April 23, 2020 KahnMedia

Most Beloved Brands by Generation

A brand isn’t a company or what it sells. A brand is the feelings a product or business evokes in its customers. The best brands – not necessarily the best companies or products – are those that cultivate meaningful emotional connections, or intimacy, with customers. Such strong bonds are good for the bottom line. Over a 10-year period (2009-18), the most “intimate” brands showed 38% profit growth versus just 16% for the Fortune 500 and 7% for the S&P 500.

MBLM’s annual Brand Intimacy Study measures how emotionally connected consumers are to brands they use. Each brand is assigned a score from 0 to 100 based on four factors:

  • Users: How many consumers the brand has a relationship with.
  • Emotional connection: Positive feelings users have for the brand and the degree to which their values align.
  • Stage: Depth and intensity of the emotional connection between the brand and the user.
  • Archetypes: Degrees to which six need states are present (fulfillment, identity, enhancement, ritual, nostalgia and indulgence).

Overall, the most beloved brands in 2020 among U.S. consumers are: 1) Amazon, 2) Disney, 3) Apple, 4) Ford and 5) Jeep. MBLM’s website has an online tool that allows users to adjust the rankings by age group, income and gender.

Visual Capitalist used data from the 2020 Brand Intimacy Study to create infographics of the 10 most beloved brands by generation, which we’ve summarized below.


Gen Z/Millennials (18-34 years old)

In the 18-34 age group, which includes Gen Z and Millennials, the most beloved brands are 1) Playstation, 2) Amazon, 3) Target, 4) Disney, 5) Ford, 6) Jeep, 7) Apple, 8) YouTube, 9) Xbox and 10) Nintendo.

Among males aged 18-34, gaming, video and sports brands rank the highest (Playstation, Xbox, YouTube, Nintendo and ESPN). Among females aged 18-34, retail and entertainment brands rank the highest (Walmart, Target, Disney, YouTube and Apple).


Gen X (35-54 years old)

Among Gen Xers in the 35-54 age group, the most beloved brands are 1) Apple, 2) Amazon, 3) Netflix, 4) Jeep, 5) Disney, 6) Ford, 7) Samsung, 8) Xbox, 9) Walmart and 10) Nike.

Among males aged 35-54, sports, apparel, credit card and consumer product brands rank the highest (Nike, Adidas, Intel, Visa, Stouffer’s, Head & Shoulders, ESPN, Levi’s, American Express and Heineken). Among females aged 35-54, entertainment, retail and food brands rank the highest (Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Chevrolet, Disney, Hershey’s, Chick-Fil-A, Pepsi, Google and Starbucks).


Baby Boomers (55-64 years old)

Among Baby Boomers in the 55-64 age group, the most beloved brands are 1) Amazon, 2) Toyota, 3) Apple, 4) Costco, 5) Macy’s, 6) Hershey’s, 7) HP, 8) Pillsbury, 9) Kellogg’s and 10) Pepsi.

Although the 2020 Brand Intimacy Study included 3,000 U.S. consumers, there were not enough males aged 55-64 in the study to generate reliable brand rankings (which is ironic, since the graphic for Baby Boomers shows a man with a beard). Among females aged 55-64, the ranks are the same as those listed above.


For more results from the Brand Intimacy Study, visit MBLM.

For more infographics based on current research and statistics, visit Visual Capitalist.