Who Do Millennials Trust?


Despite evidence that Millennials overall trust less than previous generations, “trust no one” hasn’t quite become their mantra. When we asked Millennials ages 14-32 if there are any brands that they can really trust, 73% said yes—an unexpected majority of brand trusters in a group that has become known for their skepticism of institutions.
 
Interestingly, some of the differences between younger and older Millennials might be affecting their trust levels, as 75% of Millennials over 18-year-old said there was a brand they could trust, compared to 68% of Millennials under 18. As younger Millennials were raised during the recession, they tend to be more pragmatic and less optimistic than older Millennials, and this lower trust level could stem from that background.
 
Of course, the fact that they say there is a brand they can trust does not mean that their trust isn’t tough to earn and easy to lose. They are still a group that is quick to react when they learn a brand is not meeting their expectations, and are often suspicious of the motives of companies. Meanwhile, a brand’s reputation can be contentious: even those brands that have earned the trust of some made the list of untrusted brands. 

So who do they trust? When we asked that 73% to tell us the brand they trust the most, tech brands dominated the top of the list:  

Apple, Samsung, Google, and Nike (which for many is a blend of an attire and tech brand thanks to their pioneering fitness tracking technology) all rose to the top of the list of 20 most trusted brands. 12% of respondents who say there is a brand they can trust named Apple as that brand, double the amount of Nike, which was the second most trusted brand at 6%. Tech brands’ dominance of the most trusted list aligns with the generation’s reliance on their devices, but…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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