Uber named most improved brand among millennials (Yes, Uber)

Commentary: YouGov BrandIndex's latest survey suggests that millennials aren't moved by Uber's controversies at all. They even like banks quite a lot.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


They love me. They really love me.

Money Sharma / AFP/Getty Images

I want to believe in the new generation.

I want to believe that millennials are more thoughtful, more caring, more responsible than my decrepit lot.

Yet here are figures from YouGov BrandIndex that have made me weep into my hole-ridden designer T-shirt. 

It seems that the most improved brand since the first half of 2016 is Uber. Yes, that Uber. The Uber that's got itself a reputation for sexual harassment, questionable business practices and, well, you name it if it sounds stinky. 

The Uber that is currently without a CFO, COO or CMO. 

Oh, and whose CEO Travis Kalanick was forced to resign after a deluge of criticism for his behavior.

Perhaps millennials loathe his very ethos. But they seem to adore the cost and efficiency of its service. 

YouGov BrandIndex says that 26 percent of millennials have been recent Uber customers -- defined as using the service within the past 60 days -- in the first half of 2017. That's up 8 percent from the same period last year.

Uber didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's true that tech brands tend to proliferate the list of most improved millennial brands. Instagram comes second, Lyft, third. (Some millennials may have voted with their conscience.) Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp and Spotify are all in the top 10.

But please don't think this millennial generation is exclusively oriented around tech. Delta Air Lines flies in at No. 8. And millennials seem to enjoy moneyed brands. Visa is at No. 11, Chase at No. 13 and, bless it, J.P. Morgan at No. 14.

Apple, Microsoft and Google failed to penetrate the top 20. It could be that they're just not as cool as J.P. Morgan. Or, for that matter, Uber.

Or it could be that, sadly, millennials are just as self-centered, compromised and hypocritical as the rest of us. 

Indeed, YouGov BrandIndex's Ted Marzilli told Adweek: "I'm not saying millennials are not concerned about ethics. But people in the aggregate tend to make choices that are in their financial interests."

Millennials are just people. How terminally disappointing.