To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
Marketing, as in life, is full of cycles. Led by explosive growth in the tech sector, the CMO mantra has been “demand generation” for about a decade. But to every season there is a turn, and loyalty is ascending again. While the need to acquire new customers is still a pressing concern for every marketer, smart marketers are once again coveting the benefits of a repeat customer, a loyal customer. Loyal customers are less expensive to service and more likely to promote your brand to their network—effectively, free marketing support.
As loyalty comes back into focus, many marketers are bemoaning its premature demise, and they are blaming Millennials. As we explored in our recent podcast, the blame is misplaced. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence that Millennials are as capable of loyalty as their parents and grandparents. A 2015 study by IRI found that 44% of Millennials say they are loyal to brands. While they are often value-seekers and price conscious, 52% of those surveyed said they choose quality over price.
We have learned a lot about loyalty in our research on consumer attachment. In study after study, both in the academic community and in our own proprietary field work, attachment has reliably proved itself to be one of the strongest predictors of customer loyalty. Not surprisingly, the forces that weaken attachment also prove to be destructive to loyalty.
We’ve compiled a list of the top five barriers to both attachment and to brand loyalty.
The “M” word—Millennial, a term that’s launched a thousand eye rolls. Even the laziest observer of pop-culture media can parrot back the sentiment agreed upon by so many op-eds—those born after 1984 (a debatable date) are an impulsive bunch, who are as entitled as they are fickle. But what if we’ve all got it wrong?
There are roughly 86 million Millennials in the US with an estimated $200 billion in annual buying power. Simply put, their purchase behavior matters. It’s no wonder that marketers are consistently trying to understand them. But in this rapidly evolving landscape where every view, every click, every tendency can be quantified, it’s not easy to get, let alone retain, Millennial attention.
In this episode of THE POINT OF ATTACHMENT, we explore the brand loyalty of Millennials and attempt to answer two main questions:
1. Do Millennials care about brands?
2. And are they brand loyal?
To get to the bottom of the matter, we’ve examined a fun pocket of the branding universe: the world of whiskey.
You could have fired a canon in the office without casualty. The time was just after 1pm and the agency was observing the collective recess and power meeting ritual in Beverly Hills known as the lunch hour. But somewhere down the hall I could hear the muffled sounds of … laughter. Guffawing, actually. And it was laughter from more than one person.
I wandered around the corner to discover a throng of assistants gathered around a monitor in an empty office. Immersed in their content, they didn’t notice me standing in the doorway. I suspected that they were watching some breaking YouTube video. But they weren’t. They were watching an episode of Friends.
No. This is not a flashback from 1995. This was October, 2015. And the assistants were all under the age of 30. Most of them were in grade school when the episode originally aired. When I asked why they were watching Friends, they replied “because it’s the best show ever.”
More than an isolated occurrence, content from the 1990’s is back en vogue.
[/two_third][one_third_last]This OpEd by Momentum Chief Creative and Innovation Officer Jon Hamm visits a theme we often discuss: the importance of storytelling for brands. Hamm argues that “the most powerful stories happen in the mind of the audience, making each and every story unique and personal for the individual.” [/one_third_last]