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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : October 21, 2011

How to create loyal Millennials for your brand

The loyalty card may get the most attention from older consumers, but one expert believes younger buyers can be just as loyal. The key, of course, is to engage, and many Millennial consumers aren't engaged by simple cards or offers. They want more. To make the most of loyal-based marketing to younger consumers, brands need to change the way they approach programs.

by Kristina Knight

"Loyalty programs don't need to be about a discount," said Mark Johnson, CEO, Loyalty 360. "[The programs] need to create a behavioral change. Look at programs like Badgeville, gamification is creating that change. Loyalty is about engagement and we are seeing more program interest from these younger consumers."

Why are Millennials so important to brands? Because, loyalty program or not, this group of shoppers have nearly $890 billion in spending power. More than that, they approach buying and engagement differently than older Americans. Millennials, Johnson notes, feel responsible for making a difference in the world, look for brands who 'give back' or are attached to causes and may switch brands if one is more connected to a cause than the other.

Millennials are also more connected with 80% saying they sleep with their mobile devices (PEW Research) and over half saying they influence their parents purchases.

"Increasingly, savvy brands will meet the challenges of marketing to Millennials by making their brand interactions social, mobile, and gamified in order to play on the human drives to bond and to explore," said Johnson.

Johnson notes that successful Millennial loyalty programs are still in the minority, but they are growing strength as the brands attached become more strategic. Of course, a gamified strategy may not work with older consumers, so brands may want to approach loyalty programs differently according to the age of the targeted consumer. Older buyers, for example, like discounts, daily deals and card/reward programs while younger buyers like edgier programs.

Tags: Loyalty 360, loyalty marketing, loyalty programs, millennial marketing, millennials

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