Brands can win big by getting to know Millennials

Good news for manufacturers and retailers: Millennials are, in fact, brand loyal. That’s according to a new survey of Millennial consumers from marketing data provider Adroit Digital, which found that 64% of Millennials are more brand-loyal or as brand-loyal as their parents, with 24% considering themselves to be more brand-loyal than their parents.

But there’s a catch.

Retailers and manufacturers are looking to connect and secure the loyalty of this tech-savvy group, which spends $600 billion a year. However, many marketers are still scratching their heads when it comes to how to earn the loyalty of these young adults.

This study is important because it not only finds that Millennials are brand loyal, but also it stresses that it's time for marketers to move beyond the hard sell. Getting to know this group will require evaluating new ad units, including social, native and video, as well as the associated creative messaging. The reality is that technology is part of this group’s identify. One could say it is part of their DNA.

One of the key findings — but perhaps not so surprising — is that social is quickly moving up the ladder and offering TV advertising some serious competition. When respondents were asked which advertising medium has the most influence over how they view brand value, TV and social came out the winners with 70% and 60%, respectively.

What also is interesting is that, while many Millennials say they are brand loyal, they acknowledge that they follow a different set of criteria compared with their parents. What tops the list? Value and/or price (62%). This is followed by recommended by a friend, brand reputation and, coming in at fourth place, quality. And rounding out the list is exposure through social media (29%) and eco-friendly (28%).

Because of their access to vast amounts of information, these shoppers are highly informed about everything from a brand’s pricing to its business practices. That’s why gaining their trust and admiration is key to loyalty.

Yes, earning the loyalty of Millennials may be difficult — and even harder to keep — but those marketers that succeed no doubt stand to reap the benefits.

According to a separate study by Nielsen on Millennials, they make fewer shopping trips than their older counterparts, but they spend more per trip — $54 per trip versus $46 per trip for Boomers. And their spending exceeds Boomers in drug stores, grocery stores, mass merchandisers, supercenters and warehouse clubs.

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