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Brands Gen Z Love: Content Creator & Marketer Insights

Brands Gen Z Love: Content Creator & Marketer Insights

Social scientists are always studying how different generations interact with society. It’s valuable to consider how certain age groups impact markets, as it reveals the unique buying power each generation wields. 

Along with their buying power, generational changes ripple out both subtle and strong social changes. We can also take an inverted view and observe how generational changes impact what people buy.

Gen Z currently makes up 26% of the world’s population. And they’re not kids anymore. They’re teens and young adults eager to vote with their dollars. By 2025, they’re expected to make up more than 50% of consumers in the United States, and yet they’re already challenging typical “consumer culture”.

If you’re a content creator or marketing professional, Gen Z is your newest prime audience. They’re digitally intuitive. They don’t like waiting. They are smarter than you think

What is Gen Z doing, and how are they engaging with existing businesses? Let’s look at some of the top brands Gen Z love and why.

Selling to a Generation That’s Online and Individualized  

Gen Z is the first generation to enter the world as fully digital natives. By the time they were born (1997 to 2012), the internet was the most widely utilized source for finding information. When they reached their tweens, smartphones, and social media were already everyday norms.

Now that Zoomers are entering young adulthood, they can’t imagine life offline. 

The brands they love can say the same. 

Winning: Tech brands that challenge the status quo

Zoomers are, and always have been, plugged in. They’ve been bombarded with digital ads since day one. They can smell B.S. from a mile away and spot inauthentic branding faster than you can say, “link in bio”. 

Gen Z craves authenticity. They support tech brands that enable information sharing and that challenge rigid, outdated norms. It’s no wonder why favorite platforms among the generation include YouTube, Google, Amazon, Netflix, and Apple, where personalization is encouraged and freedom of expression is valued. Gen Z even relies on these brands as everyday outlets for most of their consumer activity, including online shopping, education, entertainment, and social connection.


Brands that are socially responsible and environmentally friendly 

Collectively, Gen Z automatically favors big tech companies and retail giants. Unless you live like a monk, you also frequent Walmart, Google, Target, and Amazon for everyday essentials, no matter what your financial situation.

Within these retail conglomerates, though, many Gen Zers are opting for socially and environmentally responsible products. The health-conscious check for unwanted ingredients like palm oil, corn syrup, and artificial fragrances. The environmentally conscious choose brands that are low-waste, non-toxic, or fair trade. And when Gen Zers spot big brands that can do better, they’re calling them out on it; demanding positive change. 

Cruelty-free brands

43% of Gen Z shoppers don’t buy products tested on animals. Gen Z women especially are growing the demand for brands with a cruelty-free mission. Cosmetic brands like Glossier, e.l.f., and The Ordinary are well-known beauty brands among Gen Z thanks to their cruelty-free processes and affordable price range. 

What about fast fashion?

Conscious consumerism might be a Gen Z ideal in theory, but the generation is not so responsible when it comes to clothes. According to a 2022 Global Sustainability Study, more than 50% of Gen Zers claim sustainability is a priority — but their generation is today’s biggest consumer of fast fashion. Half of Gen Z shoppers in the U.S. still frequent international fast fashion producers such as H&M, Zara, and Shein. 

Why the fast fashion addiction? Social media marketing likely plays a big role. Why invest hours of time and hundreds of dollars shopping for an organic cotton dress when your Instagram feed advertises an identical polyester knockoff for $15.00 (+ free shipping)? 

It’s also likely that Gen Z simply can’t afford sustainable clothing, even though they may prefer the concept. Navigating early adulthood in digitally-led, economically volatile times is… challenging. Their top-rated brands reveal this paradox even more.

The #1 Brand of Gen Z

For a generation obsessed with tech, personalization, authenticity, and inclusivity, it comes as no surprise that the most highly-favored brand among Zoomers is YouTube

YouTube’s content powerhouse is easily tailored to meet any consumer query or lifestyle curiosity. From tech reviews and skincare hauls to independent news and livestreams, YouTube checks all the boxes for younger generations’ wildly individual interests. Similarly, TikTok is dominated by Gen Z audiences, thanks to its highly personalized, easily accessible video content atmosphere. Other social media platforms (Instagram, Snapchat, Discord, Twitch, Reddit) rank in the top 25 list of Gen Z brands.

Most Loved Gen Z Brands in 2023

Let’s make this skimmable: here’s a list of some of Gen Z’s favorite brands, according to 2022 research.

  1. YouTube
  2. Google
  3. Netflix
  4. Amazon
  5. Walmart
  6. M&Ms
  7. Target
  8. Doritos
  9. KitKat
  10. Oreo
  11. Gatorade
  12. Nike
  13. Cheetos
  14. Dollar Tree
  15. Sprite
  16. Pringles
  17. Pixar
  18. Apple
  19. TikTok
  20. Discord
  21. Snapchat
  22. Instagram
  23. CashApp
  24. Spotify
  25. Shein
  26. Trolli
  27. Twitch
  28. Apple Pay
  29. DoorDash
  30. Fenty Beauty 
  31. Reddit
  32. Twitter (now X)
  33. Epic Games
  34. Roblox
  35. Vans
  36. Xbox
  37. CapriSun
  38. PlayStation
  39. Microsoft
  40. Logitech
  41. SpaceX
  42. Bitcoin
  43. ULTA
  44. e.l.f.
  45. Sephora 

Gen Z’s favorite brands cater to themes of personal expression, social inclusion, and affordability. Whether it be a megabrand like Walmart or a small, local shop, Zoomers want to put their money where their mouth is— and they often do, when they can. Brands that back up the Gen Z spirit of individualism and impact gain their loyalty, now and into the future.

Want help reaching Gen Zers through your brand’s content? Reach out to the Hire a Writer team for some ideas.

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