Millennials and New Generations - Why should this audience be considered in loyalty programs?

Despite being a much-discussed topic addressed in different current discussions, classifying the different generations characterized by their lifestyles and consumption is not an easy task. And many companies have been adapting to the needs of new consumers to keep their loyalty updated.

Some loyalty programs focus on the new generations (such as generation Z, who were born after the end of the 1990s) in order to have a dialog and maintain long-term relationships with the wave of new consumers who have unique consumption habits.

Thinking about loyalty programs based on consumer generations is a trend that is becoming stronger every day. However, more than simply winning over new generations, it is necessary to focus on a segment of individuals who came a little earlier. We are talking about the millennials (or generation Y/ millennial generation), the generation born after the early 1990s, who witnessed the turn of the century.

Why are Millennials so important for loyalty programs?

Millennials might be as loyal as any other generation, but their understanding of loyalty is completely different from most consumers, especially previous generations where loyalty is associated with discounts and benefits.

The millennial generation has changed the focus of loyalty programs by maintaining loyalty to brands that offer an engaging experience and that meet their needs in an easy and user-friendly way. And to achieve this, it is necessary to really understand who this consumer is and what they really expect from the companies they interact with.

The consumption mindset of millennials is unique, because they symbolize transitions related to internal aspects (don't repeat habits of previous generations) and external ones (the technological revolution that the world has been going through since the 1990s).

This means that the experience is above all else. The technological habits and characteristics of the millennial generation make these people desire efficiency and simplicity, and this completely shapes their buying preferences and choice of the brands they relate to.

Millennials are fickle shoppers, meaning that traditional may not work well with non-traditional consumers. It's not just about outside-the-box thinking. You really need to work with purposes, values and actions that relate to the habits of an informationally rich generation.

According to Deloitte research, there is no preferred channel of information and influence for this generation. Millennials make purchasing decisions based on information from multiple sources, such as magazines, videos, websites, and blogs. In other words, Millennials are naturally omnichannel.In addition, Millennials have self-focused consumption habits, which makes them less influential than past generations.  

The big challenge for brands seeking to retain the loyalty of Millennials is how to communicate with an audience that has changing preferences and increasingly seeks individualized experiences.

Companies must incorporate technologies that can provide the foundation for these more valuable experiences and enable smooth, fast and efficient transactions and touchpoints.

Whether making a purchase in-person or online, these brands will not only meet the preferences of Millennials, but also give them what they want efficiently. And this is an expectation that will only continue to grow as future generations, such as Generation Z, acquire more purchasing power.

Pushing a millennial to make a first purchase may not be that difficult. But winning their loyalty is extremely challenging. Generation Y is more concerned than any other segment or generations about what brands stand for - whether it's sustainability, human rights or climate and social issues.

Supporting these causes is a great opportunity to align your brand with issues that matter to customers and it's a win-win scenario.

The millennial generation also wants to identify themselves with the brands they consume. They want their voices to be heard, and they are not afraid to express any dissatisfaction in the most visible way possible (on social media, for example). On the other hand, Millennials will be the first to stand up for your brand if you treat them as they expect and solve their problems.

That's why loyalty trends often fit the needs of these consumers. When your company incorporates intangible aspects into loyalty programs - creating an emotional experience and aligning with the movements they care about - you take your brand and loyalty experience to a higher level, building loyalty for millennials. 


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