Greenhouse Canada

What Millennials want in a loyalty program

June 13, 2012  By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

June 13, 2012, Montreal — As the largest generational cohort since the Baby Boomers, the Millennial Generation or "Gen Y" is transforming how companies and brands develop long-term customer loyalty.

Loyalty management firm Aimia conducted the Canadian Millennial Loyalty Survey, comparing the attitudes of Millennial and non-Millennial consumers in Canada, revealing how the definition of loyalty is shifting and what businesses will need to address in order to connect with the Millennial Generation.

The findings show that over three-quarters of Canadian Millennials (78 per cent) are more likely to choose a brand that offers a loyalty or rewards program over a brand that does not.


"Marketers targeting the Millennial demographic will have to demonstrate why this cohort should engage with their brand," said Rick Ferguson, vice-president of knowledge development at Aimia. "Our survey data shows Millennials have extremely high expectations of their brand relationships and demand immediate gratification from reward programs. Delivering this value will require marketers to harness the use of technology to derive maximum efficiency from their programs."

The proliferation of social media and mobile devices is having a profound impact on how Millennials interact with brands. Nearly half of all Millennials surveyed (44 per cent) are willing to promote products or brands through social media in exchange for rewards. Furthermore, over one-quarter of Millennials (27 per cent) expressed high interest in using a mobile device as a substitute for carrying a plastic loyalty card versus nine per cent of non-Millennials.

"At nearly one-third of the overall population, Generation Y already exerts a strong influence on Canadian culture, politics and commerce," said Ferguson. "It is important that marketers understand how to effectively engage with Millennials and leverage their customer data to build sustained, reciprocal and meaningful relationships that increase profits and drive long-term enterprise value."

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • 83 per cent of Millennials participate in loyalty programs, compared to 89 per cent of older Canadians
  • 63 per cent of Millennials say the top reason to join a rewards program is that it's free, versus only 37 per cent of non-Millennials
  • 48 per cent of Millennials surveyed agree that they're more likely to share personal details with a brand that offers loyalty and reward incentives
  • 18 per cent of Canadian Millennial loyalty program members are concerned about sharing personal information with reward programs, compared to 27 per cent of non-Millennials

Aimia commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct an online survey of 2,045 Canadian adults over the age of 19. Results of the survey, which was conducted from July 8 to 19, were weighted to be representative of the general population.

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