You'll never guess which brand millennials trust the most

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Five guesses and you still might not get there. And wait till you see who's in third place.

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

You fancy you know how millennials think.

You fancy you know because they keep telling you what they think.

Ah, but when wily market researchers get hold of them and, who knows, lock them in a room and give them a lollipop or two, those millennials still offer surprises.

So it is that the Reputation Institute decided to survey American millennials' deeper feelings about brands.

This, in its way, reflects American millennials' deeper feelings about themselves.

After all, these are people who make very personal choices about everything.

Imagine, then, which brand emerged at the top of the Most Trusted heap.

Your first guess? Apple, perhaps?

Not so.

Your second? Nike?

Not so either.

I'll wait for a little while to give you three more guesses.


Done? Alright.

The answer's Samsung. A brand that's enjoyed a few struggles over the last couple of years has emerged at the very top of the millennial bong of trust.

Nike does, indeed, come second. That will be a little relief for you, I'm sure.

In third place, however, isn't Xbox, Amazon, Uber or Airbnb.

It's Johnson and Johnson.

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You'll never guess which brand millennials trust the most

1. Volkswagen


Photo: Getty

2. Blackberry


Photo: Reuters

3. American Apparel 


Photo: Reuters

4. Cosi


Photo: Getty

5. Aeropostale 


Photo: Reuters

6. Sears


Photo: Getty

7. Kobo


Photo: Getty

8. Budweiser


Photo: Getty

9. Sports Authority


Photo: Reuters

10. Whole Foods


Photo: Getty


Do they remember the lovely smell of J&J's baby shampoo from their childhoods? Perhaps.

Indeed, the Reputation Institute points out that brands such as Lego, the Walt Disney Company and Nintendo -- all in the top 10 Most Trusted -- are hangovers from millennials' dribbling years.

Why, though, does Samsung come first? This survey of 10,000 respondents suggests that the brand scores the best in five categories: Leadership, Performance, Innovation, Citizenship and Workplace.

Indeed, the only two categories it doesn't win are Governance and Products/Services.

The Reputation Institute says that Samsung has wooed millennials from many different directions over the last 12 months -- everything from virtual reality to charity work.

In some ways virtual reality is charity work. It helps you ignore everyone else on earth, which means you won't annoy them -- except if that look at that silly diving mask on your face.

Samsung's improvement has been considerable.

The company has been something of a challenger brand to Apple's emotional dominance.

Perhaps this appeals to millennials. Recent Samsung ads have featured rapper Lil' Wayne pouring champagne all over this Samsung phone to prove it's water-resistant.

A touch rebellious, no?

Older Samsung ads even managed to successfully mock Apple cult-like lines at every product launch.

But millennials can be fickle. How long before they discover the next big thing? Or at least the next big thing for them.

What if they go very retro?

Actually, this list suggests they haven't quite lost that retro thing. Sony is at Number 5.

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