Teen Trends

USA's Coolest Brands


In an era where brand loyalty starts young, understanding what resonates with the teen demographic is crucial for marketers aiming to stay ahead. A recent poll revealed the top 25 ‘coolest’ brands according to teens in North America, offering a unique glimpse into their preferences and values…

Let’s dive into these insights and categorize them to better understand the landscape…

The Digital Dominance

At the pinnacle of coolness, TikTok and YouTube, with scores of 70% and 66% respectively, highlight the undeniable influence of digital platforms. Teens gravitate towards apps that offer them a voice, a canvas for creativity, and a window into the world’s happenings. With the iPhone (65%) and other Apple products like Apple Pay (62%) also ranking high, it’s clear that seamless technology integration into daily life is highly valued.

Fashion and Lifestyle

Nike and Jordan, scoring 70% and 62%, dominate the fashion category, symbolising more than just athletic wear but a lifestyle of performance, innovation, and cultural relevance.

PINK (62%) and Victoria’s Secret (56%) represent the preference for brands that resonate with personal style and comfort, while Fenty Beauty (60%) by Rihanna emphasises inclusivity and diversity in beauty standards.

Snack and Chill

The food category is led by Doritos (63%) and closely followed by Sour Patch Kids (62%), Coca-Cola (61%), Reese’s (60%), and Oreo (58%). These brands exemplify the importance of fun and familiarity, suggesting that snack foods continue to be an integral part of teen leisure and comfort.

Financial Fluidity

Cash App (63%) and Apple Pay (62%) alongside PayPal (56%) illustrate the growing comfort and preference for digital finance solutions among teens, pointing towards a shift in how future generations will manage and interact with money.

Entertainment and Engagement

Gaming and entertainment are represented by PlayStation (58%), Roblox (57%), and Spotify (58%), indicating that interactive and immersive experiences hold significant appeal.

Kahoot! (60%), a game-based learning platform, suggests that even education is cool when it’s interactive and fun.

Social Media and Connectivity

Snapchat (59%) might trail behind TikTok but remains a vital platform for teen communication and self-expression, emphasising the importance of instant, visual communication, connectivity, community and creativity.

Conclusions for Marketers

These results underscore several key insights for brand marketers:

  • Digital First:
    Teens are digital natives, gravitating towards brands that offer connectivity, creativity, and community.
  • Lifestyle Affiliation:
    Brands that represent a lifestyle or set of values resonate deeply, suggesting that authenticity and brand story are more important than ever.
  • Comfort and Fun:
    In food and fashion, comfort, fun, and familiarity win, pointing towards the importance of creating enjoyable consumer experiences.
  • Financial Innovation:
    The presence of digital financial services indicates an openness to new ways of managing money, suggesting a fertile ground for fintech innovations.

For marketers, tapping into Gen Z’s unique blend of technology, lifestyle, and personal expression is key to engaging them effectively. This generation’s digital savvy and distinct values require brands to form meaningful connections for future loyalty and relevance.

Gen Z’s different employment patterns and financial outlooks, marked by skepticism towards traditional economic achievements, influence their consumer behaviour.

Prioritising authenticity, social responsibility, and digital engagement helps brands build lasting relationships with Gen Z, ensuring a loyal customer base for years to come.

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  1. What factors contribute to a brand becoming popular among teenagers?
    The popularity of a brand among teenagers can often be attributed to its presence on social media, endorsements by influencers or celebrities that teens admire, and its alignment with current social and environmental values that resonate with the younger generation. Brands that successfully tap into the interests, values, and platforms where teens spend their time can gain significant traction within this demographic.
  2. How do teen preferences impact the development of new products or services?
    Teen preferences significantly influence the development of new products or services, as brands strive to innovate in ways that meet the changing tastes and expectations of this age group. This can include incorporating sustainable materials, developing tech-savvy solutions, or offering customizable options that allow teens to express their individuality. Engaging with teens through social media feedback loops also helps brands to stay ahead of trends and adapt their offerings accordingly.
  3. What role does social media play in shaping the trends among teenagers?
    Social media is a pivotal platform in shaping trends among teenagers, serving as both a source of inspiration and a means of spreading trends rapidly across global networks. Teens are heavily influenced by the content they consume on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, where influencers and peers share fashion, technology, and lifestyle trends. Social media not only informs what teens perceive as desirable or popular but also provides a space for them to share their own contributions to emerging trends.