Every era spawns its iconic brands. Sears, Kodak or Blockbuster, anyone? By 2020, the Millennial generation, the largest in history, will control something like $24 trillion of wealth.
That’s about 1.5 times the size of the U.S. economy in 2015, according to Deloitte. Their spending and investment will drive the brands that dominate the cultural landscape.
Despite the hoopla, “purpose” is not enough, according to the annual World Value Index, which attempts to measure its brand value. Boomers favored Newman’s Own (the №7 brand for their age category), and gen-Xers are still partial to Levi Strauss (№35). Both brands hold less appeal to millennials, who rank them №81 and №91, respectively.
Brands with strong mission statements, like Honest Company (“Creating a culture of honesty”) and Starbucks (“…a positive impact on the communities we serve”) scored significantly higher among millennials than boomers.
So what’s the next big thing? Meaning. Companies have to connect their mission with the products they sell, says Sebastian Buck, CEO of Enso, an agency that produces mission-driven branding and which commissioned the survey.
Tech brands like Twitter, Spotify, Kickstarter, and Snapchat register highly with millennials, but haven’t broken into the top 10. The brands whose mission and purpose are perceived as creating the most world-value: Goodwill, Girl Scouts of the USA, Amazon, Save the Children, Google, World Wildlife Fund, YMCA, Microsoft, Dove and Subway.
This year’s list seems, well, transitional. Let’s check back in 10 years or so.