The 20 Luxury Brands Millennials & Gen Z Most Want to Own

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We asked 1000 13-34-year-olds to tell us the luxury brand they want to own most, and ranked their top desired products and labels…

Young consumers today have a shifting definition of luxury, and luxury brands are facing an uphill battle with these young consumers, who don’t automatically think a high-end heritage brand is cool because it has a high price tag, and often value travel and experiences over costly jewelry, shoes, and bags. Conspicuous consumption is also less appealing to the young people who came of age during the Great Recession: according to a recent Ypulse monthly survey, 81% of 13-34-year-olds agree “Showing off expensive things you have bought on social media is not cool.” We’ve also found that Millennials and teens are more drawn to the words "High Quality" and "Durable" when purchasing items and are not as impressed when items are described as "Exclusive" or "Luxury."

But last year, more luxury brands began to make changes to products and marketing to focus in on Millennials and Gen Z. Some are turning to new influencers to form relationships with Millennials and Gen Z before they become the core luxury demographic, while others are embracing accessibility or technology to appeal. And while young consumers might not value luxury brands in the same way previous generations did, they’re not necessarily averse to them: only 30% of 13-34-year-olds say their parents care more about owning luxury brands and products than they do, and 46% say they will feel successful in life when they are able to afford luxury brands and products. To see which luxury brands they actually want, we asked 1000 13-34-year-olds, “What is the luxury brand you most want to own?”* Here are the 20 that were mentioned the most:

*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of 13-34-year-olds’ most-desired luxury brands. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are most wanted. The lists are ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred. 

What Is the Luxury Brand They Most Want to Own?

13-34-year-olds

  1. Apple
  2. BMW
  3. Tesla
  4. Audi
  5. Mercedes
  6. Michael Kors
  7. Louis Vuitton
  8. Lexus
  9. Gucci
  10. Rolex
  11. Chanel
  12. Coach
  13. Ferrari
  14. Kate Spade
  15. Porsche
  16. Nike
  17. Samsung
  18. Prada
  19. Christian Louboutin
  20. Cadillac

As with so many things, Apple ranks at the top of the list of luxury brands that they would want to own most. “Quality,” “love,” “best,” “technology,” and “design” were all words frequently used in the reasons they picked Apple. One 18-year-old female told us, “They make great beautiful products,” and a 24-year-old male said of the brand, “high quality technology, premium aesthetic, and simple design.” It’s no surprise this top-tech brand ranks above all on the list—of the 55% of 13-34-year-olds who have purchased a luxury product, 23% say it was a tech item, more than any other category.

Interestingly considering Millennials’ reputation for “not caring” about cars, auto brands round out the overall top five list, and make up almost half of the list overall—which also might indicate that this is the category that young consumers associate the word “luxury” with. But not all young consumers are lusting after the same cars: 

Tesla ranks higher on young males’ list, and Audi makes their top five, while not making the top ranking for females. Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton are the two highest ranked fashion brands among young females. Gen Z are slightly less likely than Millennials to name a luxury vehicle brand as the next they want to own, with only two car brands (BMW and Mercedes) making their top five, while three car brands (Tesla, BMW, and Audi) made the top three for 18-34-year-olds.  

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The Newsfeed

“It[‘s] only about the music for me, nothing else dictates what I listen to, I either like it or I don't.”—Male, 28, WA

A new app is getting teens’ attention as it rises through the ranks of the new social apps to know, even surpassing Houseparty’s popularity—but the catch is it’s “piggyback[ing]” on Snapchat. Polly allows users to create anonymous surveys that they can send on Snapchat (there's that anonymity allure again), meaning many users may not have actually downloaded the Polly app, so they “could slip away if friends stop posting questions.” For now though, the app amassed 20 million users and 100 million answers last month, proving it’s one to keep an eye on. (TechCrunch)

Designers are taking to social media to “shame” the retailers ripping off their work. When Zoila Darton spotted a Forever 21 shirt eerily similar to the one she helped create to benefit Planned Parenthood, she posted a tweet to let the brand know their copycat didn’t go unnoticed—and quickly gained attention from fashion editors and others. This isn’t the first time pieces have been copied by Forever 21, but designers have a hard time taking legal recourse against the powerful company. Instead, social media posts are often their best bet. (NYTimes)

BeautyCon is continuing to take “Sephora and Coachella and smash it into one thing” to appeal to young consumers. At the latest L.A. event, 20,000 beauty fans came to meet their influencer idols and try out the latest makeup trends, surrounded by empowering slogans and messages—true to the brand’s idea that “beauty can be something beyond a concealer culture.” Of course, brands were there “to win over the new generation”—ChapStick Duo offered cotton candy while Rimmel London’s “slayground” gave attendees a chance to set down their makeup and enjoy a jungle gym and swing set.
(The New Yorker)

It turns out saving money might not be cord cutters’ top reason for switching to streaming. Instead, a recent Magid Associates survey found that “the attractions” of SVOD programming (aka their content) is their top reason for making the move, followed by the overall decline of TV-viewing among 18-24-year-olds. Cable companies are trying to reel The Post-TV Gen back in by offering lower-cost cable bundles (so-called “skinny bundles”), but stepping up their shows might be a better first step to reversing the “accelerating” trend of cutting the cord. (TheStreet)

Pokémon is reaching out to a new generation of trainers with its first app for preschool-aged kids. Pokémon Playhouse follows in the wake of the massively successful augmented reality app, Pokémon Go (which was so popular that we put together an entire infographic on it) but won’t be AR-based. Instead, Playhouse will tap into the collectibles trend by featuring favorite characters like Pikachu for kids to collect by completing activities. There will also be puzzles and more in the app’s “interactive park.” (Kidscreen)

“I'm literally listening to music any time it is socially acceptable.”—Female, 28, MN

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