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

Quote of the Day: “It's free to walk to work and I get some exercise in.”—Female, 26, NY

Niche beauty brands have blurred gender lines at their core—can large cosmetics companies play catch up without seeming “disingenuous”? Milk Makeup and Fluide have built their brands on being inclusive, but larger brands sometimes strike consumers as hopping on the band wagon when they try to do the same—especially since they created so many of the gender norms they’re now rallying against. The best way for them to get in on the trend? Start by making their hiring process more inclusive both “behind the lens” and in front of it. (Fast Company)

Starbucks thinks the “health and wellness” trend is to blame for declining Frappuccino sales. Despite marketing efforts like the Unicorn Frappuccino, syrupy drink sales are down 3% from last year. However, rivals like McDonald’s and Dunkin' Donuts could be stealing sugary beverage sales from the coffee giant, meaning young consumers’ penchant for healthification isn't necessarily the culprit. In fact, McDonalds recently debuted two new frozen drinks that earning praising on Twitter. (NYPFox News)

Apple is getting into kids’ content, teaming up with Sesame Workshop for a slate of original shows. Live-action, animated, and puppet-based series will be included in the programming, but Sesame Street itself is not part of the deal. There are no details yet on where Apple will release the shows, meaning they could either shop them to another platform or debut them on their own streaming platform. Considering that Apple has several original program deals in the works, they could be looking to bulk up their own bid in the streaming wars. (Kidscreen)

Twitter and Tumblr posts are getting a new lease on life—as screenshots on Instagram. While young users of Twitter and Tumblr have declined, Ypulse’s Social Media Trackerfound that over half of 13-35-year-olds use Instagram daily. Instagram is the preferred place to post memes, despite many accounts creating their content elsewhere. Why do they switch platforms to post? Instagram’s Discover tab allows faster browsing than Twitter, while Instagram images are displayed in full rather than being cut off, like they are on Twitter. (The Verge)

Eggo sales are down in between seasons of Stranger Things. Yes, the sci-fi series has that much influence on the frozen waffle’s revenue. One Eggo executive explains that they “quickly leveraged the [resulting] consumer engagement” from the show, and it paid off: sales jumped 14% in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 9.4% for the first four months of 2018. However, fewer people are binging the Gen Z & Millennial favorite these days, so Kellogg’s frozen pancakes, waffles, and French toast sales have slowed to just 1.3% year-over-year. (CNN)

Quote of the Day: “I fell in love with trance music.”—Male, 23, NY

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