By Eric V | on 06/14/16

Millennials are weird: 7 ways they think (much) differently about top brands

Do millennials see the most valuable companies in the U.S. differently than everyone else does? You bet.

But how much or how little do their impressions differ?

As part of our partnership with Fortune magazine, we set out to uncover how different demographics (including millennials aged 18-29) viewed the Fortune 100 — the list of the most valuable companies in the U.S.

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After asking 10,000 people from across the country about the companies, we found the gulf between millennials and their older counterparts to be even wider than we suspected. Here are 7 ways they see things differently:

1. Millennials think Pepsi is more influential than Google (and way more than Coca Cola).

Respondents said PepsiCo was the No. 4 most influential company on the Fortune 100 list. That’s more than, Alphabet (Google), or Bank of America. PepsiCo nemesis Coca Cola, on the other hand, ranked just 15th.

How did other Americans rank the two companies? Overall, people said Coca Cola was 22nd most influential and PepsiCo was 13th.

2. But they trust Google more than anyone else does.

Millennials ranked Alphabet the No. 2 most trustworthy company, outpacing the impression of Americans overall, who ranked it No. 7. That divide widens when you look at the other individual age groups we studied.

Americans 30-44 ranked it the No. 8 most trustworthy company.
Americans 45-59 ranked it the No. 15 most trustworthy.
Among Americans over the age of 60, Alphabet dropped all the way to No. 30.

3. Millennials don’t have such a rosy view of Apple (everyone else does).

When ranking which companies have the most positive global impact, Americans everywhere had a highly positive impression of Apple—it was ranked No. 4 overall. But millennials felt differently. They ranked it No. 11 in the category for most positive global impact. That’s just behind Exxon Mobil, which we’ve already found was one of the most reviled (but highly investable) companies on the list.

4. They don’t think much of “legacy” tech companies.

Oracle, HP, Cisco Systems— what do they all have in common? They’re all titans in the tech industry and millennials don’t care much about any of them. Need proof? Here’s how they rank:

64th most influential
63rd most positive global impact
61st place they’d want to work

51st most influential
26th most positive global impact
40th place they’d want to work

Cisco Systems
40th most influential
27th most positive global impact
38th place they’d want to work

5. For some reason, they want to work at Comcast.

Comcast may have legendarily bad customer service, but that doesn’t mean millennials aren’t interested in working there. The company ranked the No. 9 place millennials most want to work at. That’s way above the No. 24 rank the rest of Americans gave it.

That doesn’t mean that millennials had a positive impression of the company—far from it. They still ranked it in the top 10 for most ruthless, worst for the country, and company they’d most like to shut down.

Do your customers say these types of things about your company? What do they say about your competitors? The best way to find out is to ask.

6. They don’t care about Berkshire Hathaway.

People around the world wait with rapt attention for the release of the annual investor report written by Warren Buffett, the Berkshire Hathaway founder and CEO whose investing prowess has earned him the moniker “the Oracle of Omaha.”

The company has its fingers in so many valuable pies, it’s hard to keep track of them. Americans overall rate it the No. 9 company they’d want to invest in. With so many accolades, millennials should be head over heels for the company, right?


Millennials ranked the company the No. 43 company they’d most want to invest in.

7. They love Nike’s brand.

Millennials like Nike. While Americans overall didn’t have overwhelmingly positive impressions of the brand, millennials did. In fact, millennials ranked Nike much higher in practically every positive metric we tested for. Take a look:

Nike brand impression overall

17th most trustworthy
26th most influential
30th most positive global impact
27th most innovative
8th place people would most like work
25th company people would want to invest in

Nike brand impression among millennials

7th most trustworthy
13th most influential
21st most positive global impact
9th most innovative
4th place people would most like work
9th company people would want to invest in

Millennials ranked Nike twice as high as everyone else did on 5 out of the 6 metrics above.

Do you know how specific demographics view your company? Find out exactly which attributes come to mind when your customers think of your brand.