Millennials, the largest generation in US history, are reaching the peak of their working and spending phase of life, so it is no mystery why brands and marketers want to gain as many consumer insights into this group as possible.
Younger adults are probably more brand-loyal than you expect.
Of course, with a demographic this huge, there is no one brush with which you can paint them all, but enough brands, entertainment companies, and politicians are working hard to understand Millennials that more is being learned about them all the time. For example, Millennials love to shop online, but that does not mean they do not love shopping in stores too.
Though you might expect this emerging generation to cherish privacy, having come of age during major security breaches by PlayStation, Xbox, Target, and now Equifax, they are surprisingly open to having purchases tracked. Here are some consumer insights that can help brands strengthen brand loyalty among Millennials.
Three Important Facts About Millennial Consumers
Perhaps the three main points brands should bear in mind about Millennial consumers is that they like shopping in stores, they are fine with having purchases tracked by retailers, and they are more brand-loyal than their counterparts in Generation X and the Baby Boom generation. They are okay with having purchases tracked because it results in a more personalized shopping experience, and as much as they love online shopping, they also love in-store shopping, particularly when stores make the in-store experience fun, with things like rotating merchandise and product sample handouts.
Millennial brand loyalty is every bit as strong as the brand loyalty of their parents, but what makes them brand-loyal is different, and they know exactly what will make them try another brand. For example, if a brand they like hikes prices for no apparent reason, 41 percent of Millennials will change brands, and nearly one-third will change brands if a favorite brand is caught in a scandal or participating in bad business practices.
Personalization and Brand Loyalty Go Together
Millennial consumers respond well to personal, authentic brand communications, and personalization is a major factor in their loyalty to certain brands and retailers. One of the most important consumer insights brands and stores can glean concerning Millennials is that they want to feel that marketing communications are aimed at them personally, and are not simply mass marketing messages blasted out to everyone.
Personalized marketing inspires brand loyalty.
Personalization carries an element of emotion that mass marketing communication does not, and the brands that find ways to communicate with authenticity and personalization with young adults are the ones that will engender loyalty among them.
Social Proof and Brand Loyalty
Social proof also ranks highly among important consumer insights with Millennials. They are faced with more choices than their parents ever were, yet they can be remarkably loyal if those around them make similar consumer choices. Social media has had a profound effect on how the word is spread about products. People now have tremendous amounts of information on what their friends, families, and influencers they follow like to buy. Therefore, brands have to be active on social media, and they have to encourage consumers to talk about brands and products on these platforms.
Do Not Overload Millennials with Marketing Communications
Millennials have been soaking up information at unprecedented rates for their entire lives, and they are very savvy about when they are being marketed to. They understand that brands market products and they are receptive to it, as long as it is not excessive. A single, personalized, targeted marketing message, delivered at the right time, and over the right medium, can have a far stronger effect on brand loyalty than repeated, non-personalized blasts of marketing information.
In fact, the surest way to get Millennials to unfollow brands on social media is to use social media as a platform for nothing but advertising. They want a two-way street: interacting with favorite brands and having them interact back when it is appropriate. Researchers will likely be developing consumer insights into the Millennial generation for years to come, but what is already known can make a positive impact on the effectiveness of consumer marketing.
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