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…


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The Newsfeed

“It[‘s] only about the music for me, nothing else dictates what I listen to, I either like it or I don't.”—Male, 28, WA

A new app is getting teens’ attention as it rises through the ranks of the new social apps to know, even surpassing Houseparty’s popularity—but the catch is it’s “piggyback[ing]” on Snapchat. Polly allows users to create anonymous surveys that they can send on Snapchat (there's that anonymity allure again), meaning many users may not have actually downloaded the Polly app, so they “could slip away if friends stop posting questions.” For now though, the app amassed 20 million users and 100 million answers last month, proving it’s one to keep an eye on. (TechCrunch)

Designers are taking to social media to “shame” the retailers ripping off their work. When Zoila Darton spotted a Forever 21 shirt eerily similar to the one she helped create to benefit Planned Parenthood, she posted a tweet to let the brand know their copycat didn’t go unnoticed—and quickly gained attention from fashion editors and others. This isn’t the first time pieces have been copied by Forever 21, but designers have a hard time taking legal recourse against the powerful company. Instead, social media posts are often their best bet. (NYTimes)

BeautyCon is continuing to take “Sephora and Coachella and smash it into one thing” to appeal to young consumers. At the latest L.A. event, 20,000 beauty fans came to meet their influencer idols and try out the latest makeup trends, surrounded by empowering slogans and messages—true to the brand’s idea that “beauty can be something beyond a concealer culture.” Of course, brands were there “to win over the new generation”—ChapStick Duo offered cotton candy while Rimmel London’s “slayground” gave attendees a chance to set down their makeup and enjoy a jungle gym and swing set.
(The New Yorker)

It turns out saving money might not be cord cutters’ top reason for switching to streaming. Instead, a recent Magid Associates survey found that “the attractions” of SVOD programming (aka their content) is their top reason for making the move, followed by the overall decline of TV-viewing among 18-24-year-olds. Cable companies are trying to reel The Post-TV Gen back in by offering lower-cost cable bundles (so-called “skinny bundles”), but stepping up their shows might be a better first step to reversing the “accelerating” trend of cutting the cord. (TheStreet)

Pokémon is reaching out to a new generation of trainers with its first app for preschool-aged kids. Pokémon Playhouse follows in the wake of the massively successful augmented reality app, Pokémon Go (which was so popular that we put together an entire infographic on it) but won’t be AR-based. Instead, Playhouse will tap into the collectibles trend by featuring favorite characters like Pikachu for kids to collect by completing activities. There will also be puzzles and more in the app’s “interactive park.” (Kidscreen)

“I'm literally listening to music any time it is socially acceptable.”—Female, 28, MN

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