3 tips to attract and retain the next generation
While Generation Y has been in the news a lot in recent years, Generation Z consumers are now the new generation of consumers that businesses want to attract. Specifically, Generation Z comprises those born between 1997 and 2012 and is becoming an increasingly important consumer group.
This generation of ultra-connected teens and young adults is defined by change and instability, as they grow up in an era of undeniably unstable climate, economics and the job market. This generation is radically inclusive, much more open-minded and sensitive to environmental values than previous generations have been. Gen Zers are also much more sensitive and concerned about their personal finances, which is probably explained by the fact that this generation is much more educated and pragmatic than their elders.
Gen Z consumers grew up in a world where the digital revolution was already well underway. This is the very first generation that has never known life without the Internet. Wow! That probably explains their constant need to stay connected. Needless to say, Gen Z consumers understand tech—and companies have no choice but to adapt if they want to attract and retain them.
Regarding buying behaviour, Generation Z tends to remain loyal to a brand as long as its mission, product quality and service continue to meet their high expectations. That means it’s no longer enough for companies to offer a transactional rewards-based program to attract and retain these young consumers. Companies must completely transform their loyalty program and rethink their marketing strategies by focusing more on digital, community and collaboration. How can companies get there?
Here are three tips for building brand loyalty among Generation Z:
1. Offer them flexibility
While the pandemic has shaken up the daily lives of many, Generation Z reports feeling the impact more than the generations before them. In fact, in its white paper, Gen Z Transforms Loyalty , the Lacek Group indicates that Gen Z consumers are more likely to say the pandemic has propelled lasting changes in the way they work, socialize, learn, and engage with media and community.
As a result, Gen Z remains in constant search of flexibility. Whether it’s their employment arrangements, delivery of their favourite foods, online payment methods, or subscription to entertainment platforms, Gen Zers are looking for variety to meet their needs as well as their personal preferences.
This flexibility also applies to loyalty programs, especially when it comes to redeeming the rewards and points they have accumulated. To reach this generation, rewards programs must offer a variety of rewards and several quality redemption options to give a greater perception of value to loyalty points. This will encourage members to earn more points through different means, but spend them on your rewards catalogue!
In fact, 83% of brands with high member engagement and spending offer more than 5 redemption and point conversion options. Be flexible and let Gen Zers choose what they want in exchange for their points.
2. Take a stand
Generation Z is looking for brands that make a positive contribution to society and support their social, environmental and community values. You’ll have a better chance of reaching this generation by highlighting the causes they care about in your rewards program. Be transparent about your company’s mission, vision and values and ensure they are showcased in your program.
Furthermore, the majority of Generation Z consumers buy products that reflect their personalities, values and beliefs. Use marketing to your advantage by clearly establishing your brand values. If your marketing strategy is based on social, environmental or community values, incorporate them when developing your rewards program. These core values must be at the heart of your loyalty strategy to attract and retain Generation Z.
However, you can’t just talk the talk. You must walk it, too. Highlight concrete actions that demonstrate your values and encourage your members to do the same by offering them the option to make donations in exchange for their points, for example.
Why not invite them to exclusive events that support causes and for which a percentage of the sales would be donated to a non-profit organization? Make sure this doesn’t come at the expense of their own rewards. Take a stand and combine your loyalty program with your charitable commitments. In fact, results from the Global Customer Loyalty Report 2023 report that 47.1% of respondents expect support for environmental and social causes through loyalty programs to grow in many markets.
3. Focus on emotional loyalty
By focusing more on emotional rather than transactional benefits, you can better appeal to the hyper-connected generation. Generation Z values experiences over financial benefits and constantly seeks new things to reinforce their background.
As Gen Zers follow trends with likes, follows and shares on Instagram, Twitch and Tik Tok, businesses need to stay on top of these developments and incorporate them into their loyalty strategies. Whether it’s through content shared in your communications, challenges your loyalty program members can take on, or virtual events held with the brand’s community, consider maximizing your emotional loyalty tactics.
Your program members can become your best brand ambassadors if you listen to them and give them what they need. Think about it: Generation Z has mastered the art of creating content on social media. Young people are becoming micro-influencers for the community following their pages on different platforms.
Why not seize this opportunity to reward engagement and non-transactional behaviours, such as sharing content on social media, commenting and sharing brand publications, and completing daily actions that align with the brand’s ecological and social values? In sum, be sure to build your program’s community of members to foster a sense of belonging that Generation Z is looking for.
Do you want to launch a loyalty program that meets the expectations of Generation Z consumers? As experts in customer loyalty, we offer strategic and operational support so that your brand can stand out. Please contact us to learn more about our services.