Reconsidering Millennials and Brand Loyalty

Millennials… I used to consider the term placed upon my generation as a derogatory or negative stereotype, I’ve since found pride in the fact that we’re making our claim on the economy – and research even shows that Millennials have been studied by brands and marketers more than any other previous generation.*

The rise of social media has also aided brands, leaning into new and unique ways to connect with and reach this generation.  “According to Elite Daily, nearly 90 percent of Millennials are actively using two to three devices a day, and roughly half are using social media or other internet-based tools to interact with their networks or influence buying decisions.”**  Millennials are also among the most loyal to brands they like (and feel a personal connection with) – just over 50% of Millennials in fact.

Research tells us that a brand’s advertising for its products or services is not as important to Millennials as delivering an authentic and quality experience when interacting with the brand.  This authenticity, while highly subjective, could come from how a brand directly interacts with consumers on social media.  One-on-one engagement through social media, along with building socially conscious or charitable giving experiences, provides an emotional long-term bond between brands and consumers.

We’re often described as entitled, temperamental, and selfish — however, recent research challenges those characteristics specifically when you look at how Millennials prefer to use their loyalty rewards provided by brands and retailers.  More than 6 out of 10 Millennials would prefer to donate loyalty rewards to good causes rather than redeem them for personal use, compared to 40% of Baby Boomers.

Millennials are among the most technologically savvy generation.  Now more than ever it’s easier for brands and retailers to offer online shopping solutions and mobile payment options that are meaningful to their customers.  I mean, how awesome are companies like Klarna, Affirm, and Afterpay that have partnered with brands to now offer extended payment options?  Pair that with a solid rewards program that makes consumers feel like they’re earning something back after each purchase and you create repeat customers.

With the lines between digital and retail blurring, and Millennials fully embracing these changes – companies should understand how these changes impact buying decisions and how these behaviors increase brand loyalty among consumers.  Tapping into all digital tools available will help them stay engaged and keep customers coming back!

Are you a brand, or an agency currently partnering with a brand, looking for new ways to expand their digital footprint and engage with customers?  Reach out!  We’ll tailor a solution to meet your needs and drive results!

(*Source: The truth about customer loyalty, KPMG International, 2019

(**Source: Millennials are the most brand loyal generation, Inc., 2015)