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It is more common for marketers to think of loyalty as a technology platform or a marketing campaign. They think it is a demand or a lever to produce higher revenue, but now, it is so much more than that. In one of its most successful definition, loyalty is now a mindset permeating all aspects of business this year.
As we find ourselves going deeper and deeper into 2018 (can you believe it is already July?), it means the predictions and trends for marketers everywhere are fading to favor actual outcomes. However, there is still a sleeping giant amongst us that will have an ever-increasing role in almost every facet of our lives… Yes, we are talking about Generation Z. Projected to become half of the active consumers across all markets by 2020, it is crucial for marketers to grasp the demands of the fresh-to-market generation who, like millennials before them, are poised to significantly shape consumer behavior and expectations for years to come.
Reshaping your Approach to Loyalty
Since Gen Z are considered to be the most diverse and multicultural generation ever, this upcoming generation is as nuanced and complex as every other generation that came before them. More often than not, peer-to-peer relationships play a vital role in serving as the vehicle through which brands are served, shared, mentioned and experienced. The traditional relationship between the brand and the loyalty program, with the consumer occupying the space in the middle, is rapidly becoming obscure. So, now more than ever before, marketers need to pinpoint how they add value to individual Gen Zers.
““Do as I say, not as I do” — that’s the motto for many brand leaders, but loyalty’s effectiveness is directly influenced by support, sponsorship and active guidance from leadership. To be effective, loyalty needs broad support to change how the brand thinks about the customer.” – Marketing Land reports.
Furthermore, to Gen Z, actions speak louder than words. Now, the C-suite can drive priorities for the program that change the brand mindset and create an atmosphere that elevates the new and upcoming customer as they journey throughout the organization.
The Value and Mission you have Matters
For Gen Z, transparency, authenticity, and purpose are huge in attracting them to your brand and building trust. Since Gen Z are more altruistic and egalitarian than previous generations, brands that strive to meet their cause-related goals will benefit from organic publicity and will be more likely to attract the attention of Gen Z.
“It’s more than money back. Ultimately, points and rewards alone won’t foster brand loyalty. Instead, in the post-millennial economy, things like exclusivity, reciprocity, social responsibility and instant gratification will trump traditional loyalty marketing.” – AdWeek writes.
For marketers, strategically and carefully tapping into relevant social movements that resonate with your brand is key to reaching Gen Z.
Gen Z has Something to Say
For marketers, the challenge remains the same; capture attention and demonstrate that your message, product or service is worth it. With the looming influence of Gen Z already penetrating how things are run in the United States, it is safe to say that by 2020, Gen Z will be the pivotal group making the rules and regulations across all industries.
Even though they may be young, Gen Z has already lived through some major historical moments in the United States, ones that will shape how they purchase and consume products and services over their next 40 to 50 years. With that said, the brands that respect and honor the world they live in will be the ones who ultimately gain their loyalty.
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Jenny Schecher is a Client Services Director & Social Media Manager at The Millennium Alliance. Jenny is an avid contributor to our blog, Digital Diary, as well as all social media platforms. When she is not writing about digital transformation and technology, she is working with her team to make visions come to life at our events. (and eating all of NYC's best food.) Follow her on Instagram: @jennyschecs or find her on LinkedIn!
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