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

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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