Millennials to Brands: Make Loyalty Programs Fun, and Save Us Some Money, Too

Millennials just want to have fun.That may sound like a Cyndi Lauper lyric. It’s really a crucial insight for loyalty marketers who want their customer rewards programs to be a smash hit with the 80-million-strong U.S. consumer segment accounted for by 18- to 34-year-olds.
In a COLLOQUY-sponsored nationwide survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers, 34% of millennials said the word that best describes their participation in a customer reward program is “fun.” By comparison, 26% of the general population (18 to 65 years and over) chose the word “fun,” meaning millennials scored 24% higher on the loyalty-needs-to-be-fun meter.
In an equally revealing survey outcome, 66% of the general population said “economical” is the word that best describes their loyalty program participation, versus 56% of millennials, a 15% gap.
The fun-versus-economical results are just two highlights from a larger set of survey findings that tell marketers millennials are a different breed when it comes to their engagement with a brand via a rewards program.
Here are other survey results that set millennials apart when it comes to loyalty programs:
63% of millennials said they had joined a program within the past year, versus 55% of the general population, a 13% difference.
25% of millennials said they joined a program in the past year because it offered access to members-only events, versus 16% of the general population, a 36% difference.
40% of millennials said they joined a program for access to members-only sales, products and services, versus 33% of the general population, an 18% difference.
63% of millennials said it’s important that their loyalty program participation supports lifestyle preferences such as wellness programs, sustainability efforts or a charity, versus 53% of Gen X’ers (35-50) and 46% of baby boomers (51 and over), differences of 16% and 27%,  respectively.
In other key findings from the COLLOQUY survey, 49% of millennials stopped using a loyalty program after receiving irrelevant communications, compared to 37% of the general population, a 24% difference; and 18% of millennials stopped participating in a program because it lacked a smartphone app, compared to 13% of the general population, a 33% difference.
Moreover, a little over one-quarter of millennials (27%) continued their participation in a loyalty program because it featured a competitive game, or a social element such as badges, leaderboards or communities. By comparison, just 7% of baby boomers stayed with a program for those reasons, representing a gap of 74%.
Finally, 42% of millennials continue to participate in a program because it has a mobile payment option, while just 15% of baby boomers said the same, a 64% difference.  
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