Brand Loyalty Among Millennials

Being loyal is no longer synonymous with systematic and unconditional customers. Even less so when we’re… millennials: again them! This is partly due to the dialect of brand loyalty programs that have no flavor, modernity or relevance. Focus and keys with Accenture and its study.

Past the rows for a brand, having customers is the nerve of the war. Building their loyalty is even better. Companies know this so well that 90% of them in the USA run a loyalty program and do not skimp on investments. Thus, the latter have increased by nearly 27% since 2012 (with 3.3 billion loyalty cards or 29 per household), according to “Seeing, beyond the loyalty illusion: it’s time you invest more wisely” the recent Accenture study whose title is not lacking.

Rightly so, because they allow companies to increase their turnover by an average of 12 to 18% per loyal member compared to a one-time customer. Yet, more and more of these programs are no longer as effective as they should be. All the more so as the number of consumers is increasing!

Thus, the study reveals that 23% of customers show a certain indifference if not a negative reaction towards loyalty policies. Similarly, 34% spend no more and no less and 55% have changed service providers. On the other hand, 55% do not hesitate to recommend their favorite brand to their loved ones and 12% even go so far as to publicly support it on social networks. This leaves a certain margin for progress.

However, the marketing, sales and communication departments must review their copy. According to the authors of the study, many no longer bother to understand their customers, to update their expectations and thus to update the definition of loyalty. An approach that would allow them, on the one hand, to avoid losing all the achievements of recent years (in terms of return on investment, margin and communication concept).

On the other hand, to engage in another form of more creative, modern and personalized relationship with their customers while optimizing the material and immaterial value of the notion of loyalty. A renewed approach that would also help them free up resources for other promotional and other initiatives that contribute to their customers’ growth.

Shopping routine getting out of old springs to seduce the young but not only….

To succeed in this challenge, they have at their disposal 5 levers, first and foremost: learning the language of the millennials. If there is one group that justifies the personalized relationship, it is this one. According to Accenture, there are 1.8 billion of them worldwide and represent a potential turnover of $10,000 billion in terms of loyalty. However, this target for X, Y reasons (young age, education in advertising messages, new behaviors…) is resistant to any form of loyalty attempt. It is even able to turn away from brands that would insist, while 30% say that nothing is certain for a brand that has succeeded in building their loyalty.

It is therefore urgent to create appropriate experiences to adopt their language (table below), to conduct studies to understand their definition of loyalty (based on their behaviors and values), what they like or dislike and the types of promotions and rewards that connect them or that they reject.

According to the survey: 54% of them are receptive when asked about personalization and 47% when offered innovative and creative experiences that appeal to several of their senses. 72% are willing to pay more for a product/service if the level of quality or product options is very high. The same goes for 65% as long as the service offered to them is perfectly adapted to their needs or for 60% when their customer service is impeccable… Proof that they are not gogos (computer graphics below). And that you have to play it smart. The other 4 levers are just as essential between technique and empathy.

Ensure that every euro or dollar invested contributes to increasing the company's margin.

This requires an audit of all the actions initiated: with the elimination of some such as those that promise a refund or reward, and the highlighting of those that offer services that provide premium added value to the point that the customer will even be willing to pay for them (exclusive, personalized, real-time services...).

Approaching loyalty as a collective sport

To build a lasting relationship requires the establishment of monitoring or listening teams capable of capturing, analyzing and reacting in real time with the comments or experiences of customers. It is also possible to opt for a collaborative approach with other economic actors, which makes it possible to optimise investments to acquire and retain a customer through different channels and to develop the advertising campaign and the promotion of the loyalty programme. All that remains is to break everything and find the right semantics to reconnect with fidelity.

Admit that actions are stronger than words:

It is now essential for companies to integrate and promote in their message what their customers do. Because then they are ready to redouble their efforts to campaign for the brand and show their empathy. This criterion is in line with the notion of ambassador mentioned above and shows how important it is to be in affinity.

Foster the customer who is willing to commit

Willing to share and recommend when they have rewarding experiences, they are the right recruit to talk about the brand in their restricted circle or publicly on social networks. He is much more efficient than a simple loyal customer, because he is an ambassador and his enthusiasm encourages others to join him and be loyal.