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Which brands are Millennials (18-34) not only hearing positive things about, but also talking about with their friends and family? It’s an important point, given that word-of-mouth is the top purchase influencer among this young cohort. New rankings from YouGov offer some insights into the brands enjoying the most conversation.

To arrive at its conclusions, YouGov first screened 1,630 brands for positive buzz, asking 18-34-year-olds which brands they had heard something positive about within the previous 2 weeks. After eliminating brands without much positive buzz, YouGov then asked respondents which of the brands they had talked about with friends and family during the previous 2 weeks.

Sitting atop the charts is Netflix, with a score of 75.6, meaning that it had been the subject of conversation for an impressive 3 in 4 respondents within the previous 2 weeks. Netflix climbed a spot from last year’s report to gain its top spot.

Netflix’s pre-eminence is par for the course for the streaming giant, which regularly sits atop or near the top of brand ranking lists. For example, it’s one of the top brands by customer loyalty, and is also considered one of the most “relevant” brands to consumers in the US. Youth in particular profess a strong love for the brand, ranking it their #1 most relevant brand, and one of their top-3 by net favorability. Indeed, for youth, watching TV now means turning to Netflix first before any other source of programming.

Second on YouGov’s rankings is Facebook, a surprising result given that good press about the platform lately has been largely… absent. Almost half of its young users claim to have taken an extended break from the platform, and many have deleted the app from their phone.

However while Facebook is second on the list, with 75.1% of Millennials having talked about the platform (perhaps not positively), that’s down from its leading position in last year’s report, when a more sizable 83.5% had spoken about it.

Other brands included in the top 10 in the reports both this year and last year include:

  • Walmart (73.6%), up a spot to #3;
  • YouTube (68.9%), flat at #6;
  • Snapchat (68.8%), flat at #7; and
  • Victoria’s Secret (66.8%), down 5 spots to #8.

Meanwhile Instagram cracked the top 5 this year (#5; 69%) after not making the top 10 last year, and the iPhone (71.1%) did the same, in at #4. Recent research suggests that the iPhone is the most talked-about brand among Gen Z (ages 13-20) consumers, 18% of whom talk about it daily.

A notable exclusion from the top 10? Amazon, which was 8th on the list last year.

Finally, two brands in the top 10 this year also appeared among the list of the most-improved. They were the iPhone, with a 5-point rise, and Chick-fil-A, which increased 4.1 points to a score of 66.8, good for the 10th spot overall.

The full rankings are available here.

About the Data: YouGov describes its methodology as follows:

“YouGov BrandIndex first screened all of its 1,630 brands for positive Buzz, which asks respondents ‘Have you heard anything positive about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news, or word of mouth?’ Brands with low response volume were eliminated. From those brands, they were then ranked on Word of Mouth scores, which asks respondents ‘Which of the following brands have you talked about with friends and family in the past two weeks (whether in person, online, or through social media)?’ All respondents for this research were adults 18 through 34 years old. Data was collected between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2018.”

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