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Insight: why it pays to personalise for millennials

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

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Insight: why it pays to personalise for millennials

The study 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.

The study found millennials are more brand-loyal than any other age group surveyed. 62% of millennials polled said they tended to only ever buy a preferred brand, compared to just 54% of the wider population. However, the research also indicated that inspiring loyalty from this generation can present challenges to businesses.

Spend consciousness and a willingness to use money-saving tools was evident across the generations, with 86% of those surveyed having used at least one offer. However, while offers were widely used across different age groups, the survey found that personalisation was most important for the millennial generation with almost half of millennials expecting brands to customise offers to suit their needs. Furthermore, millennials were more likely to go out of their way to use a customised offer compared to other age groups.

According to 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 and 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."

Millennials were also found to be more likely than any other age group to share details of recent purchases on social media. Meanwhile, over a third of 55-64 year olds said they used social media to share recent purchases, illustrating how millennial trends are shaping behaviours across the generations.

Dan Edelman, VP at American Express, said: “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.”

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