Targeting Millennials with Your Loyalty Program

Encouraging millennials to join your loyalty program can be an experience as frustrating as herding cats — unless the right approach is used.

Millennials have an unfair reputation for being fickle, but the truth is that they have simply grown up in a time where traditional expectations were turned on their ear. Video games, personal computers, the internet and smartphones are just some of the technological disruptions that millennials grew up with, and the capabilities that go along with these achievements have cause many of the old consumer assumptions to go out the window.

Capturing the attention of millennials and directing it towards your loyalty program requires acknowledging these new realities and embracing them wholly. To help gear your loyalty program for success in light of the new consumer landscape, here are three ideas that can increase the likelihood of millennial participation:

Create a Conversation

The biggest impact of the connected age is that brands are no longer monolithic. Information available over the internet can dig up all sorts of facts about a brand, some more flattering than others.

Brands must recognize that this transparency means that the old strategy of imposing demand is now moot. Instead, brands and their loyalty programs must seek out genuine need and address it.

A great example is cross-promotional loyalty programs, where rewards are not necessarily redeemed at the business itself. Grocery store chain Kroger uses its loyalty program for immediate product discounts, but customers also accumulate points that can be used to earn cheaper gas prices at participating Shell stations. This type of added value recognizes the needs of the shoppers and acknowledges that they have a lifestyle beyond the brand.

In addition to addressing actual needs, loyalty programs should have a venue for customers to share feedback and feel listened to. By communicating with customers rather than shouting at them, brands create affinity and genuine loyalty beyond mere program participation.

Establish an Online Presence

Conversations are no longer one-to-one. Engaging with a millennial audience means finding areas they frequent and making a new sub-community revolving around your brand. Social media presence is one of the easiest methods to accomplish this goal.

Highlight particular loyalty members, start conversations with them and reward their participation with loyalty currency that can translate to real goods or services. Since 88 percent of millennials report getting community news from Facebook while others look to YouTube, Instagram and Reddit, bringing your loyalty program to a visible, digital space enhances its relevance and prestige.

Embody a Lifestyle with Your Brand

Millennials are more likely to engage with a brand that symbolizes something they aspire to while also integrating that crucial human element. As a result, becoming a loyalty member with a brand can also involve wearing that brand as a badge representing your ideals.

REI does an amazing job of leveraging this type of enthusiasm by making their membership genuinely different than the typical shopping experience. Members receive discounts not just on in-store products, but also on eligible trips and classes that hone their particular active interests.

A member could also potentially receive a “dividend” mirroring a sharing of store profits that amounts to 10 percent back from their eligible purchases. Benefits like these make members feel like a genuine part of the outdoor adventure community, encouraging them to actually pay money to participate in REI’s loyalty program.

All of these techniques are tried-and-true methods to corral the limited attention spans of millennials and speak to their unique generational values. Digital Social Retail can these goals a reality using our digital convergence platform. Coordinate social activity with loyalty actions, develop a unique reward system and achieve consistency across all of your communication channels using one simple program. Click here to learn how to get started.

Start your Social Retail campaign today!

Recommended Posts