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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.

Row chart of the most popular banking brands, where AIB is the most popular at 36.7%, followed by Revolut at 34.1%
Row chart of the least popular banking brands, where 26.1% of respondents said Bank of Ireland was their least favourite banking brand

Mobile carriers

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.

Row chart of the most popular mobile carrier brands, where Three is the most popular at 39.5%, followed by Vodafone at 27.3%

Alcoholic drinks

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.

Bar chart of the most common choices of alcoholic drinks where 28.3% of respondents said beer and 17.3% indicated they didn't drink alcohol

Soft drinks

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.

Takeaway food

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.

Bar chart of popular takeaway food styles where 25% said Chinese, another 25% voted for pizza and 14.2% for Indian


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.

Brand success

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.

Line graph of the relation between brand loyalty and consumption habits where the majority of respondents scored 8 or higher


The qualities that young people view as most important when choosing a brand are:

  1. Price/Value
  2. Quality
  3. Aesthetics
  4. Sustainability
  5. Consistency
When asked what improvements brands need to make, the answers were largely related to ethics and sustainability. There were minor suggestions for cheaper pricing, more convenience and better quality. However, the overwhelming amount of responses were pleas for brands to be sustainable, ethical and committed to making the world a better place. Young people want a positive world impact and will make sustainable purchases if they are more affordable. Young people are also wary of “greenwashing” campaigns that trick consumers into thinking the brand is sustainable. Companies need to back up their words with actions. This shows that corporate social responsibility is key to building consumer trust and loyalty into the future.

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.

Survey Respondent

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