Millennials Want Brands to Be Their Friends

by T+B Blog Team on October 20, 2014

Way back in 2010, we wrote about a study that showed that Millennials didn’t feel particularly strongly about … anything. At that time, they didn’t have much love or hate for any particular brands. Apparently that’s changed because a new study shows they’re now feeling strong connections to brands, especially those that listen to them and help them become a better person, just as if brands they were friends.

“This generation is looking for brands that help them become something more than their regular selves. Provide a high-quality product or service that helps them look cool and Millennials will return the favor with their recommendations and purchasing power,” according to Norty Cohen, founder and CEO of Moosylvania. Millennials now favor brands that promote positivity and social responsibility.

Featured at the top of the “most beloved” brands in the 2015 Top 50 Millennial Brand Ranking Report by Moosylvania were Nike, Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Walmart.Some of the newcomers on this year’s list include fast food chains Wendy’s and Pizza Hut, along with Sprint, Chanel, and Honda. Dropping out of the Top 50 were Facebook, Old Navy, and PlayStation, among others.

The study highlighted that Millennials enjoy a lot of personal interaction and brand experiences. Moosylvania’s Cohen said: “Millennials are not just consumers – they’re friends. They trust friends who listen to them, are open and honest, remember their names, are consistent and stay true to who they are.”

A study released this past summer revealed that Millennials are largely responsible for making private label or store brands “cool.” That’s because most of them are on a budget and don’t connect “cool” with luxury brands. But it’s important to remember that Millennials are responsible for nearly $1.3 trillion in consumer spending. As Forbes pointed out, that cool private label could be a $1 Burt’s Bees product or a $50 Sephora product.

So, what’s up next up for brands? Most likely figuring out how to make friends with Generation Z (“The New Silent Generation”).


The music world’s Don Henley, a founding member of the Eagles, is suing Duluth Trading Company, a Wisconsin-based clothing company for trademark infringement and false advertising over its use of the phrase: “Don a Henley and Take it easy.” Take a look at the ad:


This case seems to easily lend itself to a multiple-choice test:

a.) Clever marketing

b.) Harmless play on words

c.) Unauthorized use

Whatever your opinion, this isn’t the first time that Henley has set out to protect his intellectual property. In 2009, he sued California politician Chuck DeVore to stop him from using his songs, “The Boys of Summer” and “All She Wants to Do Is Dance,” in campaign videos. And way back in 1999, Henley took Dillard Department Stores to court for running an ad featuring a man wearing a Henley shirt with the words, “This is Don” beside the picture, along with the phrase: “This is Don’s henley.” In that case, the court granted summary judgment for Henley.

Henley’s also taken action against other musicians to stop them from creating remixes and mashups of his songs, but was thwarted by compulsory licensing. Rolling Stone wrote that earlier this year Henley objected to singer Frank Ocean and group Okkervil River recording a rewritten version of his song, “The End of Innocence,” and distributing it for free.

Duluth Trading hasn’t commented on the lawsuit.

In researching this blog post, we’ve seen just about every pun that can be created by Don Henley song titles. So what’s your favorite?


{ 1 comment }

Lady Godiva at the Center of Trademark Dispute

October 14, 2014

Tweet Most of you are probably familiar with the story of Lady Godiva. The wife of an 11th century English nobleman, she opposed the steep taxes her husband imposed on the townspeople. Her husband, Lord Leofric, said he would rescind the taxes if Lady Godiva would ride her horse naked through the streets of Coventry. […]

Read the full article →

“Kinesio” Case Highlights Use of Root Words in Trademarks

October 13, 2014

Tweet American company Kinesio Holding Corporation and Kinesio IP, LLC, known as Kinesio, is threatening legal action against a Canadian kinesiologist whose business is called Kinesio Sport Lab (KSL). Kinesiology is “the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement,” according to the And, Jeff Zahavich, director of KSL, […]

Read the full article →

Branding: The “Why No iWatch?” Discussion Continues

October 10, 2014

Tweet The conversation around “Why no iWatch?” continues—was it a trademark issue or a strategic branding choice? One factor cited in the debate is Swatch’s ownership of several trademarks for iSwatch, yet Apple had already registered iWatch trademarks in Japan, Mexico, Turkey, and several other countries. Apple began using the “I” in 1998 when it […]

Read the full article →

New Study Shows Brands Impact Religious Commitment

October 8, 2014

Tweet Your worship of Porsches or Hermès scarves may indicate that you’re less likely to be spending much time in an actual house of worship. Apparently the more importance you place on brand names, the less likely it is you’ll have a strong commitment to religion. Or, as Pacific Standard put it: “It seems if […]

Read the full article →

Unexpected Impact of iPhone 6 Launch on Fashion Brands

October 6, 2014

Tweet Now that all of the Fashion Weeks – New York, London, Milan, and Paris – are over, what’s the latest news from fashion brands? Well, it’s a collision of fashion and technology … and it’s happening in the pockets of jeans, resulting in some unhappy new iPhone 6 buyers. When Apple launched its new […]

Read the full article →

NgTLD Update: World Trademark Review Looks At Top New TLDs

October 3, 2014

Tweet Highlights: Our readers will be particularly interested to learn that the World Trademark Review (WTR) has revealed the results of its recent research into brand-hijacking habits in new gTLDs. The results show that within the top two generic TLDs, .XYZ and .CLUB, over half of the 70 brand names WTR looked at (taken from […]

Read the full article →

Tesco Not Ready to Give Up Trademark Fight for Blue Dashes

October 2, 2014

Tweet Tesco, the world’s second-largest retailer, filed an appeal with the U.K. Intellectual Property Office (IPO), asking that its decision to not allow the company to register the blue dashes under its logo as a trademark be overturned, according to the Marketing website. The supermarket chain’s attempt to trademark the blue dashes in its logo […]

Read the full article →

Content Ownership Is a Major Issue Behind Big Brands’ Shift Away From Facebook

September 30, 2014

Tweet The issue of content and data ownership is pushing brands away from Facebook and on to their own microsites and other social media channels, writes Adweek. You may have noticed that some companies are posting less original content on Facebook, while featuring more reposted content from other social media sites. Brands have already seen […]

Read the full article →