Millennials and Brand Loyalty

Why is brand loyalty important? For any business, large or small, customers matter. One of the main goals for many it to ensure customers continually come back for product or service. That’s why building brand loyalty is of the utmost importance. While there are hurdles to get any age group to become brand loyal, Millennials can be a complicated group to convince to commit. Here are some tips on how to increase brand loyalty among the age demographic.

Get to Know Millennials 

Compared to Baby Boomers, you may have the perception that Millennials go rogue on brands. While they are more likely to experiment with different businesses, Millennials actually want to be brand loyal. In fact, they’re 1.75x more likely than Boomers to say they’d like to be brand-loyal. So what’s stopping them? 

Income 

One factor is income. It may come as no surprise that as household income increases, so does the likelihood of loyalty. In a survey by Facebook IQ, people surveyed who report a household income of $150,000 or more are 32% more likely to be loyal than those who report a household income of under $35,000.  A higher income brings flexibility in choices. With more money, you have the ability to pick companies that match your values, meet your needs, and deliver on promises. If you don’t have a lot of wiggle room in the budget, you may need to shop around for desirable sales and cost effective options more often. 

Verticals 

Vertical markets, or “verticals,” are business niches where vendors serve a specific audience and their set of needs. When we look into specific verticals, we can see some variations among Millennials. Furthermore, in some verticals Millennials are just as likely to be brand loyalists as Baby Boomers. 

Looking into verticals where experience and price play a bigger role, we lose loyalty among the age group. For example, this can include airlines and hotels. Here are more barriers Millennials face when making the decision to stay loyal within different verticals. 

  • 2.00x more likely to cite a store’s level of hygiene as a barrier for  HOTELS 
  • 2.00x more likely to cite a lack of healthy options as a barrier for  RESTAURANTS 
  • 2.50x more likely to cite a store’s level of hygiene as a barrier for  GROCERY 
  • 1.44x more likely to cite a move in location as a barrier for AUTO INSURANCE 
  • 2.33x more likely to cite a difficulty to reach or contact as a barrier for AIRLINES 

New Parents 

Another factor that impacts how Millennials spend in a huge way is whether they are parents. When a child is in the mix, a customer is going to be hyper aware of what they are spending where. They will be looking for the best fit for their family. Once they find it, they’ll typically stick with it. In fact, 42% of  new parents describe themselves as loyal compared to 36% of non-parents. 

Interestingly enough, new parents tend to be more loyal in verticals that non parents are not as loyal in, like hotels. This is especially true of verticals with products and services that tend to be more experiential. Based on Facebook IQ’s study, our best guess is that the desire to experiment with different businesses gets replaced by the need for stability. Parents want to stick with what they know works and cut out the other fuss. 

How Can I Build Brand Loyalty? 

Those surveyed were asked, regardless of household income, to describe the brands they love most. When divided into features of brand loyalty – consistency, cost, quality and experience – the largest group of words was under experience. Though price matters, experience seems to outweigh them all. 

Experience 

Be sure to put focus on delivering an exceptional experience, no matter the service or product. According to the study, creating a meaningful, memorable and noteworthy experience is critical to cementing a brand’s relationship with people. Also consider ideas that celebrate the good times had between you and customers. 

Personalization 

You can also connect through personalized communication. This is one way to build trust. Use personalized service through 1:1 communication. Companies are increasingly using messaging tools to better meet the needs of their audiences. 

Authenticity 

Because of the digital sphere and online technology, people are oversaturated with advertisements 24/7. Now, they crave realness. When a brand is authentic and transparent, it stands out against the noise. In fact, 66%  of consumers think transparency is one of the most attractive qualities in a brand. And in a study run by Cohn & Wolfe, 63% of consumers said they would rather buy from a company they consider to be authentic over a competitor.

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Apu Battan

VP of User Growth

Apu Battan is the VP of User Growth at Shopkick.

Apu is first and foremost an analytics leader, with close to 15 years of experience in helping to make decisions through the objective lens of data. Apu has always been a strong advocate for Shopkick’s most valuable customer — the user. He is passionate about acquiring the right users for our business, delighting them with the best product experience, and growing them into loyal, high-value users in the long term. Prior to Shopkick, Apu served as an Analytics Leader at Intuit for close to six years, and at Netflix, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft before that. 

Apu holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science,  and a master’s degree in integrated manufacturing and systems engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh.