In order to understand which brands are making the biggest impact with millennials today, Teen Vogue partnered with Goldman Sachs' Apparel and Accessories Global Investment Research Group to create the 2013 Teen Vogue/Goldman Sachs Brand Affinity Index.
Nicknamed the "Love List," this piece of research ranks 363 millennial fashion, retail and beauty brands from a three-pronged perspective, incorporates teens' awareness of the brand, favorability for the brand, and word-of-mouth around the brand. The Composite Index Score is comprised of equally weighted percentages across three questions fielded to the respondent base:
- Awareness: "Are you familiar with this brand?"
- Favorability: "Do you/would you feel great wearing this brand?"
- Word of mouth: "Is this a brand you like to talk about with others (either in person, by phone, or through social media?)"
In an effort to differentiate between millennial brands currently embraced by the establishment and rising brands considered by influential teens, the survey was conducted among two distinct samples: A national sample of 1,914 females 13–29 reflects preferences among "mass" millennials; a Teen Vogue It girl reader panel sample of 1,234 respondents reveals the brands that have been adopted by fashion-savvy influentials.
The Top 20 "Love List" brands ranked by It Girls Composite Scores are:
- Forever 21
- Victoria's Secret
- Victoria's Secret Pink
- Urban Outfitters
- Bath & Body Works
- Louis Vuitton
- Marc Jacobs
Influential millennials are bellwether consumers—they are first to market, first to adopt, and first to share. Their behaviors build momentum for brands to reach the next strata of shoppers. To identify "Brands Rising"—those that have breakthrough potential with secondary adopters and ultimately a mass audience—a sample was configured based on the following criteria: highest differential in awareness between Teen Vogue It girls and national sample + high Teen Vogue It girl favorability (+1 standard deviation above the mean) + high Teen Vogue It girl word of mouth (=1 standard deviation above the mean).
The top 20 Brands Rising were:
- Free People
- Nasty Gal
- Kate Spade
- Marc Jacobs
- Michael Kors
- Steve Madden
- Urban Decay
- Vera Wang