Millennials and the New Age of Brand Loyalty

Millennials at the European Innovation AcademyThis morning, I read an article on Inc. Magazines website, about the Top 5 Millennial Brands, Cities, and Apps of 2015. The article was about how technology and the internet have created new behaviours and inspired new values that have never before existed, especially for the Millennial generation, which grew up in a high-tech and hyper-connected world.

In the picture on the right is an auditorium of Millennials, from the European Innovation Academy event in Nice, France in July 2015.

When working with innovative strategy and brand development for governments and business leaders, it is imperative to understand that brand perception can be very different between age groups in the target markets. Not only is there a need to adapt the brand messages to well-defined target markets in a sweet-spot context, one also need to keep in mind that brand perception and communication needs to be different for different age groups, as not only interests, but also context and understanding of reality differs between age groups in todays rapidly changing world.

For young people who grow up with the internet and connectivity being essential parts of their environment, brands and brand loyalty have a different meaning than for older age groups.


Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends. Most researchers use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s as category definition.

Every generation has its story: Baby Boomers, Gen X and now Gen Y, the boomerang generation. The Millennials are digital natives and for marketers, they are the most important generation to come along in the last 100 years, perhaps ever. This group of young adults is the largest generation by number in history. Only in United States, Millennials number more than 80 million. That is 25% of the total US population, a larger group than the Baby Boomers, and it outnumbers Gen X by almost 3:1.

Millennials came of age in the wake of massive advancements in technology, with unparalleled communication access and media exposure which allows people to spread information faster to a wider, more diverse audience than in any generation before them. Thus marketing trends can catch on much quicker than ever before.

Millennial consumer behaviour has been shaped by the world in which they have come of age, and their importance cannot be underestimated. As Baby Boomers move closer to retirement, they will take with them close to $400 billion in annual spending. This leaves a void that will be difficult to fill. It is interesting to see the preferences of the Millennials and below are some statistics.


imageAccording to the Inc. article, which focuses on a survey to 1,500 American Millennials, the top five brands for the generation group are:



imageTime Magazine Money’s list of top cities for Millennials focuses on places where job growth is projected to be above average; food, rent, and other necessities are relatively affordable; there are high concentrations of grocery stores, pharmacies, laundromats, and other amenities; and which offer plenty of fun bars, restaurants, and leisure activities. Results were limited to cities population 300,000 and higher, and only one city per state.


imageThe advocacy group Young Invincibles analysed over 400 occupations by their salaries, projected future growth, and access for young adults to find the best jobs to set today’s Millennials up for economic success.


imageUniversum, a global research and advisory firm specialising in employer branding, surveyed more than 240,000 business and engineering students from across the globe about what was important to them and which companies they would most like to work for.

imageTop Millennial Employers (Engineering):



imageAccording to Millennial consumer and marketing trends website Millennial Marketing, these are the most popular Millennial websites of 2015.


imageTop Millennial Apps: ComScore, a leading internet technology company which measures what people do as they navigate the digital world, recently released “The 2015 U.S. Mobile App Report,” which revealed the apps with the highest concentration of Millennials.


imageMoney discovered a list of categories where Millennials spend far more money than everyone else. It is not so surprising items on the list. I strongly dislike tattoo´s and piercings, and as we all know, we see both skin decorations and nose rings frequently among young people these days.



imageMoney also lists products which Millennials will not spend on.


As always, statistics has to be regarded carefully. After all, statistics is information based on sampling, and as we all know, sampling is less reliant in today´s world than it used to be. Anyway, these lists provide interesting food for thought about the young generation for strategy and brand professionals.

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