Millennials are more likely to be brand-loyal than any other age group, but expect more personalisation in their interactions with businesses, according to new research from American Express.

The research was part of a new American Express initiative that saw the company engage psychologist Emma Kenny to decipher how businesses can better appeal to millennial consumers and how their influence might also be changing the behaviours of other age groups.

Perhaps contrary to perceptions, the research found millennials are more brand-loyal than any other age group surveyed. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of millennials tend to only ever buy a preferred brand, compared to just 54% of the wider population. However, the research also indicates that inspiring loyalty from this generation can present challenges to businesses. Millennials demonstrate clear differences in their expectations of brands and how they interact with them, compared to other age groups.

Personalisation of offers

Spend consciousness and a willingness to use money-saving tools was evident across the generations, with 86% of those surveyed having ever used at least one offer. However, while offers are widely used across different age groups, the survey found that personalisation was most important for the Millennial generation – almost half of Millennials (48%) expect brands to customise offers to suit their needs. Furthermore, Millennials are most likely to go out of their way to use a customised offer (39%) compared to other age groups (32%).

According to psychologist Emma Kenny, this demonstrates how brand loyalty is being driven by longer term relationships with brands as this enables them to build customisation over time. She points to customisation as a way of evoking feelings of being understood by brands.

She said: “While Millennials are demonstrating brand loyalty these days, they also require a sense of being ‘looked after’ if they are to remain that way”.

“The psychology of our interaction with offers often arises from our initial positive experiences of consumer engagement”.

Social sharing

Millennials are more likely than any other age group to share details of recent purchases on social media (59%) as they leverage peer reviews and opinions to make purchasing decisions and share experiences. Over a third (34%) of 55-64 year olds also use social media to share recent purchases, illustrating how Millennial trends are shaping behaviours across the generations.

Dan Edelman, vice president of American Express, said: “Customer loyalty remains hugely important for customer-facing businesses, and we are keen for our partners to understand the opportunities provided by engaging proactively with the Millennial generation.

“While brand loyalty is important among Millennials, we can see that in order to inspire their repeat custom, businesses must consider how they build long term relationships with their customers which are tailored to their preferences and needs."

 

By Jonathan Davies, editor, Digital Marketing Magazine

 

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