Gen Z and Millennials are the most diverse generations to date, so it’s important to remember when looking at them as a whole, you’re really looking at many unique demographics within them. And one major demographic to consider is young people of color, as they make up half of these gens. As YPulse explored in our BIPOC and Brands special report*, these young consumers have huge spending power and value brands who make true efforts toward diversity and inclusion—though that isn’t the only deciding factor when it comes to their top brands. In fact, their biggest purchase driver is actually how trustworthy they perceive a brand to be, which we can measure in our Brand Tracker.
YPulse’s Brand Tracker monitors the brand health of over 600 brands in North America on a weekly basis, revealing 13-39-year-olds’ affinity for brands across industries. The brand data looks at 20 youth-centric diagnostics, including which brands they think are cool, reflect who they are, are talked about, reflect diversity, make the world better, get them, and more. All of these individual measures then roll up into YScore+; an overall snapshot of how your brand is performing among young consumers.
When we combine the scores from brand ratings by young people of color, our data shows these are the 15 brands with their highest YScore+ now:
Young People of Color’s Top Brands Across All Industries
- Savage X Fenty
Nike is young people of color’s top scoring brand
Compiling all 20 diagnostic scores, Nike is the top YScore+ brand amongst young people of color—and there’s no shortage of reasons why. It’s a top scoring brand among both Gen Z and Millennials overall, and is rated as the coolest retail brand for Gen Z, as well as a top 10 most diverse and inclusive brand. So, for the young people of color who make up these gens, it’s no different: Nike makes clothing and shoes in the styles they love, keeps up with trends (like engaging in the metaverse), and is committed to representation in an authentic way.
As another function of YPulse’s Brand Tracker, we ask young consumers what their favorite brand is as an open-ended question, as well as why. While this is a separate diagnostic from their top YScore+, it gives insight through direct verbatims as to what it is that makes these top brands so well-loved amongst young consumers. For Nike, style, quality, comfort, diverse offerings, and price are the top five factors most mentioned by young POC in explaining why this is their favorite brand. One young person of color tells YPulse Nike is their favorite brand because “they make really great quality shoes as well as great quality clothes. It’s a brand that will last years.”
YouTube far outpaces TikTok as a top brand
Though everyone is trying to connect with young people on TikTok, our data shows YouTube is by far the social media brand young people of color have an affinity for the most. In fact, it’s their overall top media, tech, and entertainment brand, as well as the number one rank among video brands. It far surpasses TikTok (number eight) in their YScore+ rankings, and given that our data shows young POC are +15pts more likely to say they use YouTube (66%) than TikTok (51%), it’s the clear winner of their affinity.
We also know that social media is a huge purchase influencer for young people of color, even more than for their White / non–Hispanic peers. YPulse’s Ad / Marketing Effectiveness data shows the number one place young POC say they last saw an ad that made them want to purchase something was on YouTube. So, while brands are concerned with growing their presence on Gen Z’s favorite app, they should not forget about reaching consumers on YouTube, especially as young people of color value this brand so highly.
How do these compare with White / non-Hispanic young consumers’ top brands?
Young people of color and their White / non-Hispanic peers share many of the same top scoring brands, but not all of them, and not in the same order. For example, Amazon ranks in as WNH young people’s top YScore+ brand, while it comes in at number three for young POC. But other brands, like the NBA, CashApp, Savage X Fenty, and Jordan are unique to the top 15 ranking of young POC. Savage X Fenty is the top scoring brand among young POC for our “reflects diversity” diagnostic, and the NBA ranks in at fifth for them, both far exceeding the scores of young WNH consumers in this measure. Here, the value of reflecting diversity is likely adding to their higher overall ranking with young people of color, emphasizing that while it’s not their top purchase driver, it still makes a difference in their affinity.
*This report was published before YPulse formally began using “people of color (POC)” instead of “Black / Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC),” per young people’s preferences found in our Representation in Action (Revisited) report data.