90% of Consumers Like Custom Content From Brands, According to a New Time Inc. Study

Gen Z is especially a fan of branded stories

Younger generations like custom content from brands, according to new study from Time Inc. Getty Images
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Time Inc., publisher of People, Time and Sports Illustrated, among others, recently surveyed 17,000 people across three major age demographics (Gen X, millennials and Gen Z) to determine their feelings on custom content and how brands fit into their worlds.

About 90 percent of respondents like the idea of custom content as a way for brands to engage with them, and 89 percent of people believe that type of content is a great way for brands to break through the rest of the clutter online.

More specifically, Gen Z respondents seem more open to deepening and developing their relationships with brands. Around 93 percent of Gen Z respondents want brands to do something new and unique in order to connect with them, and 88 percent believe custom content is a way for new brands to reach out to them.

“Our study shows that consumers are very open to custom content as a more relevant, creative and interesting way for brands to connect,” said Chris Hercik, svp of Creative + Content at The Foundry, which produces custom content for the Time Inc. portfolio.

The study also found that 93 percent of people prefer brands to share interesting things via custom content that they may not have otherwise seen, and 92 percent feel that brands have expertise on topics and add value to the content they’re already consuming as readers.

93% of respondents like brands that share interesting things they may not have seen otherwise.

Additionally, two in three consumers have greater trust in custom content than traditional advertising.

Chris Schraft, president of The Foundry’s content sales and agency development, says the three main tips on creating successful custom content are to: be relevant, be distinct, and be on brand.

“Be Relevant means know your audience and align your brand story with their needs and interests,” he explained. “Be Distinct reinforces the importance for the brand to take center stage and offer unique, differentiated value by entertaining, informing or providing utility. Be on Brand is about making sure the brand is organically woven into the content narrative and speaks in a tone that resonates with consumers.”

@samimain sami.main@adweek.com Sami Main is social editor for Adweek, where she posts Adweek content onto social platforms and looks for creative ways to communicate what's new.