Target, Nintendo and More of the Most Popular Brands for Generation Z

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Generation Z, or those born between 1997 and 2012, have largely come of age during the pandemic and begun to reshape the world. According to Pew Research Center, Generation Z is more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation and is on track to be the most well-educated generation yet. They are also of the few who are “digital natives,” meaning they have little or no memory of the world as it was before transformative technological advances like smartphones.

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This advantage has made them more adaptable, and fickle, than generations prior. It does not come as a shock that most of their top 10 brands are tech-heavy with a focus on quick, portable viewing platforms that are mobile optimized. With Netflix, YouTube and Google rounding out the top 10, Gen Zers show they favor brands that enhance their day-to-day viewing — and convenience. Gen Z is also the generation of the YouTube star, so it’s no surprise the brand comes in at No. 2.

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Read: How COVID-19 Changed Gen Z’s Perspective on Money

A new special report by Morning Consult revealed that Gen Z’s top 10 brand name list includes:

  • Netflix
  • YouTube
  • Google
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Target
  • Spotify
  • Nintendo
  • PlayStation
  • Disney+

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Billboard Insider reported that the August 2020 study included more than 7,000 Gen Zers and noted that the gap between the most loved brands and all others has widened during the pandemic, reinforcing the importance of brand affinity as a powerful protector during economic downturns.

Unsurprisingly, of the top 10 list, Amazon, Google and Netflix were all among the top 16 out-of-home advertising spenders the year prior, and all four remaining among the top 25 OOH spenders in the first half of 2020, Billboard Insider added. 

This, unfortunately, means that while this new generation defines itself as representation of the few, the age-old strategy of throwing corporate money around to dominate consumer spending is a winning strategy regardless of generation.

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This does not go without saying that Gen Z has not made an immeasurable impact on corporate America. Victoria’s Secret, once the standard for many generations of young women in their sector, virtually does not exist anymore in the capacity it once was because Gen Z (and millennials) refused to accept the package Victoria’s Secret offered as a standard to beauty. Brands like Dove and Aeropostale have taken over with their body-positive branding and advertising campaigns depicting real women instead of supermodels. Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign was one of the most successful advertising campaigns the company ever experienced, winning two ad awards and increasing sales to $4 billion today from $2.5 billion in its opening campaign year in 2004.

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Gen Z’s top brands also show that they are undoubtedly the tech generation, with nine of the top 10 brands centered on technology and day-to-day convenience. For Gen Z, tech is here to stay.

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Last updated: Sept. 29, 2021

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 
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