Much of the millennial generation practices brand loyalty. In fact, only 17 percent said they would be willing to try a new brand, according to a 2017 retail experience study conducted by TD Bank. Companies successfully create brand affinity for millennials through a variety of factors — including positive customer service experiences, non-traditional marketing campaigns and fair price points.
Click through to see the companies that are best at attracting millennial spending.
This American technology company has staked a substantial claim within various categories of consumer goods, such as phones, TVs, speakers and watches. When you think of Apple, it’s not just about high-level technology — it’s also about sleek innovation.
In 2016, branding ad agency Moosylvania surveyed 1,500 millennial consumers who placed Apple at the top of its list of favorites. Millennials support the brand so much that they are literally buying into the company. In fact, Business Insider reported that trading app, Robinhood, showed millennial investors are buying shares of Apple 78 percent more often than they are selling.
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Although traditional Target stores average around 130,000 square feet, the discount retailer is shifting from large suburban stores to smaller stores in urban areas and college towns to appeal to its new target demographic, reported the Wall Street Journal.
But accessibility is only one of the reasons why millennials are gravitating toward Target. With the company’s two private label brands, Archer Farms and Up and Up, millennials can still shop even when on a budget.
Unlike Baby Boomers, who care less about the price and place a higher value on trusting the brand, 63 percent of millennials say the price is the most important when choosing a retailer, according to a 2017 retail experience study conducted by TD Bank.
Although millennial consumers might be money conscious when it comes to purchasing everyday items, they aren’t when it comes to buying athletic apparel. Out of those in the space, Nike has consistently given millennials a product to pay attention to. The Nike Corporation ranked third in the 2017 Conde Nast and Goldman Sachs Love List Brand Affinity study, which examined millennial shopping behavior.
Millennials also favor being connected with others in the same community, which Nike has accomplished through offering motivational advice to providing information on races and other activities that fit within the brand.
Millennials have fully embraced car-sharing services. Despite Uber’s rough patch of bad press in 2017, it still takes YouGov survey’s No. 1 spot for converting millennial consumers into current customers.
Uber’s chief rival Lyft is also making gains, snagging the No. 3 spot on the YouGov survey’s list.
Three out of four millennials have a positive outlook toward the sharing economy, according to a recent Airbnb study — and the home-sharing service fits perfectly into that niche.
Although other businesses in this niche exist, Airbnb has secured a favorable impression amongst Generation Y: When Airbnb polled millennial consumers, 58 percent expressed a positive view of its brand.
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The photo-sharing social media app has changed the way all brands think about marketing themselves. But when it comes to the app’s own brand, it has a pretty significant hold on the market. 34 percent of U.S. millennials say they use Instagram daily, according to data from online polling company CivicScience.
When it comes to buying habits, millennials love convenience, according to the TD bank study. And one brand that has mastered one-click shopping better than any other e-commerce company is Amazon.
The online retail behemoth took the second spot in Prophet’s Brand Relevance Index, which polled more 15,000 U.S. consumers across 27 industries. Amazon continues to expand its offerings into original programming and even healthcare.
In the same vein of brands that make an experience convenient, Netflix has altered the way people watch TV into a completely on-demand experience. Boomers might think of Netflix as a DVD rental company, but the evolution of the brand has won over millennials.
But it’s not just about being able to watch whatever, whenever you want. It’s also the production of high-quality original content like House of Cards and Stranger Things. In fact, 79 percent of American millennials favor Netflix over other original content, according to a LendEDU poll.
9. Victoria’s Secret
The lingerie label that has associated its products with beautiful, leggy models, known as “Angels” is at the top of Conde Nast and Goldman Sach’s 2017 Love List. The brand’s seamless online shopping capabilities are a large reason for its high-ranking — which is more important to millennials than it is to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. Forty-one percent of millennials say they are shopping online “all of the time,” according to the TD Bank study.
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This technology company is no longer just known for being the search engine of choice. With the introduction of several new products like the Pixel phone and driverless cars, Google has placed itself in the innovation category.
But millennials love the brand also for its pragmatism and use of its less-shiny products like Google Docs, Gmail and Google Maps. This multinational company takes the fifth spot on Prophet’s Brand Relevance Index List.
Unlike their parents, millennials say when they drink coffee it’s not in the comfort of their own home, according to research from Alliance Bernstein. The same research showed that Starbucks is leading the pack in away-from-home coffee indulgences with an estimated 32 percent of the foodservice coffee market share.
Another social media brand that millennials favor is Pinterest. When it comes to finding food, home décor, style and event inspiration, this is the go-to platform, according to a survey by Deep Focus Intelligence Group.
In fact, the study found that 86 percent of millennials surveyed use Pinterest to plan big and small life moments.
Nostalgia marketing is a powerful strategy when it comes to attracting millennials. And it’s worked particularly well for the revival of the Nintendo.
The company broke download records when it released the Pokemon Go app in 2016. The app brought in an estimated 1 billion in revenue, according to a report from app analytics firm Sensor Tower.
Another brand that is benefiting from nostalgia marketing is Disney. It ranked as the No. 2 most intimate brand among millennials, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2018 Report, which is the largest study of brands based on emotion.
Reigning supreme with millennials in the athletic-wear category is Adidas. A YouGov BrandIndex Survey found Adidas the top brand for millennials in the athleisure category. With successful collaborations with brand ambassadors like Kendall and Kylie Jenner and a slew of other celebrities, there’s little surprise in the revival of the brand’s popularity.
Eighty-five percent of luxury growth was fueled by Generations Y and Z in 2017, according to a Bain & Company report on the luxury market. Luxury brands like Gucci have tailored their product offerings to appeal to their millennial customers. An increase in production of streetwear, sneakers, t-shirts and handbags are a result of the demand for these items.
Another large reason for catching the millennial eye is Gucci’s digital strategy of creating an omnichannel customer experience. In 2016, the L2 Digital IQ Index named Gucci the most digital savvy brand in the fashion space.
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Although millennial shoppers will indulge in some luxury products, that doesn’t mean they are turned off by discounted apparel — especially when it comes to fast fashion.
Millennials care about discounts more than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, according to the TD Bank study. Zara’s unique business model of keeping fewer clothes in stock — to keep up with changing runway trends — has created a sense of urgency for consumers and keeps the brand’s prices low.
18. Red Bull
Despite the adverse effects of consuming energy drinks, millennials still are reaching for caffeinated beverages. And as you’d learn by walking into any 7-Eleven across America, the king of this market is Red Bull.
Through clever marketing tools, such as their professional soccer team — the New York Red Bulls — the brand that “Gives You Wings” become even more popular when it announced sugar-free products.
TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie wanted to help the underprivileged children he met on a trip to Argentina. As a result, he decided to create a company that matched every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair of shoes for a child in need.
Millennials want brands that make them feel good about themselves, according to a Havas Worldwide report. They also want to support a company that has a bigger purpose than making money. Or simple, a brand that aligns with their own values.
Millennials are all-in on streaming music services, which serves as a partial reason for Spotify’s expected revenue of $6.4 billion in 2018. Seventy-two percent of Spotify listeners are millennials, according to exclusive data provided to Adweek by Spotify. This same infographic shows that millennials listen to just under 1.3 billion tracks every week.
The French cosmetics chain housed hundreds of beauty brands that millennials love, all in one place. Sephora took the No. 10 spot on Prophet’s Brand Relevance Index by giving customers a more interactive shopping experience at the store and online.
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About the Author
Rebecca May is a New York-based content creator. As a former journalist, she has covered topics ranging from career trajectories of c-suite executives to politics. Currently, she is a branded content manager for two professional beauty publications. Both focus heavily on best business practices for salon owners. She has helped brands such as Ford, Verizon, OPI, and L’Oreal create content geared toward salon professionals.