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B2B Marketing

Millenial Attitudes Toward Brand Loyalty

In the summer of 2011, a collaborative study between loyalty management firm AIMIA and research firm Harris Interactive was conducted. The study focused on brand loyalty among consumers aged 19-29 in Canada, the United Kingdom and United States. The resulting report included results of a survey of 1147 millenials and 1135 non-millenials and data from a 2010 Pew Research Center study. What follows are some of the findings about US millenials:

  • The millenial market includes 77 million US citizens.
  • 55% watch their spending “very closely” and 77% worry that they are not saving enough.
  • Ethnicity is more diverse in the millennial generation: 61% are Caucasian compared to 71% of non-millenials.
  • 9% earn over $100,000 while 62% earn less than $50,000. Pew estimates millenials contribute $600 billion out of the $6.5 trillion consumer dollars spent each year.
  • Millenial loyalty is driven by quality and value.
  • 74% of millenials are likely to act more loyal to and share their feelings about a brand offering a loyalty program – numbers roughly equal to non-millenials.
  • 57% use mobile devices to compare prices while in-store.
  • Quality is determined within social context. 58% read product reviews prior to purchase.
  • Social networks are not the driving influence on purchase decisions. Only 24% check Facebook or Twitter for recommendations prior to purchase.
  • 77% claim participation in loyalty and reward programs. This is slightly lower than non-millenials at 82%.
  • 78% are likely to choose a brand that offers a loyalty or rewards program over one that has no program.
  • Loyalty rewards are rated as the top incentive that can be offered in order to receive personal information.
  • 44% are willing to promote a product or brand through social media in exchange for rewards.
  • 26% show interest in using a mobile device as a substitute for a printed loyalty card.
  • They are less concerned than non-millenials about data privacy and overall personal data security. When given a number of marketing channels to choose from, loyalty and reward programs are perceived as the most privacy-friendly.
  • 47% are more likely to share personal details with a brand offering loyalty incentives.
  • 78% expect to earn a reward within the first three months of entry into a loyalty program, a significantly higher number than non-millenials.
  • 74% would be interested in a collaborative reward program among multiple companies which offered a common ‘currency’.
  • Most define themselves by their relationship with technology.


The researchers offered four pieces of “wisdom” that came out of the study:

  1. Demonstrate Immediate Value. Construct a loyalty program that allows for rewards within 30 days.
  2. Extract Maximum Efficiency from a Loyalty Program. Construct pricing and rewards carefully by using “rewards optimization tools, dynamic market segmentation techniques and focused attrition models”.
  3. Seek Out New Definitions of Customer Value. Identify the real influencers, connect those values to your products, and use your customers’ voice to convey your message.
  4. Use Technology as a Means, not an End. Use mobile technology as a way to connect with your customers, but don’t simply convey one-way messages. Millenials see technology as a means to enrich their lives, not act as a “dumb terminal” waiting to receive marketing messages.


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