Which Tech Brands Do Millennials Love the Most?

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Which tech brands do Millennials — the first generation of Americans to grow up with cable television, easy access to the Internet, and cell phones — favor the most? And what determines which brands Millennials love? A digital ad agency surveyed 1,500 Millennials to find out.

The Millennials 2015 Favorite Brands Ranking Report by digital ad agency Moosylvania, examined which brands are successfully connecting with Millennials. Members of the Millennial generation number about 74.3 million and account for an estimated $170 billion in purchases per year. The study notes that while the Millennial generation is “quickly becoming the most influential group of consumers,” they “reject traditional advertising, preferring instead to build relationships with brands.”

Moosylvania and Great Questions completed an initial panel study of 500 Millennials, who identified their favorite brands and other high-awareness brands. A subsequent study of 1,000 millennials explored how those brands connect with young consumers, “deciphering what traits can transform a high-awareness brand into a trusted friend.”

Among the “top 50 Millennial brands” identified by the study were 18 tech-related companies: Apple, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Nintendo, Dell, Valve, Verizon, Best Buy, Xbox, HP, Sprint, Android, LG, Bethesda, and Asus. Those included in the top 10 brands were Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Microsoft.

But what traits make a brand popular among Millennials? Respondents’ answers varied, but common themes emerged. 75% said they want high-quality products. 61% said they want a brand they’d recommend.

53% of respondents to Moosylvania’s survey said they like brands that they perceive to fit their personality. 40% chose brands with good social responsibility. 39% liked brands that share similar interests with them. And 31% said that a brand should say important things. The study notes that millennials like brands that “make them look good, make them feel good, and entertain them.”

Moosylvania identified brands that scored high in each of the attributes valued by Millennials. Brands they believe offer high quality products that they’d recommend to their friends include Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and Sony. Those that Millennials feel display a strong sense of responsibility include the same tech companies: Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and Sony. And brands that Millennials believe share their interests include Apple, Dell, Google, Amazon, Nintendo, Microsoft, Samsung, and Sony.

BizReport notes that Norty Cohen, founder and chief executive of Moosylvania, says that Millennials want to be treated as a brand’s friend, and communicate in “an open and honest way.” Cohen explained:

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. Millennials’ curation skills allow them to consider new entities. Consider that in one year’s time, 18 brands went from not one mention to placing in the Top 50, proving that Millennials will adopt brands that get into their zone.

It’s not hard to imagine why visible brands that make the devices young Americans use everyday — Apple, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Dell, HP, LG, and Asus — ranked in Millennials’ top 50 brands. The appearance of gaming-related brands, like Nintendo, Valve, Xbox, and Bethesda, is also logical. However, Broadcasting & Cable reports that both Facebook and PlayStation dropped out of the top 50 brands this year, and Verizon jumped an incredible 346 spots since last year, making the biggest popularity jump of any brand on the chart.

Entrepreneur reports that of the 19 brands that gained Millennials’ support in the nine months between Moosylvania’s two surveys, almost all had executed marketing campaigns designed purposefully to target Millennials and foster a personalized “friendship” with these young customers. Verizon, Best Buy, Sprint, and Bethesda were all newcomers to the top 50 list.

Some of the brands that are popular with Millennials are the most-loved brands of a broader base of American adults, as well, as measured by YouGov’s BrandIndex. YouGov interviews thousands of people from its panel of 2.5 million worldwide each working day to collect data that is representative of adults in each country.

The BrandIndex measures brand perception across a variety of metrics, like “buzz,” an assessment of whether people have heard anything positive or negative about the brand in the media or from their friends or family; “attention,” the percentage of the public that has heard anything about the brand; and other measures like quality, value, customer satisfaction, and reputation.

Business Insider reported last year that the firm interviews 5,000 people each weekday from its U.S. population sample, resulting in more than 1.2 million interviews every year. Brands are ranked  with scores ranging from 100 to -100, and are calculated by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A score of zero, for example, would indicate that a brand received an equal amount of positive and negative feedback.

In 2013, BrandIndex ranked brands by their industry category, and the kinds of tech companies that appeared in Moosylvania’s report appeared in categories like Telecoms and Technology, Internet Search, and Social Media. In the Telecoms and Technology category, the top buzz rankings went to Kindle, Samsung, Apple, iPad, and iPhone. The standings reflected the success of Amazon’s Kindle e-readers with consumers of all ages in the U.S., and also illustrated the buzz generated by 2013 tech releases like the Samsung Galaxy Win Pro tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 smartphone, and the Galaxy Gear smart watch.

The top ranks in the Internet Search category went to Google, Yahoo, and Bing, and Google’s score was well above those of its competitors. Similarly, in the Social Media category, YouTube far outranked its rivals, with Pinterest coming in second, Google+ in third, Facebook in fourth, and LinkedIn in fifth. The top-ranked brands across all categories for 2013 included Amazon in first place, YouTube in sixth, Kindle in tenth, Samsung in eleventh, Netflix in twelfth, iPad in sixteenth, iPhone in seventeenth, Apple in eighteenth, and Google in nineteenth.

YouGov has also released its BrandIndex rankings across all categories for mid-year 2014, and the changes seem to illustrate a much better year for major tech brands. So far Amazon stands in first place, just like last year, but major tech brands found further down the list last year are seeing higher rankings so far this year. In the mid-year rankings, YouTube comes in third (versus sixth in 2013), Netflix comes in fifth (versus twelfth in 2013), Samsung places in sixth (up from eleventh in 2013), Apple ranks at eighth (up from eighteenth in 2013) and Google comes in at tenth (up from nineteenth in 2013).

The fact that about a third of Millennials’ favorite brands were tech brands illustrates how staying connected to everything and everyone at all times is integral to young Americans’ lifestyles. While all American adults, according to YouGov, favor tech standbys like Amazon, YouTube, Netflix, Google, Samsung, and Apple, which provide the devices and services that many use on a daily basis, Moosylvania found that tech brands accounted for more than a third of Millennials’ top brands overall.

High-quality brands that specifically market their tech products to Millennials appeal to the lifestyle of the first generation to grow up with the Internet and mobile phones. Nielsen reports that when asked what makes their generation unique, Millennials ranked technology use first, above music and pop culture and a liberal/tolerant attitude. More than 74% think that new tech makes their lives easier, and 54% think that it helps them to stay closer to their friends and family — just two of the many reasons that Millennials love their favorite tech brands.

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