Google reveals teens’ favourite brands
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Google reveals teens’ favourite brands

There are an estimated 60 million Americans between 13 and 17 years old, representing more than a quarter of the U.S. population. These teens – Generation Z, or ‘Boomlets’ – have a combined purchasing power of $44 billion. But, if you factor in their influence on household spending, this could be as high as $200 billion. As they approach adulthood, these new consumers will become more and more of a focus for major brands. So world-leading technology company Google decided to check out what they actually think.

That report, titled “It’s Lit: a guide to what teens think is cool” (‘Lit’, for reference sake, is what kids today say instead of ‘hip’, ‘radical’ or ‘awesome’), sheds light on which brands, celebrities, industries, and more American teenagers are interested in.

There are some obvious discoveries: teenage boys overwhelmingly think sports and video games are cool. Teenage girls are more focused on fashion and music.

whats cool

It’s also interesting to see which social media channels teenagers prefer. While Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter rule the roost amongst older users, young people have a strong preference for image led sites. Pinterest, the least popular by far, is the outlier here: but that may be due to the fact that it’s less interactive than competitors like Instagram or Snapchat. In any case, these preferences give us a clear indication of which online channels marketers will be focusing on in five years’ time; and, relatedly, how the face of Ecommerce is likely to evolve between the generations.

social media gender

It has to be said that many of the report’s findings border on the patently obvious (teens like music that makes the ‘feel’ something?). However, one area of real interest is Generation Z’s ranking of various brands in regards to ‘coolness’ and ‘awareness’. Here, we can learn, for example, that YouTube is far and away the generation’s favourite brand; that your Quicksilver top is no longer cool; that Nike is still cooler than Adidas. And that Google (cynics may say unsurprisingly, given that it commissioned the report) is seriously popular.

‘Brand coolness’ according to Generation Z

brand coolness


As Boomlets become a more powerful consumer force, their preferences will begin to be accorded more importance in the market. The extent to which those preferences remain ‘set-in-stone’ remains to be seen. Nonetheless, this report paints a fascinating picture of which companies could extend-or-attain market leading positions over the next few decades.


Dominion holds Alphabet, the parent company of Google, in its Global Trends Ecommerce and Managed Funds. Additionally, many of the other companies featured in this article are also held across Dominion’s Global Trends range of Funds.

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