ST. LOUIS (PRNewswire) — A 2015 Top 50 Millennial Brand Ranking Report released today by Moosylvania, an independent digital advertising agency, unveils a unique brand comparison study conducted with Millennials in two separate surveys over the course of nine months.
The latest rankings, based on panel studies of 1,500 Millennials — defined as aged 14 to 35 — not only ranks which Top 50 brands continue to earn Millennial love, but why these brands are connecting so strongly with them. Participants in each survey were asked to rank their top three brands unaided — 32 of the 50 brands mentioned were repeats. Eighteen new brands edged their way into the latest list.
The 2015 top five "most beloved" brands were Nike, Apple, Samsung and Sony, followed by up-and-comer, Walmart in fifth place. A few of the newcomers to the list included Pizza Hut (21), Chevrolet (23), Honda (31), Oreo (33), Sprint (42), and Chanel (43), among others. In spite of last holiday season's security breach, Target rose from 27th to sixth in the 2015 rankings. Facebook, PlayStation and Old Navy were among 11 brands that lost favor with Millennials and dropped from the Top 50 list. Absent from either list were alcohol and spirit brands.
In addition to their favorite brands, Millennials participating in the latest study identified key media traits that transform a high-awareness brand into a beloved brand. Important brand characteristics that matter most to Millennials include High-Quality Products (75 percent), Would Recommend this Brand (61 percent), Fits Their Personality (53 percent), Social Responsibility (40 percent), Shares Similar Interests (39 percent) and Says Important Things (31 percent).
"What these two back-to-back studies reveal is that a form of personalized communication has to be involved before a brand can get recognized. Make me look good, make me feel good and entertain me -- mass communication has been supplanted with friendship marketing," said Norty Cohen, founder and CEO of Moosylvania.
"Millennials' curation skills allow them to consider new entities. Consider that in one year's time, eighteen brands went from not one mention to placing in the Top 50, proving that Millennials will adopt brands that get into their zone."
Cohen describes Millennial consumers as their own brand managers.
"This generation is looking for brands that help them become something more than their regular selves. Provide a high-quality product or service that helps them look cool and Millennials will return the favor with their recommendations and purchasing power," Cohen said. "They care about what's happening on their street, in their neighborhood and beyond – and so should marketers. Brands that market with a strong, positive message and display a sense of social responsibility show they care about what Millennials care about."
For example, Ralph Lauren, who went from 104th to 30th in the rankings, and Wendy's (47), a newcomer to the 2015 Top 50 list, both created campaigns that included participatory TV commercials and music videos. The companies then micro-targeted consumers by speaking directly to them through their various social media platforms, Cohen said.
"Millennials are not just consumers — they're friends. They trust friends who listen to them, are open and honest, remember their names, are consistent and stay true to who they are," Cohen said. "Marketers who connect with them as friends on that level have an opportunity to break into the favorites list."
Moosylvania and Great Questions, LLC, began the ranking report with qualitative research to learn which brands continue to earn Millennial love, and then in panel studies, why those brands are connecting so strongly with this group.
The initial panel study of 500 Millennials identified commonly favored brands, as well as brands in key categories with high awareness that hadn't yet truly earned Millennial affection. This initial study confirmed that the top brands persisted from study to study. A second panel study of 1,000 Millennials delved into how those brands connect with them and deciphered what traits can transform a high-awareness brand into beloved brand.
The Top 50 Millennial Brand Ranking Study was finalized in August.
Moosylvania is an independent digital advertising agency with its globally ranked research facility on its campus. Clients include Bacardi USA, Enterprise Holdings, Pay Pal, General Cigar, Balance Bar, Emerson, Sapporo and Nature's Variety. Moosylvania has been recognized by The Agency Post for implementing www.moosetracker.com, a data source of 2,500 digital case studies, free to the marketing industry. For more information, visit moosylvania.com or call 314-644-7900.