Who’s at The Bottom of the List of People Gen Z & Millennials Trust?

They’re known for not trusting institutions and not believing much of what they hear. Can you guess what public figures these skeptical generations trust most, and who they trust least? We have the ranking…

Last year, Oxford’s Word of the Year was “post-truth”—a telling decision for an era in which fake news abounds, skepticism rules, and Millennials and Gen Z are never quite sure what to believe. Their faith in large institutions, including banks and churches, has plummeted. A recent Forbes article even suggests that Millennials should be the guides in navigating the post-truth world, because it’s their “natural habitat.”

Our Age of Not Believing trend looked at this shift back in 2014, and found that for these young consumers, not believing what they see in front of them had already become an instinct: 89% of Millennials questioned whether what they read or see online is true, and 82% took everything they read or see “with a grain of salt.” These skeptical groups are on constant watch for signs of hoaxes, pranks, and cover-ups. In the current age of Photoshop abuse, Instagram filters, and catfishing, Millennials and Gen Z are hyperaware of the ways that they can be “fooled” by what is on their screens. With trust at an all-time low, it’s become a rare, and valuable commodity.

After growing up in a “post-truth” world, who can young consumers trust? In our recent Influencer Effect research, we looked at the trust levels that young consumers have in a range of public figures to see who they are listening to—if anyone. Here’s a look at that ranking, which shows who (outside of their own friends and family) Millennials and Gen Z trust the most—and who they trust the least:

Ok, so we're not too surprised that Millennials and Gen Z were overall most likely to say that they don't trust…


Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?

The Newsfeed

“[Anna Victoria is] a good role model to women and is changing the way the world looks at fitness and body image.”—Female, 21, CA

Abercrombie & Fitch is going gender-neutral for their new kids’ clothing line. The “Everybody Collection” features “tops, bottoms, and accessories” for five-14-year-old boys and girls. A&F’s Brand President explained their decision to appeal to The Genreless Generation: "Parents and their kids don’t want to be confined to specific colors and styles, depending on whether shopping for a boy or a girl.'' The line of 25 new styles will be rolling out online and to 70 stores, starting this month. (Today)

Millennials & Gen Z already think the Nintendo Switch is cool, and now the brand is giving them more ways to use it. They’re introducing Nintendo Labo, “cardboard-based, interactive DIY experiences” for the Switch, tapping into the “toys-to-life” trend. The variety kit lets players construct five different “Toy-Con” experiences that include turning the Joy-Con controller into a motorbike handle complete with a throttle that can be twisted to accelerate, and creating a piano that senses which keys are pressed to produce the correct musical note. (Kidscreen)

YouTube is pulling Tide Pod Challenge videos from its platform. Teens started eating Tide pods when memes showcasing their Gusher-like colors went viral. The brand has since issued warnings not to eat the pods, and some stores have even begun locking up the product. YouTube has explained the decision to take down the popular pod-eating videos as a continuation of their policy to “prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm." Some are suggesting that pressure from parent company Procter & Gamble may have also been a factor. (Mashable)

The streaming wars are continuing, but audiences are turning to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime for very different kinds of content. Hub Entertainment Research found original content is winning users' time on Netflix, while over half watch Hulu for its syndicated collection, and movies are most popular on Amazon Prime. The study also found that most Americans overall spend their entertainment time watching TV (40%), but 18-24-year-olds are most likely to engage with gaming and online video, like YouTube. (Quartz)

Outdoor Voices embraced Millennials’ minimal moment to break onto the athleisure scene. The brandless brand goes for a minimalist aesthetic with pops of color, and sees itself as an anti-Nike of sorts. The founder explains that they’re “a recreational Nike” because “With Nike and so many other brands, it’s really about being an expert, being the best. With OV, it’s about how you stay healthy—and happy.” Whatever they’re doing, it’s working: the company has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2013, climbing a startling 800% in 2016 alone. (Vogue)

“I saw some heartbreaking stories in the internet, and decided to look up some international charities and donate to them.”—Male, 20, WA

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies