How do different generations feel about brand loyalty?
Everyone seems concerned with building brand loyalty among the millennial generation, and so they should, millennials form a significant part of the present and future customer base. However, as the oldest millennials reach 35 years old, there are still decades of potential customers, older and younger, who we must not forget.
Currently there are four primary generations with spending power, Baby Boomers, Generation X (born in the 60s and 70s), Generation Y (commonly born in the 80s and 90s and known as millennials) and Generation Z (born from the millennium onwards).
We covered the Boomers in a previous blog so here we will concentrate on the three remaining demographics.
Gen X is often branded as being cynical, yet they have the highest rate of loyalty of any of the generations discussed here. They’re less interested in trying new brands than other generations and instead prefer to stick with those they already know and trust.
They are a crossroads generation, able to remember the world before smartphones, but tech-savvy enough to make the most of digital technologies. Sixty percent of this group use a smartphone and 75 percent are on social media. This doesn’t mean they respond best to mobile marketing and loyalty schemes though.
The cynical nature of Gen X can be seen when they’re faced with strong or overt marketing tactics. Rather than being persuaded to buy from big-spend advertising, they prefer traditional adverts and options they can thoroughly research before purchasing.
What does this mean for brands hoping to gain their loyalty? If they can build a relationship with a Gen X buyer, they will have a loyal customer for life. To build that relationship, they should concentrate on traditional programs (think stamp cards) and marketing tactics such as exclusive offers. Above and beyond all of this, they should always offer exemplary customer service and support.
A key message is this: do not assume that every customer responds to a brands efforts in the same way. We know that while millennials are presumed to be the most brand-loyal generation, they are also highly selective and lean away from the traditional card-based loyalty programs.