Infographic: The Brand Preferences of Gen Z Genesis vs. Millennial Michael

We take a look at the brand preferences of your average Gen Zer and your average Millennial, and compare how they stack up, what they’re looking for in a brand, and how much trust they have for the brands they engage with.


Infographic: Gen Z Genesis vs Millennial Michael

Introducing Gen Z Genesis and Millennial Michael — two of today’s most highly-sought after target audiences. Below we’re diving into a battle of generations with an easy-to-digest infographic to learn more about who they are, what they like, the best way to engage (plus what not to do!) with these consumer profiles that collectively represent nearly half of the U.S. population. Let’s take a look! 


Genesis is your average Gen Zer, born between 1997 and 2012. She represents over 68 million people, a fifth of the entire US population. She’s young, still working out her job and career trajectory, and makes around $32,500. 

Michael represents the Millennial generation, and he was born between 1981 and 1996. His generation makes up around 22% of the United States population, at 72 million. He’s in the prime of his career, he’s raising a family, and he’s making around $85,000 a year.

Together, Genesis and Michael represent nearly half of the population of the US. 


When it comes to brands, Genesis loves tech companies that produce consistent and entertaining content. And candy, apparently. YouTube, Google, Netflix, Amazon, and M&M’s make up her top five. However, Genesis isn’t easy to win over and has more negative feelings towards brands than every other generation. She also has less trust in brands and believes trust has to be earned.

Michael’s favorite brands are a little more varied, but tech is still in the lead. His top five brands include Peloton, Amazon, Google, Netflix, and Apple. Michael has the most fuzzy feelings for brands compared to every other generation. He also trusts brands slightly more than Genesis, but less than Gen Xers and Boomers do.  


Gen Z Genesis prefers to engage with brands via email, and she reads those emails on her smartphone. But if you want to keep Genesis around as a customer, you’re going to have to limit the negative experiences she has with your brand: she’s likely to switch brand loyalty after even a single bad interaction.

Millennial Michael is pretty similar to Genesis when it comes to brand engagement, preferring to communicate via email. However, he only reads those emails on his smartphone about half the time, relying on desktops and laptops as a close second choice. When it comes to brand loyalty, Michael shows the lowest of all generations, and he’s far more likely than even Genesis to drop a brand after one negative experience.  

Quick Facts About Gen Z and Millennials

How can you tell a Gen Zer from a Millennial?

  • Gen Z Genesis was born between 1997 and 2012.
  • Millennial Michael’s birthdate is between 1981 and 1996. Source

How big are the Gen Z and Millennial generations?

  • Gen Z makes up 20.67% of the US population, with 68.6 million members.
  • Millennials represent 21.75% of the United States, at 72.19 million.
  • Together, Gen Zers and Millennials represent close to half the population of the US. Source

How much money do Gen Zers and Millennials control?

  • The combined buying power of Gen Z is $143 billion dollars. Source.
  • In contrast, the Millennial generation has a staggering combined total of $2.5 trillion dollars in buying power. Source
  • If Genesis represents the average Gen Zer in the US, she’s making $32,500 a year. Source
  • If Michael represents the average Millennial in the US, he’s making $84,975 a year. Source

Tech and media brands are in the lead

Gen Z and Millennials aren’t as easy to win over

  • Genesis isn’t easy to please. Gen Z’s average favorability rating towards brands is the lowest of all generations, meaning only 27% of Gen Z have favorable feelings about a brand or brands in general. Genesis is also more likely to dislike a brand, too, with the highest unfavorability score of 10%. That’s 2% higher than the 8% unfavorability rating average of all adults.
  • Millennial Michael, however, is easier to make happy when it comes to brand favorability. The Millennial favorability rating was 36%, above even the 33% average favorability rating of all adults. Their average unfavorability score, however, is more in line with Gen Z’s, at 9%. Source: Morning Consult “Gen Z’s Favorite Brands 2022”  

Gen Z and Millennials trust brands less than other generations

Email is still in the lead

  • When polled, 68% of all Americans prefer to engage with brands via email. 
  • Gen Z Genesis follows after the 67% of her generation and reads those brand emails on her smartphone.
  • Millennial Michael, like his generation, uses his smartphone to read emails about half (57%) of the time.  Source.

Brand loyalty requires sustained excellence

  • Gen Z Genesis is often unwilling to stick with a brand that’s done her wrong. 38% of Gen Z only allow brands a single mistake before switching to the brand’s competition. Source.
  • Millennial Michael is even more likely to drop a brand that let him down. Millennials were the least forgiving of every generation, with 57% saying they’d switch brands after one negative experience. Source. 

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