Millennials Vote Uber ‘Most Improved’ Brand in 2017

Jul 06, 2017

Generation Y is often described to be the generation making it cool to be socially conscious, but a recent vote might suggest otherwise.

Millennials prefer products that “follow ethical practices and are aligned with social causes.” They want businesses to behave in “an ethical manner.” Fortune even published a 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials list, highlighting companies like GoFundMe, which gives employees an extra three days paid time off from work to do community service-related activities.

But in a survey published on Wednesday, those same millennials are singing a different tune. YouGov BrandIndex, a company tracking the public perception of brands worldwide, compared recent millennial customer data for more than 1,500 brands for the first half of this year to results from the same period in 2016.

The most improved brand? Embattled ride-hailing company Uber.

According to the survey, Uber made the largest customer gains since the first half of 2016, growing its millennial customer base 8.2 percentage points. This means that Uber counted 26% of millennials as customers in the last 30 days.

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This might come as a surprise since the company endured a tumultuous last six months. Uber has faced sexual harassment allegations, an exodus of top executives, and the loss of its CEO Travis Kalanick.

Although more than 200,000 customers deleted the Uber app during a passenger boycott in January, it still seems to be a fan favorite among Gen Y. Ride-hailing rival Lyft jumped 6% for the No. 3 spot on the “most improved brands” of 2017, according to the study.

“I’m not saying millennials are not concerned about ethics,” YouGov BrandIndex CEO Ted Marzilli told Adweek. “But people in the aggregate tend to make choices that are in their financial interests. So if taking Uber is more economical or convenient than waiting for a cab, I’m probably still going to call Uber.”

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