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: “Most social media is an echo-chamber for immaturity.”—Male, 30, MD

Violent video games don’t cause violent behavior, according to “one of the most definitive [studies] to date.” At a time when several states are considering tacking on extra taxes to violent video games, the Oxford Internet Institute’s study found that playing content considered violent did not cause 14-15-year-olds in the U.K. to act more aggressively. The study’s co-author says that previous studies have been influenced by “researcher biases” that led to studies that gave “undue weight to the moral panic surrounding video games.” (

A new rosé brand is winning over Millennials with its Instagrammable bottle. The Wonderful Company, known for brands like Fiji Water and Pistachios, brought a new wine brand to market just in time for Valentine’s Day—and it’s already outselling their other labels. JNSQ (an acronym for the French phrase “je ne sais quoi”) sells rosé and sauvignon blanc that come in glass containers designed to look like retro perfume bottles. Influencers and a national marketing campaign helped propel the brand. (Adweek)

Minecraft for mobile made more money than ever in 2018. According to Sensor Tower, the gaming sensation’s mobile version raked in $110 million last year, rising 7% from last year. In addition, 48% of that revenue came from the U.S., followed by just 6.6% from Great Britain. All eyes may be on Fortnite, but the Minecraft Effect still has a hold on young gamers, and Gen Z & Millennials still rank the game as one of their favorites. (Venture Beat)

Nostalgic Millennials can soon set sail on a Golden Girls-themed cruise. The experiential, adults-only cruise will include themed activities like a “One Night in St. Olaf Dance Party,” a game of Ugel and Flugel, and a costume contest for fans dressed up as the main characters. There will also be plenty of trivia, bingo, and cheesecake on this five-night experience aboard the Celebrity Infinity. This isn’t the only cruise ship catering to adults recently; Virgin’s first cruise ship is 18-and-up-only and even has a tattoo parlor on board. (People)

Daquan, the meme account with 12 million followers, is teaming up with All Def Media for a slate of original content. The premium videos will signal a departure from what Daquan is known for: gritty, homemade content that ranges like blurry SpongeBob SquarePants screenshots transformed into memes via clever captions. The new videos will debut across All Def Media and Daquan’s social channels, which include Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, IGTV, and YouTube. (Tubefilter)

Quote of the Day: “I think social media can bring light to issues that are of importance such as animal rescue and environmental awareness.”—Female, 22, MI

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