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

“I don't spend money, really on anything. I enjoy video games and will enjoy getting video games, but I receive as gifts from grandparents, parents”—Female, 14, IA

Airbnb is booming in Africa, where young travelers are “looking for culture rather than comfort.” Over two million people have used Airbnb in Africa to book vacation accommodations in the last five years, reportedly earning African hosts $139 million in just the past year. Wanderlusting Millennials are pushing themselves out of their comfort zones to discover new places, rather than retread old ground, and locales like Africa are getting a boost because of it. (Quartz)

Nielsen says they finally have a way to measure Netflix viewership—but Netflix says they’re way off base. Nielsen claims they can keep track of all viewing on the platform, including originals, “whether or not a studio or network wants them to.” Netflix claims, “The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.” Ouch. Regardless, Nielsen’s move is a step in the right direction to measure what The Post-TV Genis watching, and has “direct implications for the ad business.” (MediaPostAdAgeFortune)

Influencers are using Instagram’s new polling feature, beating brands to the punch. Influencer network Blog Lovin’ found that 66% of their followers (many of which are influencers) had already used polling, while 87% plan to in the future. Polling is not only an opportunity to engage with customers but a way for brands to “[ask] for feedback about products, creat[e] engagement around topics that are in the media and [conduct] market research.” But brands have been slow to ask influencers to use the new story feature for promotions or to utilize the feature on their standalone accounts. (Glossy)

High school students are increasingly taking college courses—but little is known about whether it will benefit them. Thanks to dual-enrollment programs, which are expanding rapidly, students can get a head start on college credits, cutting down on the cost of higher education. Some also argue that Advanced Placement courses are more rigorous, and worthier of students’ extra effort. However, the impacts of programs on “a diverse set of students” is not yet known. (WSJ)

Kids have online influencers too, and they’re pushing branded toys to devoted viewers. Unboxing videos on YouTube are not a new phenomenon, but kid stars unboxing toys are getting brands’ attention as a way to leverage The Influencer Effect. MGA Entertainment, the world’s largest private toy company, pivoted 90% of their ad spend to digital in 2014 and report the strategy is paying off. Studies show children’s attention is switching from cable to YouTube, and influencers help brands reach a “much more engaged smaller audience” and give them “that potential for virality.” (Bloomberg)

"I love coffee and love the experience of having someone make me a nice latte. I like being around other people and hanging out in restaurants or cafes.”—Female, 20, PA

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