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How to Drive Customer Loyalty Among Millennials

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Global Head of Content , Emarsys

Loyalty needs to be fun. At least 60% of millennials seem to think so, but how can you best meet this expectation alongside all their other demands?

According to Retail Touch Points and Groove, 68% of millennials desire a combined online and offline brand experience. 96% of them view their mobile devices as the most important items in their lives, so it’s no wonder that they expect seamless mobile experiences from brands.

Millennials want to identify with the brands they buy from. They want their voices to be heard by marketers, and they are not afraid of sharing their positive or negative brand experiences on their social networks. It’s not a question anymore; there’s a lot that marketers need to think about to earn a millennial audience’s loyalty.

The good news is, if you do your research right and figure out exactly what your millennial customers want from you, the challenge will cease to be a major headache. Allow me to show you three great examples from brands who target millennial audiences well. Time to get inspired!    

1. Reward Millennials for Activities They Love to Do

Millennials are tired of old-fashioned advertisements. Crowdly points out that nearly half of all 18-24 year-olds (today’s young millennials) are currently using ad blockers. If that’s the case, then how can you reach them effectively? The answer is surprisingly simple: target them on the channels they love to use, and reward them with points by interacting with you there. A multi-channel loyalty program will tackle this goal for you.

Just look at how Marvel Insider does it.

With their loyalty program, they reward customers who connect their Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare profiles, and those who follow Marvel on Snapchat. They even reward fans for watching video trailers for their upcoming movies, and give away points for checking-in at Marvel’s live events. This is what I call the perfect combination of great online and offline brand experiences!

Are you a Marvel fan? If you didn’t know that they have a really engaging loyalty program, then now is the time to check it out. (Image source: https://marvel.com/insider)

2. Gamify Your Program to let Millennials Unlock Achievements and Feel Like a VIP

Luxury brands noticed that by emphasizing to their customers the money-saving aspects of their loyalty programs, they actually cheapened their brand presence. For luxury brands, shoppers’ spending money is not a major challenge. However, if we take money out of the equation, there are two things these shoppers value more than discounts. The first is their status at the company, and the second the experiential rewards that strengthen that VIP feeling.

Prepare to be surprised: the aforementioned two things appeal exactly the same way to millennials as they do to luxury brand consumers. That’s why many loyalty programs aimed at millennials have fun and engaging customer tiers that also reflect millennials’ love for (video) games.

In Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman luxury department stores’ loyalty programs, they show customers exactly how much spend is required for a customer to unlock each new level, and what kinds of new benefits they can gain. (Image source: https://www.incircle.com/)

3. Show that You Support the Causes that Millennials Care About

Social causes are actually a great reason to buy. 39% of millennials are willing to do their research on a company’s sustainability efforts before making their purchase. Furthermore, Access Development found that 4 out of 5 millennial customers said that they are more likely to purchase from a company that supports a cause they care about.

For example, in October 2016 Ralph Lauren launched a campaign centered around breast cancer prevention. They announced that through their campaign, customers could donate money to organizations fighting cancer.

You can also set up a reward like that within a loyalty program. How does this work? When a customer makes a purchase, they receive points that they can spend on donation opportunities. 

As October is breast cancer awareness month, Ralph Lauren ran a campaign centered around this cause. (Image source: http://www.ralphlauren.com/)

In Conclusion

See? By rewarding your millennial customers for the activities that they love to do, letting them experience the thrill of being an important VIP member at your company, and showing them that you care about the same causes they do, you are one step closer to earning their loyalty.

If you would like to see how a loyalty program can help you take your customer retention strategy further, request a VIP demo from Antavo Loyalty Management Platform. Antavo is a loyalty management platform for B2C retailers and FMCG brands to run gamified loyalty programs, and a trusted third-party partner of Emarsys.

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