Brand loyalty in the age of the millenial
Not only are the demographic shifting, but the number of new products continues to increase. Understanding brand loyalty is essential for producers and purveyors.
November 11, 2016 - Author: Mark Thomas, Michigan State University Extension
A Facebook IQ Study of 14,700 participants indicated that brand loyalty still matters to 37 percent of the buying public and 40 percent could be classified as “repeat purchasers”. Brand loyalists seek an emotional attachment to products with trust and reliability. Repeat purchasers are motivated by price and proximity. Loyal brand buyers are driven by value and locality (think, buy local).
Millennials are just as likely as boomers to be brand loyalists, but 1.75 times more likely to express that sentiment. In shopping at grocery stores however, millennials are very conscience of the grocery store cleanliness, citing this 2.5 times more than Boomers.
Value is always a driver for purchasers. Income levels also play a part in development of brand loyalty. Those who make more than $150,000 per year are more 32 percent more likely to be brand loyal, than households with incomes below $50,000 per year.
Just how do consumers discover new products? A research paper “Path to Purchase” by Nielsen, US published in August of 2015 focused on core consumer packaged goods (COG), pantry, medicinal and cosmetic. They reported that 50 percent of consumers new about products before shopping. Mobile and digital is becoming the lead source of this discovery.
Millennials are 2.4 times more likely to seek information online than boomers, but yet 57 percent still wander the aisles in stores in search of new and interesting products. Additionally, 77 percent of millennials always carry their mobile device with them. This presents an opportunity for stores to offer promotional information. They also are 2.7 times more likely to use their mobile device for instore payments.
Stage of the life cycle of millennials also has implications. As they move from college to work then marriage and become new parents carefully consider brand choices and 42 percent describe themselves as brand loyalists. This age group 18-34, is three and one half times more likely to have kids in the household.
The tailoring communication channels by market segment (new and old alike) enables companies to move repeat purchasers (those wishing for functionality) to become brand loyalists. Over delivering on customer relations, promoting new products along with providing a meaningful and pleasant experience will increase sales. Michigan State University Extension educators working with the MSU Product Center work with clients to determine market segmentation, message to be conveyed along with channel selection.