What brands are Gen Z and Millennials recommending to others? Our youth brand tracker has the answers…

When we ask young consumers what influences the products they buy, recommendations from their friends and family are always at the top of the list. In our recent back to school survey, they told us recommendations from their friends and family were the top thing influencing their purchases. Our TV and entertainment survey found that’s the top way they hear about new shows. Millennial parents say it’s a top influencer on the products they buy for their children (only after requests from the kids themselves). What’s the top influence over the health and beauty products that young consumers buy? You guessed it: if their friends buy or recommend it. You get the point. For these generations, word of mouth is vital in choosing what to buy—they trust their friends over marketing, and tell us that when deciding what to buy, reviews and recommendations they find online or hear from their friends and family are more valuable to them than information given to them by the company, expert opinions, or any form of ad.

So becoming one of the brands that they’ll actually recommend to the people they know can have a powerful impact—and our youth brand tracker keeps tabs on exactly what brands they’re most likely to recommend to others right now. Our youth brand tracker Ybrands, which launched in January of this year, has collected over 54,000 interviews that tell us how young consumers feel about more than 300 brands—and these are the top 20 they are telling their friends about:

*Ybrands measures young consumers’ relationships with a brand based on a weighted 6-point scale, ranging from “Never heard of this brand” to “This brand is one of my favorites.” As part of Ybrands’ “Brand Influence” metric, we also ask respondents “Which of the following have you previously RECOMMENDED to others?” These are the top brands that were rated as recommended among those who are aware of the brand. The brands on this list are among the almost 300 brands included in the brand tracker as of 10/23. Rankings are subject to change as more brands are added and removed. 

Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube top the list of the 20 brands that Gen Z and Millennials are recommending to others. Netflix’s top ranking reinforces the amount of clout the media brand has with young consumers—it also made the number two spot on our list of brands young consumers think are cool right now (beating out Apple, and all social media platforms).

In addition, Netflix ranked highly among all age groups, showing that Gen Z as well as younger and older Millennials are all spreading the word about their love for the brand:

While 13-17-year-olds were most likely to say they have recommended YouTube, Netflix still landed at number two on their list, and topped the list for both 18-24-year-olds and 25-36-year-olds. Amazon beat out major retailers Target and Walmart in the rankings among all age groups, once again proving just how much young shoppers love the mega-retail site.

And if you’re wondering why so many indulgent treats are on the top recommended brands list for young consumers, just remember they’re a healthy-ish group who likes to treat themselves—and apparently tell their friends to treat themselves too.

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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