This week’s insight report examines the brand preferences of Irish millennials and gen-z and answers some very important questions. Is brand loyalty disappearing among young people? Which brands come out on top? What qualities factor into brand favourability and how can brands improve?
In terms of brand favourability, the two leading banking brands are AIB and Revolut. The key reasons stated by respondents for their choice was speed, experience, simplicity of use, mobile-friendly and that they are focused on consumers. Since Revolut is a mobile-only banking platform, it is clear that young people greatly prefer a convenient app to traditional factors. However, 35% indicated that AIB was their favourite bank as compared to 33% for Revolut. This arguably shows that AIB, an established and traditional bank, can still compete with disruptors through a pivot to mobile-banking and a focus on consumers.
The least favourite brand was Bank of Ireland at 24%, followed by KBC and Permanent TSB both at 19%. Respondents complained that these brands had terrible apps, as well as horrible customer experiences. The lack of functionality in the apps means that the brands are less convenient than their competitors. Finally, respondents said that these banks have bad branding and poor reputations.
The favourite brand for a mobile carrier was Three with 38% of respondents indicating so. This was followed by Vodafone at 26% and then GoMo at 14%. The most notable result from this question was GoMo’s. GoMo is a new entrant on the market, it was only launched in October 2019 and has a very impressive share. GoMo specifically targetted young people in their marketing and advertising and clearly it is paying off. Respondents said that the factors that contributed to their choice were value, deals and reliability.
The most popular drink was beer/stout more than a quarter of respondents (28%) favouring it. Vodka was second at 13%, closely followed by Gin at 12%. In a shocking result, only 6% of respondents favoured whiskey. Whiskey has been one of the most fast-growing spirits in the world, however, it is possible that growth is not sparked by young consumers but by older people with larger incomes. 17% of respondents indicated that they don’t drink.
As for specific brands, there was a huge degree of variance among respondents. Many young people choose smaller and individual brands. Despite this, there is still a strong preference for Heineken and Guinness.
In the soft drink category, there are many brands that compete directly with each other and rely heavily on brand favourability. Our match-ups are as follows:
Coke or Pepsi: Coke (65%), Pepsi (13%), Neither (22%)
Fanta or Club Orange: Fanta (51%), Club Orange (30%), Neither (19%)
Sprite or ZUP: Sprite (23%), ZUP (57%), Neither (20%)
Monster or Red Bull: Monster (31%), Red Bull (25%), Neither (44%)
Powerade or Lucozade: Powerade (14%), Lucozade (56%), Neither (30%)
In our first matchup, Coca Cola wins out against Pepsi. In fact, coke dominates with 65% of respondents, while more people don’t favour either soft drink as opposed to favouring Pepsi. Fanta is more popular than Club Orange. 7up beats Sprite. More people prefer neither Red Bull nor Monster as oppose to preferring one. Finally, Lucozade dominates Powerade.
The two most popular takeaway food styles were Chinese and pizza, both at 25% each. This was followed by Indian and Thai, both at 14%. The massive majority of young people preferred local takeaways (68%) as opposed to going to chains.
When it came to favourite retail clothes brands, there was a wide range of choices and preferences. However, the factors that influenced young people’s choices were affordability, quality, discounts and collections. Furthermore, particular brands cater to their individual’s styles.
We asked specifically about online shopping and unsurprisingly, Amazon came out on top with 48% respondents putting it down as their favourite online brand. Asos came second with 35% of respondents choosing it. After that, the choices vary and there are many smaller brands mentioned.
The factor that influences young people is predominately affordability, however they also care about the speed of delivery, as well as return policies. Young people also care about sustainability. However, while the majority of young people disapprove of fast fashion, they would prefer the bigger brands to change and become sustainable, as opposed to shopping at more expensive sustainable and independent retailers.
13% of respondents described themselves as in the higher range (9-10) for brand loyalty. More than half of the respondents described themselves as between 6-8 in brand loyalty. This demonstrates that brand loyalty and favourability are still huge factors in young people’s consumption habits.
The qualities that young people view as most important when choosing a brand are:
Actual change and action to use their influence to make a positive impact instead of virtue signalling to appear progressive as part of a marketing scheme.