it’s not the only thing that brands need to do to win these gens over.
Price is often mentioned in relation to quality in the consumer verbatims, though; one response naming Samsung as their favorite brand cited it’s because “it gives high quality and convenient price,” and another says “they just have high quality products that are reasonably priced.” For others, price is justified with quality; one respondent says Victoria’s Secret is their favorite brand because it’s “good quality, high price for a reason.” So, price is not necessarily exclusive from these top attributes, but is also not the stand alone factor that makes a brand a young consumer favorite.