Boomers Say They’re Less Brand-Loyal Than Others

September 7, 2022

Some 36% of Boomers around the world agree that they’re not loyal to any particular companies, while less than 3 in 10 consumers of younger ages share that sentiment, according to Cheetah Digital global data [pdf] that looks at consumer trends by age group. In fact, just 22% of Gen Z respondents agree that they’re not loyal to any particular companies.

Other statements also show a generational gap in loyalty perceptions. While at least 6 in 10 respondents from the Gen Z (64%), Millennial (60%) and Gen X (61%) cohorts agreed that they’re definitely loyal to some companies and will pay more to shop with them, fewer than half (47%) of Boomers agreed.

Even in cases where they might have some brand loyalty, Boomers appear willing to buy from competitors (85%) to a greater extent than their younger counterparts, with Gen Z (71%) the least likely to say that they’re loyal to some brands but will buy from competitors.

The closest consensus between generations comes for the attitude that there are examples where the consumer frequently buys from the same company but doesn’t feel loyal, with a range of 65% (Gen Z) to 70% (Boomers) of respondents feeling this way.

What Drives Loyalty?

Research has found that quality drives brand loyalty, and that certainly seems to be the case for the oldest generation analyzed. Almost two-thirds (64%) of Boomers surveyed said that great products/services make them loyal to certain brands. While that figure remains high for Gen Xers (58%), it dips to a minority among Gen Z and Millennials (each at 49%).

Older adults also appreciate brands working hard to build a relationship: 36% of Boomers noted that this is a factor that makes them loyal to certain brands, compared to 22% of Gen Zers.

There are some areas that are greater drivers for youth, though. Almost twice the proportion of Gen Z (24%) as Boomers (13%) said that loyalty programs make them loyal to certain brands, in line with other data suggesting that these programs assist in customer retention. Likewise, personalization appeals more to youth, with 15% of Gen Zers and 14% of Millennials saying that the brand understanding what they need is a motivator for loyalty, compared to 8% of Gen Xers and 7% of Boomers.

Other Findings:

  • Email, found to be a strong purchase driver among consumers, has led to a purchase within the past year for a greater share of Boomers (59%) and Gen Xers (52%) than Millennials (47%) and Gen Zers (39%).
  • By contrast, a much greater proportion of Gen Zers (51%) and Millennials (53%) have made a purchase because of a post on social media than have Gen Xers (39%) and especially Boomers (23%).
  • About 3 in 10 (29%) Millennials profess to having made a purchase as a result of an SMS they received, compared to 16% of Boomers.
  • At least 7 in 10 respondents from each generation say that their favorite brand that has communicated with them over the last 6 months treated the customer like an individual.
  • Irrelevant content and offers tend to frustrate Boomers to a greater extent than younger generations.

About the Data: The results based on a survey of 5,404 consumers across Australia, France, Japan, Spain, the UK and Ireland, and the US. The age groups were as follows: Gen Z (18-25); Millennials (26-40); Gen X (41-55); and Boomers (56-75).

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