What Types of Experiences Influence Millennials’ Brand Loyalty?

Almost two-thirds of American adults feel that the types of experiences that make them loyal to a particular brand or provider have changed to some degree over the past 3 years, research from Accenture Strategy has found. For youth, product and service experiences are becoming more important drivers, as is trust in data privacy.

In fact, a leading 85% of US respondents overall said that an important influence on their loyalty was brands being trustworthy with regards to safeguarding and respecting the privacy of their personal information. This was one of the few important influencers of brand loyalty that was shared across generations, cited by 81% of Millennials (18-34), 83% of Gen Xers (35-54) and 88% of Boomers (55+). The result aligns with previous research indicating that a range of security concerns affect consumers’ trust in digital brands.

The importance of consumer trust in business – and brand authenticity – has been well documented in research of late. A recent study from Edelman, for example, revealed that attributes related to integrity are most important for consumers in building trust in businesses.

Other attributes important to building trust included customer engagement, including listening to customer needs and feedback. One area that brands should pay attention to is respecting their customers’ time: 81% said that it was important to their loyalty that brands be there when they need them but otherwise respect their time by leaving them alone (e.g. minimal email or phone contacts). This was again one of the few loyalty drives shared relatively equally across generations.

Given that marketers are trying to win youth over with a view to earning their long-term brand loyalty (not an easy task, according to Millennials themselves), it’s worth taking a look at the various loyalty drives considered important by the 18-34 bracket.

Among the various influences highlighted in the report, some of those with the broadest consensus among Millennials were:

  • Providing tokens of affection such as gift cards and discounts to reward them for their loyalty (73% considering important, versus 59% of respondents overall);
  • Making sure to provide optimally-designed and personally-desired channels for interacting with them (66%, versus the 51% average);
  • Keeping them on the cutting edge by consistently offering the latest and most up to date product and service offerings (66%, versus the 51% average);
  • Giving them the opportunity to personalize products they buy to create something unique or bespoke to them (64%, versus the 41% average); and
  • Providing them with new experiences, products or services that go beyond the traditional scope of the company (64%, versus the 41% average).

These results demonstrate that Millennials prioritize aspects such as innovation and personalization to a greater extent than other generations, though that personalization shouldn’t come at the cost of putting their data at risk.

Other loyalty drivers cited by Millennials at a greater rate than their older counterparts include: