Saturday, August 20, 2022
Uncategorized4 tips for creating brand loyalty in Gen Z customers

4 tips for creating brand loyalty in Gen Z customers

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Brand loyalty is something that every business craves, especially small businesses. A customer choosing your company over your competitors every time will increase your revenue and decrease that of your rival, upping your market share. It’s a win-win situation.

However, the industry rules that helped build brand loyalty among Boomers, Gen X, and even Millennials don’t seem to be working for Gen Z. This has left some companies floundering as Gen Z hit adulthood, but never fear, we’re about to share our tips for appealing to this new generation of young adults.

1. Reinvent the loyalty programme

The overwhelming majority of Gen Z love loyalty programmes and think all brands should offer one, but only about half of the generation are members of a loyalty scheme. This might seem confusing, but the truth is that brand loyalty may not always offer the cheapest prices, even with the loyalty points/discount applied. Given that Gen Z is the least financially stable generation because of the impact of coronavirus and the age-based inequalities that were in place before that, they prioritise lower prices and better value.

Gen Z want programmes tailored to their needs, offering genuine value, and on the right social media. They want something that speaks to them, not their parents. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Loyalty incentives that work for Gen Z include:

  • First access to new products or invitations to launch events
  • Free delivery and returns
  • Exclusive sales
  • Discount codes for their birthday/member anniversary
  • Longer return periods and receipt-less returns (You’ll be able to track when they bought it or figure out if someone bought it for their birthday via their account)
  • Offering customizable pronouns (or just not registering them at all)
  • Giving out branded merchandise if people make purchases in a set timeframe

2. Support causes

It’s true that Gen Z cares about social and political issues. There’s a lot for them to care about from climate change to institutional racism to the havoc that the pandemic is wreaking on communities with less access to healthcare. As such, they will often question brand ethics and threaten to boycott companies that actively cause harm.

Many will not permanently follow through with this because scandals fade as something else grabs the news, but it’s important to remember that few small businesses are ever faced with ethics violations on this level. Your company will likely never be accused of unethical practices.

Instead of trying to tackle big issues, except for seeking out ethically-made products, focus on supporting the local community. Clean up litter from the beach, donate groceries to the foodbank, turn out at protests for issues that you feel strongly about, and put this on your social media channels. Gen Z wants to shop with companies that have the same values as them, especially small, local companies, but be warned, they’ll be able to tell if you’re faking it.

3. Give physical rewards

Earlier, we spoke about giving out business gifts to reward customers. Some brands think that appealing to Gen Z means giving out virtual prizes, like an app store credit for a game download or the ability to stream a concert online. However, after roughly two years of everything going digital, Gen Z is desperate to ditch the video calls for IRL meetups where possible. If that’s not something your business can reasonably offer, physical gifts will beat out digital ones at every turn because young people now love receiving post.

If you’re unsure what to give out, look for promotional products that will be good for the planet and can save them money, like the travel coffee mugs or tote bags available here, or even an everyday object like a promotional pen from recycled materials.  These will save your Gen Z customers 10p every time they refuse a disposable coffee cup or a plastic bag and reduce their impact on the environment because they’ll contribute less to plastic waste. This way you can be sure that they’ll use the items and be grateful for them.

4. Don’t worry about making an app

Lots of big companies have apps to facilitate their loyalty programmes, but there’s not always enough space on people’s smartphones to handle this. Plus, speaking from experience, the constant notifications can be grating. Not to mention, the app creation process can be expensive for small businesses.

Luckily, most loyalty programmes can actually be run using your website. Encourage customers to make an account, rather than just doing a guest checkout, by offering first order incentives, like a discount code or advising that they can earn points when they shop with you. That way you’ll have the marketing information you need, including birthday, address, email address, and phone number, without spending too much.

If you are going to create an app, view it as an extra service that you’re offering to customers, while still allowing them to make purchases in other ways. No one wants to download, delete, and redownload an app every time they purchase something, just to avoid space crunches and noisy notifications.

To sum up, the version of loyalty programmes that have been part of shopping for the last 50 years doesn’t appeal to young people now. Filling in a form the length of The Hunger Games trilogy and carrying a little plastic card in your wallet at all times is just not how they want to do things. In fact, these things might be less appealing to tech-savvy people of all ages.

As Gen Z ages, because there’s still a good six years before all of them are over 18, the rules may change again. We advise having brand accounts on their favourite social media apps (currently Tik Tok and Instagram) to learn more about your consumers and stay ahead of the curve.

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