Brands give too little attention to young generations in loyalty programs, and they might be leaving a lot of money on the table because of it. Great loyalty programs have never been so important.
Nothing is as annoying as waiting. Nowadays, Millennials or Gen Z can get almost anything with a bit of online research and a few clicks. There’s no time for idle waiting anymore. So why are brands making us wait for a decent pay-off from their loyalty programs?
Our parents may have been more patient, but for us, having to wait for something too long is irritating. Millennials and Gen Z like to act quickly, and get immediate results.
It’s because of the internet, and it’s growing role in our everyday lives. You don’t have to wait for anything online, and you get rewarded all the time. The longest wait we can take is waiting for physical things ordered online, which may take up to 48 hours to arrive at our doorstep.
Unless you’re waiting for a pay-off from that loyalty program you signed up for with your favorite brand – which might take months or even a year.
Isn’t that a bit weird?
Frequent, tiny dopamine shots guide all of our attention online
Marketers know this all too well, and they’re using it to guide our movements online. Ads have evolved from static content into direct interaction with potential customers. They’re great at directing traffic to their stores. But what happens after we click, buy, and join a brand’s loyalty program?
We usually have to keep buying, until we get enough points to earn a weak, 40%-off discount, for example. And it’ll take us at least a month to earn those points.
To quote a YouTube classic: Ain’t nobody got time for that!
How many times do you have to buy to become a loyal customer?
There’s a huge difference between work put into acquiring customers, and the work put into earning their long-term loyalty. Most brands put all their effort into the former, and only minimal effort into the latter.
As a result, loyalty programs simply aren’t keeping up with the demands of the modern customer’s buying process.
If I have to decide between buying something from a brand that gives me an instant discount, and one that will make me buy 5 more things before I can earn a discount – I’ll easily choose the first one.
The top reason for program abandonment is that it takes too long to earn points. It seems as if the common way of running loyalty programs is completely outdated. Not realizing this problem might cause increased customer acquisition costs for brands. You’ll have to pay more to get customers because the ones you acquire aren’t staying with you for more than one purchase.
Improved loyalty programs are a great opportunity for brands to increase sales. Your customers need it, and your competitors aren’t doing it, so pick up the pace!
Examples of loyalty programs designed for Millennials and Gen Z
There are surprisingly few brands that have really figured out how to respond to the frequent micro-reward demands of Millennials’ and Gen Z’s social-media spoiled brains.
Pampers offers a $10 discount every time you buy more than $40 worth of their products – and the discount applies instantly. Elf Cosmetics does a similar thing, offering a $5 discount for every purchase over $20.
Starbucks has an interesting program – immediately after joining you get news, special offers and previews. They’re not giving out tangibles (except discounts). They just make you a part of the Starbucks community by giving you a stream of information from the brand. It boils down to receiving regular notifications about Starbucks – which makes it a program that generates frequent micro-rewards.
If you would like to read more about great loyalty programs from popular brands – we’ve got you covered, go to our Top 100 Best Loyalty Programs report.
Read it, get inspired, and prepare a great loyalty program for your brand. Thank me later!
Published January 4, 2019