Millennials Willing to Switch Brands to Get More Loyalty Program Benefits

June 10, 2014

BondBrandLoyalty-Millennials-and-Loyalty-Programs-June2014US Millennials (aged 20-34) over-index in their participation in loyalty programs and are the generation most likely to modify their shopping behavior on the basis of loyalty program benefits, according to the “2014 Loyalty Report” [download page] from Bond Brand Loyalty (formerly Maritz Loyalty Marketing). Results from the survey of loyalty program members indicate that 6 in 10 Millennial respondents would switch the brands they buy and two-thirds would change when and where they shop if it meant getting more benefits. Moreover, two-thirds said that they wouldn’t be loyal to a brand that doesn’t have a good loyalty program. The study authors note that this is a significantly higher percentage than among Boomers (45+). (For more on influencing Boomers, see the new MarketingCharts Debrief, “Advertising to Baby Boomers: The Why and How” [download page].)

The results are another indicator of the importance of loyalty programs to younger Americans: a recent study from Accenture Interactive showed that among Americans aged 20-40, loyalty programs are one of the key factors driving them to complete a purchase.

Meanwhile, the Bond Brand Loyalty study also indicates that – not surprisingly – Millennials tend to be more influenced by social recognition than the typical loyalty program member. As such, they are more likely to view certain non-monetary benefits as important, such as receiving recognition from their peers/social group and the opportunity to share their product/service experiences with others. Also to be expected: Millennial respondents are more likely to be interested in interacting with brands through mobile devices.

Other highlights from the study follow.

  • Some 29% of respondents agree with the statement: “I would not be loyal to the brand, if it weren’t for the program.”
  • For 63% of the brands tracked, customers are more likely to love the brand than to love the program;
  • Some 57% of loyalty program members agree with the statement: “My experience with the program is consistent with the brand overall.”
  • Discounts, cash back and rebates are the top-rated benefits by members.
  • Members who strongly agree that the communications they receive from the program make them feel valued/important are much more likely to be highly satisfied with their program than those who strongly disagree that their programs’ communications make them feel valued. Those who receive communications that make them feel valued and important are also more likely to share personal information.
  • Hispanics over-index in membership to telecom, CPG and QSR programs, but under-index in travel programs.
  • Hispanics are also more likely than the average respondent to modify their shopping behavior on the basis of loyalty benefits.
  • Overall, 69% of loyalty program members are satisfied with their program.

About the Data: The study is based on a comprehensive survey of nearly 6,000 US consumers aged 16 and older who are members of at least one loyalty program. The study captures “program”-level ratings for over 160 programs and reveals the drivers of brand loyalty across six key industry sectors: retail, CPG, payments, travel, hospitality, and entertainment.

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