In March, a comprehensive report was done on Millennials (those born between 1982 and 1993) studying their buying habits. There’s significant interest in this group, approximately 77 million in total, as they’re three times the size of the Baby Boomer generation and have considerably impacted businesses for decades. As Baby Boomers move into retirement, Millennials move into the role of primary purchasers. Nearly all brands are attempting to connect and gain loyalty with this group, and to do so they continually have to change their approach.
One of the key findings in the study is the necessary shift from a direct sell of products based on criteria like price and features towards developing an open conversation, connecting with them about the product itself, further allowing trust and loyalty to be gained as the brand is viewed more as a friend rather than a faceless business.
This characteristic was found to stem primarily from the influx of social media outlets over the past few years and their fixture as a part of the lives of most Millennials. As Millennials are more connected to friends and family, they prefer to be more connected to the brands and products they purchase, as well.
This group also prefers to let their voice be heard by the brand once they’ve made a purchase by using social media outlets to post reviews. They make comments or simply give “likes” helping to develop a connection with the product and brand as a whole.
The new style of brand loyalty isn’t to say that Millennials are averse to being loyal, rather according to the study, approximately 65% of Millennials said they’re either more or equally loyal to brands in comparison to their parents.
Moving forward, loyalty continues to rely on brands producing great products, but brands will need to work a bit harder and be more open in communicating with their customers to capture the loyalty of this new Millennial group.