Brands that are Building Momentum with Millennials

Brands that are Building Momentum with Millennials

There’s no confusion in the market about the significance of Millennials. After all, they account for 24% of the U.S. population (77 million people), which is now a larger percentage than the historically dominant Baby Boomer generation, and command significant long-term spending prowess.

When looking at Millennial shopping habits, we see that Millennials are willing to spend on what matters to them, even though many are just beginning their professional careers. And their annual spending adds up. According to the Intelligence Group, this generation already spends about $200 billion each year in the U.S.

And what are they buying? While they prioritize value like their older counterparts, they are more likely to buy natural and organic products (38% more likely) and they are quicker to jump on new trends. Millennials make fewer shopping trips than their older counterparts, but they spend more per trip–$54 per trip vs. $43 per trip for Boomers. And while many Millennials are still climbing the income ladder, this group’s size and age range highlights its long-term purchasing power, the Millennial generation is one not to be missed. Retailers and manufacturers alike should make sure they are accounting for their needs, buying preferences, changing geographic locations and increasing spending power.

So what brands do Millennials look for when they shop? What catches their eye, appeals to their lifestyles and fits into their budgets? In looking at findings from the consumer packaged goods portion of the 28th annual Harris Poll EquiTrend® study, which was released by Nielsen, we see that many of the top brands among Millennials are relatively new to the market. Comparatively, the top choices for Boomers and Generation X include more established brands that have a history of consistently delivering on their brand promise. There are a couple brands, however, like Chobani and Wonderful, who are seen as “on the way up” across the generational gap.

The CPG portion of this year’s EquiTrend study evaluated the brand health of more than 2,500 brands covering 12 key brand metrics, including a brands overall equity, as well as brand momentum—consumers’ view of whether brands are “on the way up,” “holding steady” or “on the way down.” Brand momentum is an important measure, as it is a good indicator of future equity growth. Looking at the past three years of EquiTrend data, we see that 68% of the top 50 brands that were “on the way up” in 2014 posted positive gains in 2016 on the overall brand equity index.

Brand momentum is also related to positive sales trends. Of the brands on the EquiTrend top 10 list, 83% have experienced sales gains in the past year, with 57% posting double digit growth.


The insights in this article were derived from various sources including:

  • Nielsen Global Generational Lifestyle Survey
  • The 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend Study is based on a sample of 97,120 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online, in English, between Dec. 22, 2015 and Feb. 1, 2016. The total number of brands rated was 3,837. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 40 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings. Data was weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 15 and over based on age by sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, income and data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online. Only respondents aged 21+ were provided with alcohol brand based questions.
  • Nielsen Retail Measurement Services data: total U.S., 52 weeks ended Jan. 2, 2016