Imagine you run a company, and I say I have some good news. Which would you be happier to hear?

  • Learning that customers think you have a valuable brand.
  • Learning that Millennial customers particuarly love your brand.

If you're Amazon, Apple or Nike, it's actually a trick question. Because recently, all three brands got some fantastic news on both fronts. Here's the background.

Earlier this year, WPP research agency Kanta revealed the latest update to its annual "BrandZ Global Top 100" list of the world's brands, ranked by monetary value.

I find this fascinating -- the idea you could break out the brand value, and assign it a value as if it were any other asset. This year, Amazon got the best news, as the agency thinks has a brand worth $315.5 billion.

That was enough for it to leapfrog over Apple and Google, whose brands were valued at $309.5 billion and $309 billion respectively. 

But now, these companies have some encouraging news about a subset of their customers from another source: a marketing firm that asks Millennials about their favorite brands each year.

And while the brand value might provide a snapshot in time, I think the affinity younger customers have for a brand might be better news -- a promise of greater value in the future.

Here are the top 10 brands for millennials according to Moosylvania, and what they might mean for the companies involved:

1.    Amazon

Amazon is just the big winner across the board. It was at the top of the BrandZ list, and now it's jumped form number 3 on last year's Moosylvania list to the top slot. In fact, its grocery brand, Whole Foods, separately tied for 82nd on the list as far as Millennial affinity is concerned.

2.    Apple

Apple was number 2 on both the brand value survey and the Moosylvania list. The difference was slight, relatively speaking, on the overall brand survey -- $6 billion, but that's less than 2 percent below Amazon given that the brands are are so valuable to begin with.

3.    Nike

Interesting and promising jump for Nike, which was the 21st most-valuable brand on WPP's list (with an estimated brand value of $47.360 billion). It corresponds with Nike's all-in backing of controversial ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. 

4.    Walmart

Another positive sign for the future for Walmart, which ranked #32 on the overall brand value list earlier this year. It would seem any brand that ranks higher on preference lists for younger consumers than overall should take that as a good thing.

5.    Target

Target doesn't even seem to listed in the BrandZ Global Top 100, which might be explainable by the fact that it's a worldwide ranking, while Target at this point is basically an American brand. But good news for the future: it's number 5 on this Millennials list.

6.    Samsung

Samsung was only ranked 38 in terms of value on the BrandZ Global list and 10th among technology companies. But it comes in at number-6 here. The big difference, one would think, is higher Millennial adoption of Samsung's phones.

7.    Google

If I were a brand, and I were to worry, I would be Google. It's still a gargantuan company, of course, and it has some interesting plans to take over more parts of the world. But setting aside Target, it has the biggest negative difference between overall brand value according to Brand Z, and ranking on this list of younger customers.

8.    Adidas

Another brand with an amazing sign for the future if these rankings have value: Adidas ranked the 100th most-valuable brand according to Brand Z, but here it is at number eight among younger customers' favorites.

9 and 10.    Coke and Pepsi

Rather than write the same observations about similar brands Coke and Pepsi twice, we'll combine them here. These brands ranked 9th and 10th as Millennial favorites from this survey. (Coca-Cola was also number 14 on the Brand Z survey.)

It's even that even as younger consumers eschew sugar water and sodas, the brands behind those products retain affinity from this cohort.

You can see the entire list here. (opens as .pdf). Let us know in the comments what brands surprised you on the list.