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Youth Brand
Affinity Tracker

UK Edition

US Edition

Each quarter, we analyze the performance of leading brands in 10 of the sectors most important to Gen Z consumers.

To compile the Youth Brand Affinity Tracker, we look at four key metrics:

  • Brand Visibility
  • Brand Engagement
  • Purchase Intent
  • Brand Advocacy

Discover the top Gen Z brands in your sector

  • Overview
  • Fashion
  • Sports & Athleisure
  • Tech & Mobile
  • Entertainment
  • Restaurants & Takeout
  • Food & Drink
  • Grocery
  • Retail
  • Health & Beauty
  • Travel

Unlock the latest results

Complete your details to reveal the standings this quarter, access exclusive sector insights and see which brands are winning with Gen Z right now.

Unlock the latest results

Complete your details to reveal the standings this quarter, access exclusive sector insights and see which brands are winning with Gen Z right now.

Fashion

We polled over 1,000 young people to find out which fashion brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

There are some interesting movements this quarter in the fashion sector as Forever 21 takes the top spot after losing out to Old Navy in Q1. Having launched in the ‘80s and seen massive growth in the 90s and 2000s, Forever 21 has faced the challenge of remaining relevant to each new generation of young consumers. They’ve achieved this by focusing their marketing and products on the youth demographic exclusively, demonstrating loyalty to their target audience.

Examples of this include their partnerships with brands such as Juicy Couture, which not only taps into the nostalgic 2000s fashion trend, but also makes a higher end brand more affordable for young shoppers. The most expensive item in their new collaborative collection is $39.99.

In 2020, Forever 21 took their commitment to Gen Z a step further by launching their student program with Student Beans, offering a year-round 15% discount on online purchases, only available to verified students.

Another trend to take note of in the fashion sector is the growth of ecommerce. We’ve recently seen a changing of the guard, as this is the second quarter in a row where Chinese online retailer Shein has outperformed their American counterpart, Fashion Nova. Shein ranks lowest in this sector in terms of brand recognition, but makes up for it in other metrics (brand engagement and purchase intent) and ends up sixth overall. This combination of results is the sign of a brand on the rise, and one that Gen Z has fully embraced. Of those who have heard of Shein, an impressive 48% plan to make a purchase this quarter – significantly higher than the equivalent stat for any other fashion brand.

Leaderboard:

Fashion leaderboard Q2 2021

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Forever 21 84% 39% 33% 41% 95
2= Old Navy 88% 36% 30% 38% 88
2= Victoria's Secret 87% 34% 30% 40% 88
4 American Eagle/Aerie 79% 31% 29% 37% 60
5 H&M 79% 29% 27% 34% 58
6 Shein 59% 34% 30% 33% 50
7 Hollister 77% 26% 25% 32% 40
8= Fashion Nova 69% 23% 22% 28% 28
8= Gap 79% 29% 19% 25% 28
10 Urban Outfitters 68% 20% 18% 29% 18

Fashion – Retail

We polled over 500 young people to find out which in-store fashion brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Perhaps the most beloved Gen Z brand across all categories, Nike consistently scores high across all the metrics we track. Their strong purchase intent is particularly impressive considering their products are at the higher end of what Gen Z will typically consider paying for clothes and shoes, and their brand advocacy score shows a real affection for the brand and an affinity with its values.

One of those values Nike is known for is sustainability, and they’ve recently launched an intriguing new project that could be seen as a response to the rise of sneaker resale apps like StockX. Nike Refurbished is described by the company as their latest “circular consumer offering.” Customers are now able to return old Nike shoes to selected stores, in order for those shoes to be recycled and resold as brand new sneakers. This is part of Nike’s broader Move To Zero initiative, which involves documenting their journey to zero carbon and zero waste, appealing to young consumers’ desire for environmental action and greater transparency from brands.

While Nike was the overall winner in this category, it’s interesting to note the one metric where Primark outshone the sportswear brand: purchase intent. While Nike is the aspirational brand that Gen Z love to own, Primark is their actual go-to when they need day-to-day basics or a quick fashion fix. As one of the few high street chains that doesn’t have an ecommerce arm, Primark attracted big crowds when it reopened in April. Fittingly, purchase intent grew by 7% on the previous quarter, and the retailer also saw a boost on the brand advocacy metric, an important signifier for the positive reputation of the business among young consumers.

Leaderboard:

Fashion retail Q2 leaderboard UK

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Nike 98% 55% 49% 59% 98
2 Primark 96% 41% 54% 55% 86
3 JD Sports 96% 48% 45% 55% 81
4 Adidas 98% 38% 38% 50% 75
5 H&M 94% 33% 38% 43% 55
6 New Look 89% 33% 31% 42% 48
7 Sports Direct 95% 32% 30% 41% 43
8= Next 93% 28% 29% 37% 28
8= Zara 84% 28% 30% 38% 28
10 Schuh 62% 16% 18% 26% 10

Sports & Athleisure

We polled over 1,000 young people to find out which sports and athleisure brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Perhaps the most beloved Gen Z brand across all categories, Nike consistently scores high across all the metrics we track. Their strong purchase intent is particularly impressive considering their products are at the higher end of what Gen Z will typically consider paying for clothes and shoes, and their brand advocacy score shows a real affection for the brand and an affinity with its values.

One of those values Nike is known for is sustainability, and they’ve recently launched an intriguing new project that could be seen as a response to the rise of sneaker resale apps like StockX and GOAT. Nike Refurbished is described by the company as their latest “circular consumer offering.” Customers are now able to return old Nike shoes to 15 of their stores across the US, in order for those shoes to be recycled and resold as brand new sneakers. This is part of Nike’s broader Move To Zero initiative, which involves documenting their journey to zero carbon and zero waste, appealing to young consumers’ desire for environmental action and greater transparency from brands.

Nike’s top competitor Adidas has also been contributing to the sustainability movement in the sportswear industry, recently launching their first pair of trainers using mycelium leather, a vegan alternative to traditional leather which is essentially made by growing a certain type of mushroom. The shoes, part of Adidas’ popular Stan Smith franchise, launched to a positive reaction from sneakerheads and environmental advocates alike in April. Adidas are the latest brand to use mycelium leather in a new product, following in the footsteps of Lululemon, which also features in our sports and athleisure top 10.

Leaderboard:

Sports Leaderboard Q2 2021 US

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Nike 93% 58% 50% 61% 100
2 Adidas 89% 37% 35% 50% 88
3 Vans 88% 39% 34% 50% 83
4 Converse 83% 29% 28% 41% 63
5 Foot Locker 83% 31% 27% 34% 60
6 Under Armour 79% 28% 23% 35% 50
7 Puma 84% 21% 17% 27% 41
8 The North Face 71% 20% 19% 31% 35
9 Finish Line 49% 19% 17% 21% 19
10 Lululemon 50% 15% 11% 19% 13

Fashion – Ecommerce

We polled over 500 young people to find out which online fashion brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

As a relatively new industry, it makes sense that the world of online fashion retail is open to disruption, but the growth of Chinese ecommerce app Shein is remarkable nonetheless. This quarter, the brand – which most people over 25 have never heard of – rockets from fifth to second in our chart. This includes a 6% increase in brand visibility, 13% in brand engagement, 13% in purchase intent, and 12% in brand advocacy. Of those who have heard of Shein, an impressive 54% plan to make a purchase this quarter – significantly higher than the equivalent stat for any other fashion brand. This combination of results is the sign of a brand on the rise, and one that Gen Z has fully embraced.

So, what has driven this incredible growth for Shein, and what can their British competitors learn from them? Shein’s app-first strategy was ahead of its time, recognising that by incentivising customers to download the app with exclusive discounts and rewards, they would earn a spot in the most valuable place in Gen Z’s lives – their home screen. Retargeted ads are also a big part of their approach. Simply check out a few products on the Shein website, and watch as they follow you around the web for the next month.

Elsewhere in the chart, purchase intent is stable for ASOS, who remain at the top for a third quarter, but their brand advocacy is on the rise with a 4% increase on Q1. This could be attributed to the purchase of Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge, which was made official with a major advertising campaign welcoming the iconic British fashion brands warmly to the ASOS family.

Leaderboard:

Fashion ecommerce UK Q2 2021 leaderboard

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 ASOS 89% 49% 42% 50% 100
2 Shein 74% 45% 41% 43% 80
3= Boohoo / Boohoo Man 89% 39% 35% 39% 78
3= Pretty Little Thing 83% 42% 36% 37% 78
5 Depop 78% 37% 32% 33% 60
6 Gymshark 79% 24% 21% 32% 50
7 Missguided 71% 27% 23% 29% 45
8= I Saw It First 56% 22% 20% 22% 25
8= Nasty Gal 57% 17% 16% 23% 25
10 StockX 43% 17% 15% 18% 10

Tech & Mobile

We polled over 1,000 young people to find out which tech & mobile brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Last quarter there was a tie at the top in the tech and mobile category, but in Q2 Apple have regained their lead ahead of Google. April was a big month for Apple with their first ‘Special Event’ of 2021, which they used to announce new products, from the purple iPhone 12 to the upgraded iMac and the futuristic new AirTags. An impressive 45% of those we surveyed are planning to spend money on Apple products – across their devices, accessories, subscriptions and more – in the next three months alone.

As the manufacturer of the smartphone used by 85% of Student Beans users, it’s no surprise to see Apple scoring highly across all metrics here. Gen Z’s loyalty to this brand and its products is connected to the deeply personal relationship they have with their devices, which have been a lifeline during the pandemic, and are increasingly playing a role in more and more elements of their lives. In a recent survey, we learned that students prefer to use an app for the majority of their online activities, including entertainment, banking, dating and socializing.

Apple, Google and Microsoft have also played very personal roles in the lives of young people over the past year by providing the software they’ve relied on to power their education and work while studying and working remotely. Tools like Teams and Google Meet are now used daily by young people, and all three of the tech superbrands offer discounts to students and educational institutions. This not only serves to support young people but to introduce them to these brands at a time in life when they are determining which brands they prefer, trust and will stay loyal to as they reach adulthood.

Leaderboard:

Tech leaderboard Q2 2021 in the US

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Apple 94% 57% 45% 56% 98
2 Google 92% 57% 37% 51% 93
3 Microsoft 90% 37% 29% 39% 73
4 Best Buy 88% 35% 31% 40% 65
5 Samsung 91% 33% 24% 37% 56
6 T-mobile 89% 33% 27% 34% 53
7 Verizon 90% 30% 24% 32% 39
8 AT&T 90% 31% 23% 31% 38
9 Sony 87% 27% 24% 31% 28
10 Xfinity 76% 26% 22% 25% 10

Tech & Mobile

We polled over 500 young people to find out which tech and mobile brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

This quarter, Apple retain the top spot in the tech and mobile category. April was a big month for Apple with their first ‘Special Event’ of 2021, which they used to announce new products, from the purple iPhone 12 to the upgraded iMac and the futuristic new AirTags. An impressive 53% of those we surveyed are planning to spend money on Apple products – across their devices, accessories, subscriptions and more – in the next three months alone.

As the manufacturer of the smartphone used by 65% of UK students, according to our latest Student Shopping Report, it’s no surprise to see Apple scoring highly across all metrics here. Gen Z’s loyalty to this brand and its products is connected to the deeply personal relationship they have with their devices, which have been a lifeline during the pandemic, and are increasingly playing a role in more and more elements of their lives. In a recent survey, we learned that students prefer to use an app for all the most common online activities, including shopping, entertainment, banking, dating and socialising.

Apple, Google and Microsoft have also played very personal roles in the lives of young people over the past year by providing the software they’ve relied on to power their education and work while studying and working remotely. Tools like Teams and Google Meet are now used daily by young people, and all three of the tech superbrands offer discounts to students and educational institutions. This not only serves to support young people but to introduce them to these brands at a time in life when they are determining which brands they prefer, trust and will stay loyal to as they reach adulthood.

Leaderboard:

Technology leaderboard UK Q2 2021

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Apple 98% 67% 53% 68% 100
2 Google 97% 58% 28% 52% 88
3 Microsoft 96% 44% 29% 42% 83
4 Samsung 96% 33% 24% 38% 64
5 Sky 95% 40% 22% 38% 59
6 Currys PC World 94% 29% 26% 38% 48
7 EE 94% 29% 23% 33% 45
8 O2 94% 26% 18% 29% 35
9 BT 92% 24% 16% 27% 20
10 Lenovo 68% 15% 11% 20% 10

Entertainment

We polled over 1,000 young people to find out which entertainment brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Streaming platforms have experienced a boom during the pandemic, and this trend is reflected in our user insights, which show that 53% of students have signed up to a new movie or TV streaming service since the onset of COVID-19, and 33% a new music streaming service. This has undoubtedly been amplified by the emergence of new services just before or during the pandemic, particularly Disney+ and HBO Max. Students are not just looking for more choice, but actively spending more time with these services: 52% of students told us their video streaming hours had increased, and 34% were watching as much as ever.

This is good news for the streaming sector, as it shows willingness among young consumers to subscribe to multiple platforms, and to pay for content despite the wide availability of free options such as YouTube and Spotify’s ad-supported offerings. TikTok was not included in our Youth Brand Affinity survey because it doesn’t have a paid offering, but YouTube and Netflix have made clear that they see the social video app as a key competitor. Netflix launched the Fast Laughs app, which features a TikTok-style feed of funny moments from Netflix shows and movies, while YouTube launched their short video feed, simply titled Shorts.

As out-of-home entertainment options like live music, theater and sports resume this summer, home entertainment brands like those in our list will face a challenge to retain the new customers who justified the monthly fee as a treat while they’re stuck at home. Now they’ll be competing for Gen Z’s entertainment budget against a wider array of exciting options, as well as their direct competitors, meaning the pressure will be on to provide the most unmissable viral hits. We’re looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Leaderboard:

Entertainment brand leaderboard 2021 Q2 - US

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 YouTube 95% 76% 41% 67% 98
2 Netflix 95% 71% 54% 66% 93
3 Spotify 92% 56% 37% 53% 75
4= Disney+ 89% 53% 39% 53% 60
4= Hulu 91% 50% 35% 49% 60
6 Playstation 92% 41% 31% 43% 58
7 Xbox 91% 38% 30% 38% 38
8 Nintendo 90% 37% 29% 43% 33
9 GameStop 90% 30% 28% 38% 25
10 Apple Music 88% 34% 27% 36% 13

Entertainment

We polled over 500 young people to find out which entertainment brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Streaming platforms have experienced a boom during the pandemic, and this trend is reflected in our user insights, which show that 59% have streaming music more often, and 31% streaming TV and movies more often. This has undoubtedly been amplified by the emergence of new services, particularly Disney+, which has made impressive gains on VOD leader Netflix in the first year since its UK launch.

This is good news for the streaming sector, as it shows willingness among young consumers to subscribe to multiple platforms, and to pay for content despite the wide availability of free options such as YouTube and Spotify’s ad-supported offerings. TikTok was not included in our Youth Brand Affinity survey because it doesn’t have a paid offering, but YouTube and Netflix have made clear that they see the social video app as a key competitor. In 2021 so far, Netflix have released the Fast Laughs app, which features a TikTok-style feed of funny moments from Netflix shows and movies, while YouTube have launched their short video feed, simply titled Shorts.

As out-of-home entertainment options like live music, theatre and sports resume this summer, home entertainment brands like those in our list will face a challenge to retain the new customers who justified the monthly fee as a treat while they’re stuck at home. Now they’ll be competing for Gen Z’s entertainment budget against a wider array of exciting options, as well as their direct competitors, meaning the pressure will be on to provide the most unmissable viral hits. We’re looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Leaderboard:

Entertainment Brand Leaderboard UK Q2 2021

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Netflix 97% 79% 62% 71% 98
2 YouTube 98% 75% 41% 67% 90
3 Spotify 96% 63% 45% 60% 83
4 PlayStation 96% 43% 32% 44% 63
5 Disney+ 94% 53% 40% 55% 61
6 Xbox 95% 38% 25% 39% 46
7 Nintendo 95% 34% 23% 41% 45
8 Apple Music 94% 33% 25% 37% 35
9= Game 84% 23% 20% 33% 15
9= Now TV 88% 26% 20% 29% 15

Restaurants & Takeout

We polled over 1,000 young people to find out which restaurants and takeout brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

McDonald’s retains its place at the top this quarter, which is no surprise as their marketing team continues to prove they understand exactly what young consumers want. After successful collaborations with Travis Scott and J Balvin, McDonald’s just announced a partnership with another music act beloved by Gen Z: K-Pop boyband BTS. The BTS Meal will consist of chicken nuggets, fries and a Coke, with a fitting twist – sweet chilli and cajun sauces that are popular at McDonald’s’ South Korean outlets, available for the first time in the US. The promotion will no doubt be trending on every social media platform when it launches in 50 countries in May and June.

Elsewhere in our top 10, Starbucks saw a strong 16% uplift in their Youth Affinity Score this quarter. Starbucks appealed to ethically conscious young consumers recently with April’s Earth Month campaign. They began offering oat milk in-store for the first time, which was such a hit that they’d run out within weeks. However, vegan charity PETA accused the business of “greenwashing” as it charges more for the dairy-free product than cow’s milk, which has a far greater carbon footprint. The learning here is to ensure that senior leadership are on board and willing to commit to the necessary changes before making such a public, marketing-led statement.

Another brand moving up in our chart this quarter is Subway, which is actually America’s largest fast food chain by number of outlets. However, after closing more stores than any rival in 2020, the brand has clearly been hit by reduced footfall in business and shopping areas during the pandemic. They are fighting back with special offers, like a bargain $10 for two footlong sandwiches and bringing back popular fillings, rotisserie chicken and roast beef.

Leaderboard:

Restaurants & Takeout Brand Leaderboard Q2 2021 in the US

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 McDonald's 93% 62% 54% 48% 95
2 Starbucks 91% 48% 44% 51% 80
3 Chick-Fil-A 91% 49% 46% 53% 78
4 Subway 91% 41% 39% 47% 60
5 Wendy's 91% 43% 38% 44% 58
6= Dunkin' Donuts 91% 40% 39% 46% 53
6= Taco Bell 91% 44% 39% 42% 53
8 Burger King 92% 40% 36% 36% 40
9 Pizza Hut 90% 37% 32% 41% 20
10 Chipotle 86% 34% 33% 40% 15

Restaurants & Takeaway

We polled over 500 young people to find out which restaurant and takeaway brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

McDonald’s retains its place at the top this quarter, which is no surprise as their marketing team continues to prove they understand exactly what young consumers want. McDonald’s recently announced a partnership with a music act beloved by Gen Z: K-Pop boyband BTS. The BTS Meal will consist of chicken nuggets, fries and a Coke, with a fitting twist – sweet chilli and cajun sauces that are popular at McDonald’s’ South Korean outlets. The promotion will no doubt be trending on every social media platform when it launches in 50 countries in May and June.

Elsewhere in our top 10, Subway saw an impressive 38% uplift in their Youth Affinity Score. Did you know that Subway is actually the world’s largest fast food chain by number of outlets, with over 41,000 restaurants? However, the brand, which rose to popularity with Millennials, has been fighting to remain relevant among a new generation of young people. One tactic they’ve employed is to appeal to Gen Z’s ethics and passion for protecting the planet. Subway not only tapped into this trend but also got some influential grime artists involved in their campaign for Earth Month in April. P Money and Star. One created a track called “Vegang,” on the topic of going vegan, which namechecks the sandwich restaurant.

Slipping down the chart this quarter with a 4% decline in purchase intent and a 12% lower Youth Affinity Score, Domino’s may be seeing the impact of tougher competition as consumers are spending less time at home. However, Domino’s’ brand advocacy score remains strong, showing Gen Z still has a real love for the pizza takeaway chain, despite their excitement to return to other brands as the UK lockdown is released.

Leaderboard:

Restaurant and Takeaway brand leaderboard UK Q2 2021

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 McDonald's 98% 74% 71% 65% 100
2 KFC 97% 57% 53% 57% 89
3 Subway 97% 44% 47% 56% 76
4 Domino's 97% 50% 43% 54% 65
5= Greggs 95% 45% 44% 53% 54
5= Nando's 97% 36% 44% 55% 54
7 Starbucks 97% 41% 41% 50% 45
8 Costa Coffee 95% 38% 39% 48% 28
9 Pizza Hut 97% 33% 31% 45% 23
10 Krispy Kreme 90% 33% 30% 48% 18

Food & Drink

We polled over 1,000 young people to find out which food and drink brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Food and drink was one of the sectors that saw the most disruption in our Youth Brand Affinity ranking this quarter. For the first time, Oreo takes the lead in our top 10, overtaking both Doritos and Coca-Cola. Hershey’s also moved up the ranks, overtaking Coca-Cola. This suggests that chocolate cravings have been strong this quarter, perhaps inspired by Easter – a key time in the retail calendar for Hershey’s in particular.

Research by the National Confectioners Association found that demand for comfort food, especially chocolate, increased during the pandemic, which brands like Hershey’s have benefited from. Hershey’s is also one of the food brands with the largest and most engaged social media following – an area that Oreo also performs very well in. Hershey’s utilized Pinterest, an underrated platform for reaching Gen Z, to tap into trends around Easter crafts and recipes. Oreo, meanwhile, has leant on partnerships with brands ranging from the NBA to Krispy Kreme to engage a broad audience across their social channels. They also regularly interact with other brands to create a community feel, and assert themselves as part of the conversation rather than simply broadcasting their own marketing messages.

Doritos may have slipped to second place this quarter, but it does outperform Oreo on one important metric: brand engagement. Doritos has a clearly defined brand personality, which balances party vibes with a spicy risk factor – exemplified perfectly by the Doritos Roulette product, a fan favorite which was recently brought back. The pack contains a variety of chips, some of which are spicier than others, making for a fun game to play with friends now that in-person socializing is back on the cards.

Leaderboard:

Food & Drink Brand Leaderboard Q2 2021 in the US

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Oreo 93% 54% 53% 58% 98
2 Doritos 91% 57% 50% 56% 90
3 Hershey's 92% 53% 48% 54% 80
4 Coca-Cola 91% 54% 47% 52% 70
5= Lay's 87% 48% 47% 51% 53
5= Pepsi 91% 47% 43% 46% 53
7 Reese's 90% 47% 41% 49% 45
8= Ben & Jerry's 72% 28% 31% 44% 23
8= Nestlé 81% 31% 29% 39% 23
10 Red Bull 87% 27% 25% 33% 18

Food & Drink

We polled over 500 young people to find out which food and drink brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Coca-Cola and Cadbury’s stay strong at the top of our food and drink sector chart for the third quarter in a row. Their consistent popularity shows that young consumers are equally open to international superbrands and homegrown favourites. Both brands are known for their classic products, such as Diet Coke and Dairy Milk, but also keep fans engaged with new twists. Coca-Cola launched its first ever alcoholic beverage, Topo Chico, last November, tapping into the hard seltzer trend. Cadbury’s also made a risky start to 2021, rebranding its packaging with a new, “more contemporary” design, which also emphasises the company’s sustainability credentials.

For the first time, Oreo makes its way into the top three of our food and drink chart, overtaking Walkers and Pepsi. Oreo was up on almost all of our metrics this quarter, including brand engagement, purchase intent, brand advocacy, and the overall Youth Affinity Score. So, what’s driving this enthusiasm for the all-American biscuit brand? While Oreo regularly launches new products, it’s the original chocolate cookie that sells best for the business – in fact, it’s been suggested that the main purpose of those spin-off items is to remind consumers how much they love the original. Oreo also has a strong brand personality and a great social media presence, inspiring cravings that are easily satisfied since the products are available at every corner shop and supermarket.

Ben & Jerry’s also had a strong quarter, with an increase on the brand engagement and purchase intent metrics. This is no doubt motivated by the recent sunny weather, with young people spending more time outside with friends and family. What better treat for a picnic in the park or a day at the beach than a tub of Ben & Jerry’s?

Leaderboard:

Food & Drink Brand Leaderboard UK Q2 2021

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Coca-Cola 98% 67% 61% 59% 91
2 Cadbury's 95% 67% 59% 60% 88
3 Oreo 96% 55% 50% 57% 68
4= Pepsi 98% 58% 49% 53% 63
4= Walkers 94% 61% 56% 54% 63
6 Ben & Jerry's 92% 51% 49% 60% 46
7= Galaxy 95% 54% 45% 54% 40
7= Maltesers 93% 53% 46% 56% 40
9 Red Bull 96% 38% 39% 42% 28
10 Heinz 91% 51% 46% 48% 25

Grocery

We polled over 1,000 young people to find out which grocery brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Walmart achieves a perfect score of 100 again this quarter, a feat only possible when a brand outperforms all competitors on every metric. It’s rare for a business in any sector to achieve such ubiquity, while still retaining the trust and loyalty that generates peer-to-peer recommendations (aka brand advocacy). Target, meanwhile, can’t match Walmart’s brand engagement or purchase intent since it has significantly fewer stores, but also deserves a mention here for ranking only 2% below Walmart on that important brand advocacy metric.

Walmart’s strength is that it offers unmatchable convenience, because although it sits within the grocery category, it’s so much more than a grocery store. Shoppers can pick up anything from a TV to a shower gel while doing their weekly grocery run. The appeal of convenience is usually associated with busy parents, but for teens and young adults whose lives are increasingly packed with school, work and other activities, a one-stop shop for everything on their “to buy” list is a strong proposition.

Despite an increase in young consumers trying out online grocery shopping during the pandemic, the majority are still shopping in-store at the moment. According to our 2020 US Student Shopping Report, 87% of students buy food and drink in-store, while only 35% spend money on this category online.

However, that segment may be small but it is growing, and Walmart is aware that they need to perfect their online offering to retain the loyalty of digital natives. They must move quickly, especially as ecommerce giant Amazon – one of the few brands as universally popular in our surveys as Walmart – is constantly strengthening its offering and promising new startups are regularly entering this space.

Leaderboard:

Grocery Brand Leaderboard in the US - Q2 2021

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Walmart 94% 70% 64% 59% 100
2 Target 92% 55% 51% 56% 90
3 7-Eleven 87% 38% 34% 38% 80
4 CostCo 78% 32% 29% 37% 70
5 Whole Foods Market 69% 22% 22% 29% 53
6= Aldi 59% 25% 21% 27% 45
6= Kroger 63% 24% 23% 26% 45
8 Trader Joe's 64% 19% 20% 26% 38
9 Publix 44% 16% 15% 22% 16
10 Safeway 44% 16% 17% 17% 14

Supermarkets

We polled over 500 young people to find out which supermarket brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

For months, supermarkets have been among the few stores remaining open, so what lies ahead now that they are no longer the only option for many purchases? The grocery sector will be pleased to hear that purchase intent remained strong among Gen Z as they entered Q2. In fact, Tesco sees a 6% and Sainsbury’s a 5% increase in purchase intent compared to Q1. One reason for this could be an increase in spontaneous purchases, as consumers are more likely to be passing these stores as they go out to work or seeing friends. The weekly “big shop” could be replaced by more frequent, smaller shops as young people resume their pre-COVID lifestyles.

Despite an increase in young consumers trying out online grocery shopping during the pandemic, so far the majority are still going in-store. According to our 2021 UK Student Shopping Report, 88% of students buy food and drink in-store, while only 44% spend money on this category online. However, that segment may be small but it is growing, and the industry leaders are aware that they need to perfect their online offering to retain the loyalty of digital natives.

The established supermarkets must move quickly to stay ahead, as loyalties could change, especially as ecommerce giant Amazon – one of the few brands as universally popular in our surveys as Tesco – is constantly strengthening its grocery delivery offering. Ocado has had a stellar year as the brand most associated with online grocery shopping in the UK. Meanwhile, innovative new startups like Getir are investing heavily in marketing to young shoppers who like the idea of a convenience store in an app. The time is ripe for disruption in the grocery market.

Leaderboard:

UK supermarket brand leaderboard Q2 2021

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Tesco 98% 66% 68% 64% 100
2 ASDA 98% 59% 53% 57% 90
3 Sainsbury's 96% 49% 48% 48% 73
4 Aldi 95% 53% 44% 49% 70
5 Lidl 97% 45% 44% 47% 63
6 Morrison's 95% 41% 37% 42% 48
7 Co-op 94% 48% 38% 39% 45
8 Iceland 94% 37% 30% 35% 33
9 Spar 75% 21% 19% 24% 18
10 Waitrose 87% 19% 21% 29% 13

Retail

We polled over 1,000 young people to find out which retail brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Amazon retains its place at the top in the retail category this quarter, but interestingly, we have seen a small but noticeable decline in three of the metrics we track. Brand engagement dipped by 1%, purchase intent by 2%, and brand advocacy by a more significant 4%. The ecommerce giant has received negative press around alleged poor treatment of workers over the past few months. Could this be responsible for a decline in positive sentiment among Gen Z, a group that is known for its ethical values?

Ahead of last year’s presidential election, we asked Student Beans’ US users which issues would have an impact on their vote, and 55% said workers’ rights would be on their minds. Although issues such as education and healthcare were higher priority to young voters as a whole, more than half of this demographic could be swayed against a political candidate – and logically therefore also against a brand – based on workers’ rights. This emphasises the importance, not just for Amazon but any brand hoping to engage Gen Z, of ensuring your values are upheld throughout the business, from your social media profiles to the warehouse floor.

Elsewhere in this sector, another ecommerce brand had a very strong quarter. eBay overtook Bed Bath & Beyond to enter the top three, and saw a notable 3% growth on each of the brand engagement, purchase intent and brand advocacy metrics compared to Q1. eBay exemplifies the recommerce trend, which sees young consumers opting to buy second-hand and resell items with the aim both to get value for money and to protect the planet. eBay’s CEO recently announced plans to reposition the business with a focus on Gen Z and Millennial customers, and our research suggests this could be a very successful strategy.

Leaderboard:

Retail brand leaderboard Q2 2021 in the US

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Amazon 94% 69% 66% 64% 100
2 Home Depot 88% 37% 29% 39% 88
3 eBay 89% 34% 29% 36% 80
4 Bed Bath & Beyond 83% 30% 26% 39% 68
5 Macy's 87% 29% 26% 34% 60
6= JCPenney 86% 27% 23% 31% 38
6= Kohls 81% 27% 25% 31% 38
8 IKEA 81% 24% 24% 35% 33
9 TJ Maxx 76% 26% 24% 33% 28
10 Lowe's 82% 25% 26% 29% 20

Retail

We polled over 500 young people to find out which of the retail superstores resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Amazon retains its place at the top in the retail category this quarter, including an increase in purchase intent, showing that 16-24s plan to spend even more on Amazon purchases in Q2 than Q1. The same is true for eBay and Etsy, the other two online-only brands featured in our retail chart. This promising news should help to allay the concerns of ecommerce businesses, who have worried that the boom in online shopping would end when physical stores reopen at the end of lockdown. Instead, these stats suggest that the shopping habits young consumers have picked up during the pandemic are likely to stick.

However, the strong results for ecommerce brands should not be viewed as a win at the expense of the in-store alternatives. In fact, we’re also seeing encouraging stats for the physical retailers on our list. IKEA, Argos, and M&S are among the brands seeing a notable rise in purchase intent compared to Q1, while B&M – a newcomer to our chart with no ecommerce offering – shoots straight into the top five.

Appealing to young people looking for a side hustle, eBay recently launched a new partnership with Student Beans, offering discounted seller fees for students. eBay exemplifies the recommerce trend, which sees young consumers opting to buy and sell second-hand items, with the aim both to get value for money and to protect the planet. eBay’s CEO recently announced plans to reposition the business with a focus on Gen Z and Millennial customers, and their performance in our Youth Brand Affinity Index suggests this could be a very successful strategy.

Leaderboard:

Uk Retail brands leaderboard Q2 2021

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Amazon 98% 75% 68% 67% 100
2 eBay 96% 53% 47% 53% 84
3 IKEA 96% 36% 35% 55% 73
4 Argos 96% 43% 38% 49% 68
5 B&M 89% 45% 40% 46% 63
6 M&S 96% 38% 34% 42% 59
7 WHSmith 92% 29% 27% 39% 35
8 Wilko 87% 34% 28% 38% 28
9 John Lewis 92% 23% 23% 38% 23
10 Etsy 70% 29% 30% 37% 20

Health & Beauty

We polled over 1,000 young people to find out which health and beauty brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

While Walgreens retains the top spot in our health and beauty sector chart this quarter, there is a change in the top three as Bath & Body Works overtakes CVS for the first time since we launched the Youth Brand Affinity Index.

Bath & Body Works has experienced impressive growth in the past few years, reporting a 50% increase in sales between 2015 and 2019. More recently, the brand has thrived during the pandemic as consumers look for affordable ways to treat themselves and relax during a stressful time. Not only does the retailer stock COVID-era essentials such as soap and hand sanitizer, but they also offer a range of products that make being stuck at home a bit more bearable, from scented candles to bubble bath. Bath and Body Works achieved 22% year-on-year growth in 2020, even despite some stores being closed or occupancy limits imposed due to local restrictions.

Looking at the brand advocacy metric, Walgreens and CVS are the two winners this quarter, which could be linked to their role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. In a survey of Student Beans’ US users, we learned that 49% of them had at least had their first shot, and another 28% planned to get it. Only 10% had chosen not to get it, with 12% undecided and 1% ineligible for health reasons. This demonstrates a positive attitude and a generational eagerness to get their shots, but also shows there’s still a need to convince a certain sub-group of the value of vaccination, despite them not being as vulnerable to the virus as older groups.

Leaderboard:

Health & Beauty brand leaderboard for Q2 2021 in the US

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Walgreens 86% 45% 41% 41% 98
2 Bath & Body Works 86% 40% 38% 38% 88
3 CVS 84% 43% 39% 39% 85
4 Ulta Beauty 68% 30% 29% 29% 68
5 Sephora 69% 25% 25% 25% 63
6 L'Oreal 68% 23% 21% 21% 50
7 e.l.f Cosmetics 52% 22% 21% 21% 38
8 MAC 56% 16% 18% 18% 30
9 Rite Aid 52% 19% 16% 16% 23
10 Lush 47% 16% 15% 15% 10

Health & Beauty

We polled over 500 young people to find out which health and beauty brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Q2 is on course to be the best retail quarter for some time in the health and beauty sector, according to the results of our latest brand affinity research. Retailers within this vertical can expect a successful few months, as purchase intent has increased across the board, especially for those brands with a major presence on the high street.

We can link this trend to the reopening of physical retail throughout the UK in April. Although most stores have an online offering, Gen Z are still flocking to chains like Boots, Superdrug and The Body Shop to spend on health and beauty products in person. Our 2021 Student Shopping Report revealed that health and beauty is one of the sectors where students prefer to shop in-store rather than online – a trend no doubt linked to their preference to prioritise quality over price when making purchasing decisions in this category. Making a fully informed choice is essential when picking products that could impact their health and wellbeing, or even how they look.

One of the brands in this sector that consistently performs well is The Body Shop. While their stores have been open since the 1970s, the brand is as relevant today as ever thanks to their progressive outlook on issues such as sustainability and mental health. One campaign they recently launched that no doubt had Gen Z consumers in mind is their “self love uprising.” Working with inspirational influencers to ignite the conversation, the campaign has lit up social media with followers sharing their stories with the hashtag #selfloveuprising, which has been used over 600,000 times.

Leaderboard:

Health & Beauty UK Brands 2021 Q2

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Boots 95% 52% 53% 56% 100
2 Superdrug 90% 51% 46% 50% 90
3 The Body Shop 85% 32% 30% 39% 78
4= Gillette 83% 27% 26% 37% 65
4= Lush 77% 25% 28% 39% 65
6= Beauty Bay 50% 26% 24% 31% 43
6= Holland & Barrett 74% 25% 23% 31% 43
8 Pure Gym 69% 19% 21% 29% 25
9 MAC 71% 20% 19% 27% 23
10 MyProtein 51% 21% 20% 25% 20

Travel

We polled over 1,000 young people to find out which travel brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

After an incredibly difficult year, during which even the biggest travel brands feared for their future, things are finally looking up for the sector, and we can see that reflected in our Brand Affinity Index this quarter.

Each of the airline brands and travel booking sites featured in our top 10 have seen a notable increase in the brand engagement, purchase intent and brand advocacy metrics compared to Q1. The first two of those were to be predicted as young people start to get the vaccine and finally feel safe booking air travel, whether that’s for a long-awaited vacation or a reunion with much-missed family and friends. However, the airlines will be particularly pleased to see the rise in their brand advocacy scores, as this shows young consumers trust these brands at a time when trust could not be more important.

Aside from the airlines, other brands associated with vacations have performed well this quarter. Each of the three travel booking sites featured, along with Airbnb, also saw an increase of several percentage points across the engagement, intent and advocacy metrics.

These results make a clear statement that young people are ready to spend on travel again, and have the confidence at last to invest in vacations and family visits, without worrying that the trip could be cancelled or feeling anxious about the associated health risks. For the travel sector, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief and start planning for a fantastic second half of 2021.

Leaderboard:

Travel brand leaderboard for Q2 2021 in the US

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Uber 88% 34% 32% 45% 100
2 Lyft 77% 25% 23% 32% 88
3 Airbnb 71% 23% 22% 33% 78
4 American Airlines 75% 19% 21% 28% 70
5 Delta 71% 20% 18% 28% 60
6 United Airlines 72% 19% 17% 24% 53
7 Southwest Airlines 61% 19% 16% 24% 40
8= Booking.com 51% 17% 15% 22% 25
8= TripAdvisor 62% 16% 15% 21% 25
10 Expedia 54% 14% 13% 18% 13

Travel

We polled over 500 young people to find out which travel brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

After an incredibly difficult year, during which even the biggest travel brands feared for their future, things are finally looking up for the sector, and we can see that reflected in our Brand Affinity Index this quarter. While Uber is secure in first place for now, this could be set to change if the trends we’ve discovered in our research continue.

Each of the airline brands featured in our top 10 have seen a notable increase in the brand engagement, purchase intent and brand advocacy metrics compared to Q1. British Airways is having a particularly good quarter, rising from fifth to third place in our chart. The airline saw an impressive 7% increase in purchase intent and a 15% boost to its Youth Affinity Score. The strong brand advocacy scores of British Airways and other airlines will be especially reassuring for these businesses, as this shows young consumers trust them at a time when trust could not be more important.

Aside from the airlines, other brands associated with vacations have performed well this quarter. Each of the hotel chains featured, along with Airbnb, also saw an increase of several percentage points across the engagement, intent and advocacy metrics. These results make a clear statement that young people are ready to spend on travel again, and have the confidence at last to invest in holidays and family visits, without worrying that the trip could be cancelled or feeling anxious about the associated health risks. For the travel sector, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief and start planning for a fantastic second half of 2021.

Leaderboard:

UK Travel Brands leaderboard for Q2 2021

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

  Brand Name Brand visibility Brand engagement Purchase intent Brand advocacy Youth affinity score
1 Uber 94% 35% 37% 41% 100
2 Premier Inn 91% 28% 26% 37% 81
3 British Airways 91% 25% 24% 38% 76
4 Booking.com 74% 25% 26% 34% 61
5 Travelodge 87% 24% 24% 35% 59
6= Airbnb 76% 23% 27% 32% 53
6= EasyJet 88% 25% 22% 33% 53
8 RyanAir 83% 19% 22% 26% 35
9 National Express 72% 18% 20% 29% 21
10 TUI 72% 15% 17% 26% 11

Want to see your brand at the top of the chart next quarter?

Quarterly Commentary

Q2 2021

As we reach the third edition of our quarterly Youth Brand Affinity Tracker, we’re able to look back over the past six months and review how Gen Z’s relationships with brands across each of the sectors we track have changed. In some sectors, there are steadfast winners which have clearly achieved the all-important brand loyalty that every marketing team aspires to. In others, we can see the impact of the disruption caused by a year in quarantine, with challenger brands rising in front of our eyes, and some established names struggling to remain relevant.

One sector that shows particularly encouraging signs is travel, where brand engagement and intent have unsurprisingly been low over the previous two quarters. This time around, we’ve seen a notable increase across both those metrics for all brands associated with vacations and long distance travel, from airlines to travel booking sites. And even more interestingly, those brands also enjoyed a boost in brand advocacy, showing young consumers are ready to trust and recommend them again, as travel out of state becomes a more realistic possibility.

Elsewhere this quarter, we’ve seen new brands achieve the no.1 spot for the first time in the fashion and food & drink sectors. This shows that the industry leaders can be overtaken with a strong quarter of exciting products and engaging marketing that captivates the youth demographic.

Looking ahead to July 2021, when we’ll be conducting our next Brand Affinity survey, we’re looking forward to seeing whether these brands can stay strong at the top or whether previous winners could regain their crown.

Additionally, as students begin spending for Back to School season, which they typically do around July according to our research, we’re excited to see the impact of a surge in student shopping on our Q3 results.

Methodology

Youth Affinity data is gathered every quarter, using the independent research panel provider Cint to reach a nationally representative panel of 1,000 young people aged 16-24, in line with US census data. The Q2 survey took place in April 2021.

For each sector, we provided our respondents with a list of 10 leading brands. For each brand, they were asked:

  • Brand visibility: which brand names they were most aware of
  • Brand engagement: whether they had engaged with them in the past three months
  • Purchase intent: whether they expected to buy from them in the next three months
  • Brand advocacy: whether they would recommend them to a friend

These four metrics were combined to calculate a Youth Affinity Score for each brand, which we have used to create a ranking of the top 10 in each sector.

Quarterly Commentary

Q2 2021

As we reach the third edition of our quarterly Youth Brand Affinity Tracker, we’re able to look back over the past six months and review how Gen Z’s relationships with brands across each of the sectors we track have changed. In some sectors, there are steadfast winners which have clearly achieved the all-important brand loyalty that every marketing team aspires to. In others, we can see the impact of the disruption caused by a year in quarantine, with challenger brands rising in front of our eyes, and some established names struggling to remain relevant.

One sector that shows particularly encouraging signs is travel, where brand engagement and intent have unsurprisingly been low over the previous two quarters. This time around, we’ve seen a notable increase across both those metrics for all brands associated with holidays and long distance travel, from airlines to hotel chains.

And even more interestingly, those brands also enjoyed a boost in brand advocacy, showing young consumers are ready to trust and recommend them again, as travelling abroad becomes a more realistic possibility.

Looking ahead to July 2021, when we’ll be conducting our next Brand Affinity survey, we’re intrigued to see how the final phases of exiting the UK lockdown affect the performance of each sector we track, with everything from festivals to club nights back on the cards after around 15 months on pause. Additionally, as students begin spending for Freshers season, which they typically do around July according to our research, we’re excited to see the impact of a surge in student shopping on our Q3 results.

Methodology

Youth Affinity data is gathered every quarter, using the independent research panel provider Cint to reach a nationally representative panel of 500 young people aged 16-24, in line with UK census data. The Q2 survey took place in April 2021.

For each sector, we provided our respondents with a list of 10 leading brands. For each brand, they were asked:

  • Brand visibility: which brand names they were most aware of
  • Brand engagement: whether they had engaged with them in the past three months
  • Purchase intent: whether they expected to buy from them in the next three months
  • Brand advocacy: whether they would recommend them to a friend

These four metrics were combined to calculate a Youth Affinity Score for each brand, which we have used to create a ranking of the top 10 in each sector.

Want to see your brand at the top of the chart next quarter?