20 brands that are having a moment
Gen Z is the driving force behind several trends—middle parts, TikTok videos and influencer marketing are just a few. Yet one thing the cohort is especially good at is attracting new popularity to established brands. That skill is evident in Ad Age’s 2023 list of America’s Hottest Brands, an annual feature including 20 products, people and services. Nearly half of the marketers on the list were founded prior to 2000, but have found newfound fame and virality thanks to the attention of a generation that largely wasn’t yet born when the brands began. Eileen Fisher, the 39-year-old clothing company, is attracting interest from the “Coastal Grandmother” fashion aesthetic, a favorite of young consumers. After returning two years ago following a 24-year hiatus, Ford Bronco has become a lifestyle brand touted by the likes of actress Sydney Sweeney. And, of course, there’s “Barbie,” the summer blockbuster about a 64-year-old doll that is raking in brand partnerships and cross-generational attention. The list also includes a fair share of newcomers. ChatGPT heralded the cultural shift into AI, while startups such as Stripes and Olipop are paving new paths in the wellness and beverages categories. No matter when they got their start, all 20 of the Hottest Brands have deployed a winning marketing playbook that is a must-see for others looking to make a mark. —Adrianne Pasquarelli Hear how these brands built buzz by watching Ad Age Hottest Brands, a livestreamed event, here.